Every time, it’s exactly the same.
Whether it’s my previous work life in corporate America working for a Fortune 100 company, or my current life as a founder, every time you focus down, it’s a big win.
Back in corporate life in sales this was often the result of a changing landscape of products I could sell or the ubiquitous “territory realignment”. We were often forced to rethink our work environment on an annual basis.
As a founder in a mature, stable, but very exciting market like podcasting, it’s no different. From the outside, things change all the time.
Some of these are our choice, and some are beyond our control. The question really is how do you as the leader of a company respond to all these constant pressures begging your company to change?
In this newsletter, I try to abstract away the specific things I’m seeing in my business to overall business truths that can apply to everyone.
It’s not the podcasting market or even my business that I’m talking about, but universal business rules.
When you niche down and narrow your focus, you win.
And the inverse is true. Far too many businesses have floundered or flat out failed because they tried to do too many things all at once.
And this isn’t just a marketing truism…it applies to every aspect of your business. If you try to please everyone (internally and externally) you end up pleasing no one, and you fail to achieve your potential.
I saw this recently, and it was a tough lesson to learn. For the last few years, we tried to build products for and conduct sales and marketing efforts to 3 different customer personas.
Of course I ought to be smarter than to know this wouldn’t fly…but I did it anyhow.
With the realization that this wasn’t working and we weren’t growing as quickly as we’d liked, I refocused Castos to a single customer persona, a single ideal product use case, and a single customer acquisition channel we want to master.
And this is a 5 year old company with 4,000 customers…we’re not some fledgling startup that’s searching for the first degrees of product-market fit.
This renewed focus resulted in the biggest growth month in the last 18 months across all fronts. That means the most trials, converted customers, lowest churn, and lowest CAC.
The question that keeps haunting me in situations like this is:
What am I not seeing?
How can I make smarter decisions next time to avoid blunders like this in the future? What pieces of information am I missing, and how can I fill those knowledge gaps? What am I screwing up in this very moment, and have no idea that it’s happening?
I don’t have answers for these last questions, but they are the ones that I am focused on to ensure that I’m always aware of how focused I am on the right things in my business, and I am intentionally ignoring everything else that is just noise.
I hope you’ve mastered this and haven’t experienced this wandering sense of focus. But if you have fallen prey to these wandering eyes in your business just know it’s never too late. Take a moment to reset things.
I know you’ll be glad you did.