Stop Aiming for the Most Obvious Target

What do all these statements have in common?

  • “We help small- and medium-size businesses solve…”
  • “We help sales teams solve…”
  • “We help accountants/marketers/engineers solve…”

They all describe the most obvious, most visible audiences.

Focusing on “small- and medium-size businesses” is like shooting at a big red bullseye that covers most of a target. Because it’s so big and easy to identify, it will also seem easy to hit. But that’s why most of the competition will be focusing their attention there as well.

And when everyone is aiming for the same bullseye, hitting it gets that much harder.

In “The key to becoming extraordinary,” author Ozan Varol shares an important insight about making the most of your strengths as an individual and as a brand.

Instead of aiming for the same target as other musicians—trying to out-sing or out-play them—[Bruce] Springsteen instead doubled down on the quality that made him unique: His ability to write song lyrics.

Springsteen did what Brian Eno, another extraordinary musician, advises. People often want to “aim for the biggest, most obvious target, and hit it smack in the bull’s eye,” Eno says. “Of course with everybody else aiming there as well that makes it very hard to hit.” The alternative? “Shoot the arrow, then paint the target around it,” Eno explains. “Make the niches in which you finally reside.”

Stop aiming for the same obvious target as everyone else. Figure out your first principles as a person—the Lego blocks of your talents, interests, and preferences—and paint the target around them.

Check out Ozan’s full post here.

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