Strategy Is What You Don’t Do
My first job out of school was selling Apple Macs for Europe’s largest Apple retailer. Through a series of lucky coincidences I ended up working closely with the founder and CEO of the company — eventually leading to me building the first e-commerce store for this company (back in 1996).
The founder of that company was one of the most amazing, street-smart entrepreneurs I’ve ever met. And he taught me my first, and probably most important lesson about strategy.
Strategy is less about what you do, it is much more about what you don’t do.
As an entrepreneur you are faced with literally hundreds if not thousands of small decisions every week. Most of these decisions are tied to an opportunity. Multiply this out for the year and your decision space is close to infinite. Yet — every choice you make counts and can be the one which makes or breaks your business.
The art and skill is to figure out which of those opportunities are the right ones and then following through with focussed execution. This involves saying no to 90% of everything you could do.
Become crystal clear about what it is you want to do and achieve. Figure out which actions support this plan. And then start saying no to everything else.