Tilting At Windmills

Remember Don Quixote? He was busy attacking windmills while imagining himself fighting giants. He believed he was achieving a grand and glorious vision as he ignored reality.

It’s a risk we all run when we’re trying to stake our territory in a fast moving, challenging economy. Instead, ask yourself some key questions.

Who am I competing against? Is it really competitor A, B or C? Or is doing nothing your real competition? Let’s face it. For lots of services, inertia is a powerful thing: financial advisors, accountants, actuaries, estate planners. Why should your client make a change? Maybe the real fight is getting them to know they must act.

What is your financial truth? I spoke with someone recently who was consumed with determining his ideal billing rate. The problem? He had no idea where his next project was coming from. The issue wasn’t his billing rate, but his pipeline. Focusing on rates gives him something to obsess about while he busily ignores the elephant in the room.

What’s your sweet spot? Which clients and what work best suit your talents and passions? How front and center are they in your daily interactions? Beware of defaulting to what comes to you. You may quickly find yourself getting wrapped into elaborate time-sucks outside of your sweet spot. Before you know it, your productivity is down and your fun evaporates.

Tilting at windmills didn’t serve Don Quixote. Don’t let it seduce you.

1 Comment

  • TP

    I'm associated with someone who did almost the identical thing the last time we met. He kept crunching numbers, going higher and lower, to finally come up with what he thought was the right price. When I asked him who he had in mind for these new offerings, I was met with silence. I told him it doesn't matter what the number is when it is multiplied by zero as the results would be the same.

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