It happens to every entrepreneur. We taste success and we want more. We believe if we can be successful with one thing, we can do it with another. We open new locations. We consider franchising. We try new ventures. We believe bigger is better and going for more is the only path to greater success.
This is what I like to call the success trap. I’ve witnessed it first hand with my businesses. We had success with our team in Gastonia so we decided to take on a team in Martinsville. It wasn’t nearly as successful. We then started a team in Savannah because we wanted more and then Gastonia’s growth slowed down.
This desire to keep doing more has held back our success.
As entrepreneurs, many of us believe anything we do will be successful. We believe if we excel at one thing, we can apply it to another, but that’s simply not the case.
The book The One Thing and Essentialism proves that the pursuit of less is the path to ultimate success. Yet as entrepreneurs we don’t listen. And we may never listen because of the success trap and the DNA that made us entrepreneurs. It’s our personalities and our drive and hunger that makes us who we are. To tell us to focus on one thing goes against everything that we are made of.
So what’s the solution? Is it possible to stay focused building one thing for your entire career? While many entrepreneurs are always jumping to the next opportunity, the most well known entrepreneurs have cemented themselves with one company. Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, Steve Jobs, Jack Welch. They each built one company and changed the world. The key is that they continued to build and grow their business while focused on their singular purpose of the business. They all demonstrated their entrepreneur spirit by trying new things regularly. But only if it fit their brand and their model.
Yes, we’ve all heard it before. You are either growing or you are dying. But we all need focused growth on the one thing at which we can be the best. When it’s all said and done, the most successful people in the world are known for one thing. Their one biggest contribution. Don’t fall into the Success Trap. Focus on your sweet spot and never look back.
For more tips on how to be successful by standing out, check out the Find Your Yellow Tux Playbook for the 6 Secrets to Stand Out.