Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Questions on Retreat

The Dip by Seth GodinSo, here I am up in beautiful, sprawling Traverse City. My hotel room looks out on Grand Traverse Bay. The sun and blue sky as I pulled in this evening filled me with excitement of the possibilities of the days to come.

I'm here, in my room by the bay, on a self-directed business retreat. No seminars, no gurus, no group team-building exercises. Just me, my laptop, and plenty of time to consider questions like "How do I want to grow my business?" and "What sort of products can/should I create which will serve my target market?". Oh, and don't forget the ever popular "Just exactly who is my target market anyway?"

I did bring along a few business books, for those times when I want to just relax on the beach. In fact, I just finished Seth Godin's "The Dip: A Little Book that Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick)". It has raised a few questions which I'll be adding to the list for consideration over the next few days:

Under what circumstances am I willing to quit? Obviously, I can't continue trying to build this business if it starts causing hardship for my family. What other conditions might be valid reasons for quitting? Deciding now will go a long way toward helping me stay in the game when the going gets tough.

In what market will I be the "best in the world"? This falls back on some of my old Certified Networker training: Picking a tightly specified target market is likely to make us more successful.

What tactics can I use to influence that market? How will I know when they are working? Is continuing to attend the Chamber networking events going to make a difference to my target market or should I be looking elsewhere?

How much effort can/should I invest to influence my market? Will it be enough? This ties in with specifying my target market. If the market is too big, then I won't have enough time or energy to become the number one website superhero in their world.

Do I want to do the best I can, given my constraints, or do I want to be the best in the world? This one should technically be a no-brainer.

So that's just my short list courtesy of Seth. Mix that in with all the other things that I want to work on and I'm beginning to think I should have scheduled a full week instead of just a few days.

Ah, well, wish me luck!

So, what significant questions have you been pondering in your life and career?

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