Widen Your Lens, Narrow Your Focus

Written by Paul on June 3rd, 2008

This is the third in a series of posts about rethinking your personal brand.

Back in college, I started up a small consulting company to provide some outsourced Linux system administration. Oh, and photography. Oh wait, and business process consulting.

You get the idea: I tried to be everything to everyone but ended up being no one to anyone. More importantly, my clients started to see me as the guy they could just dump any task on. (In retrospect though, perhaps they trusted me enough to know that I could handle nearly anything they gave me and they knew I was the poor college kid that would take it with a smile.)

Look at monster.com or careerbuilder.com and compare them to the jobs section of your local newspaper – which are you most likely to check when you’re hunting for a new place to work? (If you’re reading this blog, you better not have chosen the newspaper.)

What I learned is that success favors a “best-of-breed player”, a company devoted to one line of business. The people that focus on dominating a single market usually destroy the people that try to be the best at everything. Make sense?

If I were to ask your friends, coworkers or employees what you’re an expert at, would they give me a concise answer that could be wrapped up in 10 seconds? If not, it’s time to take a step back and take a look at what you’re doing that’s confusing those around you. (Email me, I’ll help you brainstorm ways to fix it.)

Remember: Focus on what you do best and then tell the world about it. Widen your lens, narrow your focus.

Image Credit: laszlo-photo

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