Is it possible tenacity can trap you?
We business owners tend to nod vigorously when we’re exhorted to be tenacious, to persist, to let our grit and resolve carry us through the challenges we face. I do it myself, and I wrote about the evidence that founders and owners have a lot of built-in tenacity that has served them well.
Since I wrote in praise of these great characteristics, I’ve had some objections pop up in my head and from conversations with others.
One videographer told me he does it all from storyboarding and scripting through the video shoots to post-production to the marketing and distribution. Why? Because he’s tenacious and persistent, he told me.
And yet, he hasn’t seen results from his marketing and distribution efforts Those are not his strengths, and even though he persists, he’s not getting where he wants to go. Persistence hurts more than helps if you persist in doing things you’re not expert and knowledgeable about.
An attorney is tenaciously building a law firm with lawyers who have different legal specialties. He wants his firm to be a “one-stop-shop” for business owners. I see a glaring problem that shook him to the core: by trying to appeal to everyone, he is actually appealing to very few.
He’d be better off persistently focusing on each specialty, one at a time; to treat each specialty as a standalone practice. Once a practice area builds a solid clientele, that area can introduce clients to the others.
Other traps of tenacity that owners fall into include:
- Networking the way you’ve always networked. If it hasn’t worked in 12 months, your tenacity won’t change the outcome.
- Marketing tactics. Every marketing study concludes that buyers and prospects receive different streams of information every day and respond in different ways. No matter the promises that one marketing tactic is the only or the absolute best one, your firm must invest in multiple channels, content mix, and timing. Tenacity on one mode limits the likelihood of great results.
- Value creation. The Value of the company is a big concern for owners. After all, much of their personal wealth is tied to the value of the company. Tenacity and persistence can grow value but can also prevent value creation.
For example, if you have resolved to attract a particular market or persona, and after 12 months you haven’t succeeded, there’s something wrong. More resolve won’t fix that.
Another example is the choice of pricing model. Your firm may persist in selling billable hours, and yet that very practice puts a fixed ceiling on revenue. Increasing billable hours sold doesn’t get rid of the ceiling.
Do you have any inklings about how tenacity has trapped you? Hit REPLY to tell me your story. I’d be happy to give you my take on your experience.