Go big, go small

To go big, you have to go small.

To become a master, you have to narrow your focus.

To grow your company, you have to narrow your target market.

To make your job profile stand out, you have to narrow (and perfect) the things you tell about.

It is counterintuitive, and that’s why so many people get this wrong. But the only way to go big, is to go small.

Money doesn’t lie

Google’s mission was to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. Today, 81.3% of their revenue comes from advertising, which admittedly has little to do with making information universally accessible.

Facebook’s mission was to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. Today, 97.7% of their revenue comes from advertising, which admittedly has little to do with giving people the power to build community or bringing the world closer together.

If you don’t measure the right things, it’s very easy to end up in a very different place from the one you initially had in mind.

Arrogant assumption

When leaders say any of the following:

  • I put a lot of pressure on myself.
  • I hold myself to very high standards.
  • I am the biggest critic of my work.

It typically means that they will find it challenging to establish relationships based on trust, particularly with direct reports.

And it’s not because what they say is not true. It might indeed be that they expect a lot of themselves, that they are never happy with what they achieve, that they always strive for more.

But they then extend the same expectations on others. They assume that just because others don’t feel the same pressure, don’t adhere to the same standards, don’t agree with the same critiques, it means they are not as committed, as motivated, as performing.

That’s a bit of an arrogant assumption.

Quantity or quality

It’s not quantity that will make you feel accomplished and satisfied. That’s a lazy proxy for work that matters.

It’s not even quality. That’s volatile and no two people would agree on what that means.

It’s the alignment between what you do and what you stand for. And too often we mistake quantity or quality for the final goal.