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Are you ready to work out the one goal on which your business should focus?

In 1911 there was no satellite communication or GPS.

Setting out on their quest for the South Pole, both Scott and Amundsen were using rough maps, compasses and a sextant.

Scott took the route previously followed by Shackleton; Amundsen took an unproven route.

Scott had ponies; Amundsen had dogs.

Both faced similar weather conditions.

Scott travelled 120 miles more than Amundsen, but Amundsen climbed a 10,000-foot-high mountain.

Both laid out stations of food stocks and supplies in advance.

Amundsen succeeded, but Scott did not and died on the return journey.


The answer lies in this one quote:

“Our plan is one, one and again one alone – to reach the pole. For that goal I have decided to throw everything else aside” – Roald Amundsen, 1911.

So how does this relate to your business?

Here is a great quote from Jim Collins’ book, Great by Choice:

Financial markets are out of your control. Customers are out of your control. Earthquakes are out of your control. Global competition is out of your control. Technological change is out of your control. Almost everything is ultimately out of your control. But when you focus on a ’15-mile march’ (like Amundsen did), you have the tangible point of focus that keeps you and your team moving forward, despite confusion, uncertainty, and even chaos.

When steering your business, what is your one overriding, single-minded focus?

To help you formulate this, here are 4 steps to aid you in winning your personal business race, no matter how turbulent your industry may be.  Aim to be more ‘Amundsen’ and less ‘Scott’.

  1. Work out a number of possible options for the ‘one main thing’ for your business – no less than 4, no more than 7.
  2. Narrow down your choices by working out which will pay off in both good times and bad.
  3. Share your top 2 or 3 ‘main things’ with a selection of valued and respected customers, suppliers or advisors – ask them which they would choose and why.
  4. Work out what measurements (KPIs) about which you should obsess in order to drive your business every day or every week.

You won’t know you have found the right ‘main thing’ for your business until you test it, in good times and in bad. Don’t be afraid to re-focus or change your ‘main thing’ as circumstances evolve.

Click here to learn how to be more ‘Amundsen’ than ‘Scott’ when it comes to focusing on the right main thing for your business.

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