Dominate, Don’t Dabble

Every once in a while I hear a phrase that just sticks with me. I  find myself bringing it up in conversation, mentioning it in client meetings, sprinkling it through my presentations and talks. You probably have a few of these as well. Not the old tired ones, which I won’t even mention here because some days we are all sick of hearing about perseverance and goals and positive thinking. But the ones that seem to comprise an entire book in a few words – those stay with you.

And the one I heard four months ago at #icon14 was from Casey Graham, and it is:

Dominate dont dabble
Doesn’t it strike a chord with you as well? Aren’t we all sick of trying seventeen different things at the same time, doing none of them well, and then seeing our competitors implementing one of our brilliant ideas while we just carry on stressed and worn out?

I don’t know about you, but that certainly wearies me. And disgusts me a bit, too.  If I had spent the last few years dominating instead of dabbling, I might be in an even better place now.

And yet it’s so difficult for me to change my habits. I did one of those profile tests, one that asks you maybe 50 questions and frighteningly seems to grasp exactly who you are even though you’re still figuring it out yourself, and it told me I was a “creator”. This means I even more than most people am not only constantly coming up with ideas, but I start work on them immediately.

There’s the trouble, isn’t it? It’s not our plethora of ideas, it’s our tendency to work on ALL of them at the same time.

Well, the answer is to stop dabbling, and choose one area, and dominate it.

Like so.

Dominate one product or service.

Pick either the most profitable one, or the one that you like the best. Ideally they would be the same, but it’s okay if they’re not. If you dominate what you love you’ll be happier. If you dominate what makes you the most profit you’ll be richer.

Dominate one target market. One.

We used to tell accountants to choose 3 or 4 target markets – in case one didn’t work out. I still say it, but now I go a step further and say “now pick just one.”  One of the accountancy firms we’re working with discovered she has a niche in property developers, architects, and surveyors (and there are joint opportunities in those three), and the first time she went to a networking event she mentioned this focus instead of simply using the usual spiel.  “Karen, people actually came up to me and wanted to talk about property development – for themselves or for someone else!”, she told me. She was thrilled, and signed 2 new clients within about a month’s time.

Dominate one social media engine.

It’s great to have a presence on multiple social media platforms, and ultimately that’s what you want. But to get there go one at a time. Start with the one you know the best or like the best or tend to sign on to more. For accountants that is usually Twitter or LinkedIn. YouTube is also an excellent way to showcase your expertise.

Dominate one multimedia type.

Pick something that you get known for: video, blog, infographics, photography, drawings and illustrations, cartoons, etc. Think about your audience, not your own preferences. One of our firms for whom we are building a website was concerned that a photo used was of a paper with numbers but it wasn’t an actual financial statement. We reminded her that most of her clients would never notice.

Dominate one area of your business.

Strategy, marketing, meeting with clients, mergers and acquisitions – wherever you shine best, pour your efforts there and outsource or hire people to do the rest, You won’t regret it.

A beautiful proof of this concept is that I connected with Casey himself following the Infusionsoft conference. I thanked him for the talk and the phrase which I found so useful. We sent a few tweets and emails and I asked if he might be willing to write a guest blog post for us. He initially said yes, but then came back a week or two later with apologies to say that he was focusing on a key project and wouldn’t be able to do it in the immediate future.

There’s Casey’s principle in action. He chose to dominate in the project he’s working on, and not to dabble, as interesting or relevant as that may be. He did write his own blog post on it, which I encourage you to read here.

Enjoy your domination.