My friend, resume writer Robert Dagnall, has posted this a couple of times recently on Facebook:
The first time I saw it I didn’t think anything of it. But then, Friday morning it popped up again and I guess I was feeling a little philosophical.
What if, in a job search, you are chasing two different rabbits? Well, maybe that’s a bad example. In a job search you are likely working on multiple job opportunities at the same time, and you should be. You can’t go after one for months, and ignore everything else that comes up.
But maybe the job opening isn’t the rabbit… maybe the rabbit is not focusing enough. “What are you looking for?” “Oh, I don’t know, anything really. I can do anything.”
Sounds kind of dumb, doesn’t it? I hear that all too often. I’m not exaggerating.
But what if it’s true?
It usually is true.
That is either a symptom of (a) not understanding the importance of focusing, and worrying about missing out on something we haven’t considered. That is a real fear (Fear Of Missing Out, or FOMO). Or, it’s a symptom of (b) not understanding the incredible (and seemingly unintuitive) power of focusing on a niche.
I was at a business seminar with small business growth coach Mark LeBlanc. I don’t remember his exact words but he said something that was profound. Something like “pick the line of revenue that it most important (or biggest, or whatever), and FOCUS on that one. Pretty much ignore the others (as far as marketing goes). The growth you’ll see from your first revenue priority will increase the other revenue lines.”
As a business owner I thought: that is scary. That seems negligent. Irresponsible.
But, as I thought about it, I realized that not putting enough marketing focus in one area really amounted to spreading yourself too thin in all areas. Giving a half-or-less effort on anything resulted in half-or-less results. But 100% focus on the right thing helped the right thing grow, and that growth resulted in growth in other areas.
It’s an interesting concept. It’s scary to think that you will focus on one and pretty much ignore others. The concept, though, is really encapsulated in the Confucius quote above… which rabbit do you chase? Which rabbit do you focus on?
This concept is so important that in 2011 I wrote something very similar: 2011 THEME: The Job Search Rabbit Hole. Great complementary thoughts to Robert’s idea.