When Straying From Your Strategy Is Tempting  (And How To Stay On Track)

Let’s just admit it—we’ve all been tempted to stray from our strategy.

You might be bored and ready to shake things up. Or you’re nervous that maybe this new course you’ve set isn’t producing results at the pace you’d planned.

And then just the right amount of temptation presents itself…

Like the prospect that asks you to deliver a fascinating, but slightly off-your-expertise project. At a discount. In Brazil.

On the surface, you can make all sorts of arguments on why this is a good idea.

“I’ve always wanted to understand more about _______ and this is my opportunity to get paid something while learning it.”

“This will be a good test to see if I can/should do more work in Brazil.”

“The client is so high-profile that I’m sure to win more similar assignments once they see me in action.”

“I’ve been dying to see Brazil and this is the price of my ‘free’ ticket.”

Any one of these might actually be true and worth the investment and strategy shift.

But before you say yes to an off-strategy opportunity, try envisioning the outcomes your original plan was designed to deliver. And ask yourself three key questions:

Does this get me closer to my specific goals? 

What’s the true investment cost for me to do this? 

What other opportunities must I forgo? 

The thing is, saying “yes” to off-strategy almost always means saying “no” to on-strategy.

So before you leap, think through what you might miss. Will your content delivery to your on-strategy audience suffer? Will you have to say no to a sweet-spot client with a tantalizing on-strategy problem (that also delivers real substance to your bottom line)?

You can always shift tactics—in fact I’d be surprised if you didn’t—but your guiding strategy doesn’t get changed like your socks.

Because the serious rewards only come when you stick with it.

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