StartUp Tip #23: Stay in your circle of competence


Focus is a choice.

The runner who is concentrating on how much his left toe hurts will be left in the dust by the runner who is focusing on winning.

Even if the winner’s toe hurts just as much.

The temptation for startup entrepreneurs is try to do too many things at the same time.

We start a business in retail, then want to enter insurance, then mining, then catering all within a short space of time.

When you meet a startup entrepreneur at a networking function and you ask them what they do, when the response is:

“we do everything, just name it and we can organize it.”

Then that startup entrepreneur is not focused.

When you have a lot of balls in the air, it is easy to just ignore the ones that make you uncomfortable or that might fall.

Smart startups know their limitations and stick to their areas of competence.

They focus on what you know best and stick to their lane.

The likelihood of succeeding in areas that are not within your actual capacities and interests are small.

Understand your limitations and competence and don’t be seduced by any omnipotent notion that you can do everything.

Stay in areas of business where you have a sense of competence and interest, deepen your understanding of them and conquer them.

To be able to do that is the opposite of “doing everything.”

Don’t be distracted by an envious pre-occupation with lives and opportunities elsewhere.

When someone succeeds in another area, don’t drop your area of competence and interest to pursue another area that you are unfamiliar with just because someone else is succeeding in it.

Instead, stick to what you understand, deepen it and conquer it.



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