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There are no random hurricanes of positive outcome.

New programs, tools and opportunities are promoted to you constantly. Consider investing in these new offerings if (and only if) they have the potential to make a significant difference in the execution of your current overall business strategy.

Look at the big picture:

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Prior to going into the current business year, you made important decisions about your competitive positioning, branding, pricing, and the distribution channels you’ve chosen to use to get your best work out into the world. These set the direction for all other business decisions to be made during your fiscal year.

You’ve defined the tools and people you’ll work with to implement your strategy. A you have the plans and processes you’ll use to attract, convert, retain and grow your customer base.

If a new offering or opportunity enhances, optimizes, or otherwise improves your delivery of the programs, products and services you’re creating this year, it’s worth exploring. But invest time and money in it only if it does not conflict with, delay or derail your current strategy. (In the latter instance, it’s better to table the possibility for consideration when working on your business strategy for next year.)

For example, many marketers are promoting creating training courses as the next big money-making thing. If selling training isn’t on your radar this year, you might be tempted to abandon your current strategy to jump on the new bandwagon in the (false) hope of making fast sales and easy money. This would be a mistake of grand proportions.

Success is driven by your strategy

Success comes from having a strategic plan and working that plan. You can’t pivot mid-year and change all the other integrated marketing elements fast enough to make a difference to your bottom line. To do so would only cause you to lose any momentum you’ve built to date with your current strategy. Come year end, you’d be dealing with double the stress and despair having two failures and little positive progress to show for all the effort you put into this year.

When business owners complain nothing is working, it’s often because they’ve been changing course with every new opportunity that hits them. Their results won’t change until they choose a single, comprehensive strategy. Then, they must focus only on that for the length of time needed to get it working effectively and efficiently. Or to prove it’s not a viable strategy (at which point it makes good sense to change course and explore other options).

There’s no shame in abandoning a strategy that isn’t working. But you do have to give it the best chance to succeed by committing fully to working your plan.

More next time. Until then, remember to LOVE YOUR WORK, whatever it may be.

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