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Chapter 18: Shine on, You Crazy Diamond

I threw away a 59,000-word draft of this book and rewrote from scratch the version you've hopefully just finished reading. This version is half the length because of something I realized about you and me while writing the first version.

You're so much more likely to succeed and thrive than I was giving you credit for in that first discarded draft.

That is  what I want for you: thriving success; using your business as a lever to enable a growing, rewarding, thriving, interesting life. My personality tends to surround dreams and goals with a thick layer of anxiety  about de-risking the pursuit of those things. The first draft of this book was probably about 20K to 30K words of useful guidance and 30K to 40K words of anxiety-driven "watch out for this!" details and caveats and . . . well, let's just call it friction  that would have hindered you in implementing a very good idea—specialization—in your business.

You're so much more capable and creative than I was giving you credit for in that first friction-laden draft. This version has, I hope, given you the essence of the ideas and models you need to transform your business without any unneeded cruft or helicopter-parenting-style coddling.

These ideas are simple, but powerful.

  1. We will run into a ceiling on our ability to earn visibility and trust. This will create a ceiling on the opportunities we have access to.

  2. Specialization is choosing and leveraging a beachhead to break through this ceiling. Beachheads are an important, but temporary, part of a larger strategy.

  3. With specialization, strive to decide well, but make sure you implement even better than you decide. To paraphrase Drucker, implementation eats decision-making for breakfast.

  4. Know thine enemy. The Fear is the feeling of exceeding your comfort zone disguised as doubt about your decision-making ability.

  5. Marketing is how you earn new levels of visibility and trust. It is also how you initiate conversations and make enough memories in the market that hearing your name creates a warm, trust-y feeling among those in the market.

Sail on, you bold entrepreneurial expert!

Shine on, you crazy diamond.