Former US President Woodrow Wilson once said, “If I have to speak for 10 minutes, I need a week to prepare; if 15 minutes, three days; if half an hour, two days; if an hour, I’m ready now.
In today’s fast-paced world, characterized by parallel pursuits, multiple tasks and wearing different hats as a business owner, parent, husband or wife, community leader, etc., it is more important than ever to get to the point quickly.
Accuracy in capturing and managing your target’s elusive mind-share is one of the key determinants of business and career success.
If you’re talkative or talkative, you’re definitely losing people’s attention. No one will have the time and patience to go through your speeches, long emails, proposals, or presentations.
Brevity is not only an essential part of communication. It is the central pillar of the company. Unless you’re a supermarket or other one-stop shop, having a book for a catalog is a liability, not an asset.
Sometimes you go to a restaurant that cooks almost any dish a customer can conceive and order. The kitchen teems with activities serving a very modest clientele and the establishment struggles financially to pay the essential bills.
You enter another specialty restaurant that serves few products and find that it is always full.
Brevity requires precision and adequate preparation. It takes time to research the market and know who your real customers are so you can target them instead of spreading your message.
It takes time and patience to develop or select a product that you can sell to a thousand customers than it takes to choose multiple products that you need to sell to multiple people to push a thousand.
It is always advisable to be successful in seeking quality and not quantity. In difficult times like the one we are going through, it is very easy to think that the way to achieve a financial breakthrough is to increase your product line, your secondary activities or your sources of income generation. This is not only costly, energy-intensive, but also counterproductive. The best decision is to focus on how to do a lot with less in your area of expertise.
It is obvious that most successful businesses started out by producing and selling few products. Some of them maintain a very narrow catalog throughout their life while few diversify much later after becoming well established in the market.
Pareto’s Law states that 80% of your consequences come from 20% of your causes. This means that 80% of your income comes from 20% of your activities.
If you could know and isolate the 20% of your products or activities that contribute 80% of your bottom line, you could transform your life and your business in a very short time.
Unfortunately, this takes time and hard work and most of us like things easy and are impatient.
That’s why Woodrow Wilson said figuratively that he needed a whole week to prepare for a 15-minute speech and no time to prepare for an hour-long speech.
Mr. Kiunga is a business trainer and author of The Art of Entrepreneurship: Strategies to Succeed in a Competitive Market. [email protected]