Imagine that your family is starving. You live an equal distance from three lakes, and you have one fishing pole, two hooks, and two worms.
You’ve fished in only one of lakes, and have caught plenty of palm-sized bluegills and decent catfish there. You’ve heard that the second lake contains some big bass, but you’ve never been there. And you think the third lake is really attractive, and you’ve had a nibble or two while fishing there, but you’ve never landed anything. So with your family starving, where should you fish?
If it were me, I’d zero in on the lake where I’ve caught plenty of fish. I know that they’re in there, and I clearly know how to use techniques that let me reel them in. Given the urgency of my family’s hunger and my limited resources (two hooks and two worms), I can’t really afford to take chances on the other two lakes.
I’ve worked with a lot of businesses that do most of their fishing in a very productive lake. But every now and then, wanderlust captures their imagination, and they look enviously at other lakes. “Sure we’re getting our fill of fish over here,” they reason, “but imagine what we might get out of that one over there.” So instead of concentrating familiar resources in familiar places, they gamble on the unproven. Yes, sometimes they get lucky, but more often than not, their dreams turn to disappointment.
If you want to grow your business, and your resources (including time) are limited, fish where you know there are fish. It may not be as exciting, but it’s hard to fill your stomach with excitement.