Target Fixation — Is your goal killing your business?

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There are very few television shows I watch with any regularity and NCIS is one of them — whether it’s the investigative plots themselves or Mark Harmon, I can’t say for sure. ๐Ÿ™‚

One episode discussed the concept of “target fixation” — a concept where you are SO focused on your target that you fly right into it.

In the entrepreneurial world, I attribute “target fixation” to being SO incredibly focused on your goal (your target) that you fail to see all the other opportunities around you.

While working with a private virtual retreat client last week, we soon discovered that she was so concerned with staying “on message” (her fixation) that she completely missed a whole section of her business which, with a little tweaking, is completely in tune with her message and could be a significant revenue stream.

Even better. . .her clients are already eager and looking for this knowledge and service.

Now let’s take a look at what could have happened had she not acknowledged this segment of her business. Note that this is what typically happens with small business owners:

  1. We focus SO much on the goal that we regularly miss additional opportunities all around us — thus losing both the opportunity to have a greater impact on our clients AND our bottom lines or
  2. If something happens to the one area we ARE focused on (ie, clients stop calling), we’re not prepared and have no other revenue streams to pick up the slack.

And if you doubt that such a thing as “target fixation” exists, just think back to your teenage years when you were “SOOOO in love” with that one person — the person who everything else revolved around and whom you considered in all your plans. . .

Now that you’re aware of our tendency as humans to focus so intently on one goal, one revenue stream, one “whatever” that we unintentionally neglect other areas of our business, or lives, what are you going to do about it?

Make It Real: My Request to You

Here are my suggestions for tackling your target fixation:

  1. Determine where you’re fixated and willfully take your eyes OFF the target — this can be more difficult than it first seems
  2. Take a step back from your business and review it as an outsider (say, a banker determining whether or not to give you funding) would
  3. After Step 2, what do you see? Where are there opportunities for improvement or enhancement? What should you start doing? Stop doing?

So what are you going to add to, or change in, your business this week?