How do you turn life’s great questions into easy decisions?
A clear strategy.
I’ve changed a lot of my thinking on business and relationships due to my study of strategy.
A lot of business strategy and finding the right person is centered around commonalities. These companies all did X, Y, and Z. Look at their growth. She likes Star Wars, and drinking beer (Jim Jefferies anyone)? When are we getting married?
That’s not what a good strategy or relationship are built on. The question to ask is:
What are you willing to give up?
It’s much easier to find positive traits of said market or prospective mate, if, in fact, that’s what you’re trying to find.
I’m pretty much done staying out and getting drunk at the bar. Don’t get me wrong I love dive bars. I’ve spent more time in dive bars than most people should, and even fewer will admit to.
So when we meet for a cup of coffee, she’ll ask if I like to drink. Yes, I do. I like it for an hour or so. Then it’s time to go do something else.
The question is are you willing to give up drinking all night to hang out with me? If not, great. Let’s see if we can find each other a sweet job or introduce us to someone else.
The question is are you willing to give up the fandangle portion of the market because the customer acquisition cost will be too high?
I love strategy. It might come from the fact that I like learning and thinking…but executing? See my previous post about Fearing Execution.
I heard Seth Godin describe strategy consultants. It basically came down to this: You pay them so you can name drop to justify a decision.
“McKinsey said we could…”
Most of the time it was a foregone conclusion.
Ask 10 people the difference between strategy and tactics and you’re likely to get 10 different answers.
I like the one Bob Bloom gives in his book The Inside Advantage, “A strategy says how you intend to achieve your goal; a tactic is the way you intend to implement your strategy.”
In the recent UFC 202 rematch of McGregor vs Diaz, McGregor’s strategy was to get Diaz off-balance and leaning back. The tactic was leg kicks to Diaz’s front leg. It worked….barely.
One of these triangles within a triangle is Business Strategy. Each corner (starting at the top and moving clockwise) is labeled: Goals, Content, Targeting. Together they make up Business Strategy.
I like the idea because it’s practical, especially for something called a strategy. Goals influence the content you create, which influence who you target.
You can’t win the game if you lack any of these.
If we revisit the Bloom definition we see that this clearly explains “how” we are going to reach our goal; by using targeting and content. Practical? Check.
I like to think of strategy as the minimum amount of how that must be present to achieve your goal.
What are you willing to give up so that your decisions in business and relationships are easier?