Do Enough to Do It Well

There are things we all do well. We may be exceptional at some of them. At the same time, there are a number of things we don’t do well or at all. Perhaps it’s because we don’t have the talent. Or we don’t do it enough to develop the skills. Or maybe we haven’t tried it at all, so we don’t know how good (or bad) we might be. Regardless, unless you have some sort of freakish natural ability, you won’t develop the necessary skill to be successful at whatever it is you do or want to do until you hit a threshold of activity.

A study by heart surgeons from Johns Hopkins supports this notion. They found that the greatest success rates among heart transplant recipients were from centers performing 14 or more heart transplants per year. That is the apparent threshold, and the surgeons are recommending it as the minimum for any heart transplant center to receive the requisite designation.

This same concept applies to business as well. If you already compete in a market segment, yet you have not achieved sufficient volume for improving your skills or efficiencies, then look to what your competitors are doing better than you at attracting that business.

Suppose a segment is new for you or you consistently underperform. You can seek out additional training. There may be an expert in the field that is willing to come work for you on a permanent, semi-permanent or even temporary basis to advise, teach or recruit. Maybe you can identify a mentor to guide you.

If you have exhausted all the possibilities for improvement, or aren’t willing to make the investment, then the only reasonable thing to do is exit the segment and develop your expertise elsewhere. Something you can do well, manage properly, reach a threshold of activity and grow your business.

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One Response

  1. […] Furthermore, those expectations are likely to change over time (see my earlier post “Message Quest”). And as the organization providing the product or service evolves, so too will the sense of fairness or rightness of the price tag. Competitive pressures will play a role as well as the relative capabilities and skill sets of the competitors (see “Do Enough to Do It Well”). […]

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