What do a performance festival, a fictitious airline, and a lap dance have to do with each other? The answer—I thought—was was my business. Then I heard something that changed everything.
It went like this: if you want to find water, you don’t dig lots of shallow holes. You dig one hole, and you dig it deep. It struck me because at the time I was digging lots of holes with my business. I mean lots. But none of them were hitting water. I was broke, exhausted, and fearful. Here’s why.
When you’re digging lots of holes, you can only go so deep.
And when you don’t go deep, you don’t really know if there’s water there. Water doesn’t hang out near the surface. And by “water”, of course I mean success, money, recognition, respect, impact—whatever you want to call it.
You’ve got to KEEP DIGGING and GET DIRTY to see true results in anything.
Malcolm Gladwell says it takes 10,000 hours to achieve greatness. It also takes time for people to remember what you do. I’ll explain.
On average people need to hear something eight times before they remember it. So imagine one day you say, “I’m offering this experience.” Then another day you’re saying, “I’m also creating this product.” Then the following day it’s, “And I’m also an artist.” Ummm, ok?
That means every time you change your tune, you have to repeat it seven more times for people to remember. And how will your word-of-mouth marketing kick in if they can’t remember what you do? It won’t. So how do you know where to dig, you ask?
You’ve heard of the 80/20 rule: 80 percent of effects come from 20 percent of causes. So for business this could translate to 80 percent of your revenue/results come from 20 percent of your activities. That 20 percent is your water bearing well. DIG THERE.
Can you identify what activity brings you the most revenue, profit, or success (however you want to define it)? Cut everything else away.
When I realized I was using the majority of my energy on MY creative projects, but that people actually wanted to pay me to work on THEIR creative projects, I shifted my focus. Here’s how that worked out.
At first, it was scary to stop all the activities I thought defined who I was professionally. But narrowing my focus gave me clarity and then more clients than I ever imagined. How is this possible?
You see, people are drawn to clarity. If they are unclear about what you do, they will say no. A confused mind says no. End of story.
So what’s stopping you from getting clear? What would it feel like to cut away all the things that aren’t working and dig one hole really deep? Let me answer that for you—pretty damn good.
The water is shooting straight into the sky now, falling back onto your face, washing away all the sweat and dirt of your labor. Someone hands you a cocktail. You feel the sun caress the back of your neck, and you take rest.
Struggling to define and communicate your brand? Get clear with the Brand Identity Brief free download here.