Focus on what you’re good at, and nothing else!


Is it me or is everyone these days trying to get rich quick? Not only am I meeting more and more people who don’t want to work hard to make money, but they are starting to get into new business ventures that they know nothing about.

I know the grass always looks greener on the other side, but it really isn’t. Don’t get me wrong. Those lucrative businesses are making people millions of dollars, but that’s probably happening for less than 0.3% of the people in that industry.

So, before you decide to jump ship and get into a new career, think about all the things you will be losing out on. Yes, you may make some extra income in the short run, but if you put that time and energy into growing what you are already good at and love, you’ll do a lot better.

If you want to make a ton of money in business, follow these principles:

Harsh Fact #1: Focus on what you know

If you are really good at something, focus on it. Don’t stray away from it. Instead, continue perfecting your craft and become the leader in your space. If you don’t think you can make enough money focusing on what you are good at, then figure out what related businesses you can get into.

For example, a buddy of mine, Michael Dorausch, is a chiropractor in Los Angles. Although he does very well, he wasn’t satisfied with the income he was making as a chiropractor. But instead of jumping into a whole new field, he decided to help other chiropractors get more customers from the web for a monthly fee.

Harsh Fact #2: Business development is the quickest way to grow

If you put me in a room with a thousand people and ask me to close a deal with all of them, chances are I’ll fail. But if you put me in a room with one person and ask me to close a deal with that one person, there is a good chance I’ll be able to do so.

I am a big believer that it is easier to convince one person to work with you than it is to convince thousands of people. The cool part about business development is that the one person you convince could have access to thousands of people or companies.

For example, my friend Andy runs a TV website called BuddyTV. One way that he could try to grow his user base is to do a business development deal with other TV related companies such as TV Guide, Comcast, Timewarner, Verizon, etc. The reason this is powerful is because if you can close a deal with a company like TV Guide, you then get access to all of its customers.

Harsh Fact #3: Grow your network wisely

It’s hard to put a value on networking, but it can really help your business as long as you have a strong network. Networking with people that can’t provide any value to you or your business is fine in small doses, but it can turn into a huge waste of time because those people won’t provide you with a good ROI.

At first, you may have to network with people who don’t provide much value so you can get the hang of it, but you should shift your focus to networking with individuals who can help you grow your business.

Also, you have to realize that networking is a two-way street. I don’t care how many big names you have in your network. Your connections will be useless if you don’t help them out as well. When you need their help, they’ll be more likely to help you if you’ve taken care of them in the past.

Harsh Fact #4: Build up your personal brand

Building up your business should always be your number one objective. But your number two objective should be to build your personal brand. Granted, you can make millions without building up your personal brand, but it doesn’t hurt to have a strong one.

When my business partner and I started KISSmetrics, we were able to get our first paying customers by leveraging our personal brand. People knew about him and me, and companies that followed us were willing to sign up for our product because they liked us. In the long run, that won’t help you build a big business, but in the short run, it does help bring in revenue.

If you build up your personal brand, no matter what business you get into, you’ll increase your odds of making money.

Harsh Fact #5: Expand when your growth rate flattens

It’s always fun to start new businesses, especially if you have ADHD like me, but that doesn’t mean you should. If your current business is growing at a healthy pace, there is no reason to expand your business into new verticals.

As I mentioned above, Michael decided to expand his chiropractic business by helping other chiropractors get more customers from the Internet. But he didn’t start doing this until his own chiropractic business approached full capacity. There are only 24 hours in a day, and there are only so many patients he can see in a day. Once he reached his capacity, he then decided to expand while still maintaining his practice.

If you decide to expand your business, make sure you don’t neglect your current business and customers. You have to maintain it while expanding.


Don’t get caught up in businesses that are sexy and hot. Focus on what you know. If you are passionate and knowledgeable about a specific subject, you can make money at it. You just have to get creative.

So, what do you think about all these people that are trying to get into businesses that they have no clue about?

P.S. If you have a business and want help growing click here.


  1. Andrew @ Blogging Guide :


    Unfortunately far too many people still believe the hype of making money on-line. Some still believe it is a get rich quick scheme and little business knowledge is required.

    The reality is far from the truth. It took me almost 3 years of working part-time before I starting to make any decent money via my on-line business.

    Totally agree with, focus on what you are good at…and outsource the rest.


    • You’re a 3 year overnight success 😉

      • Neil,

        I think everything you’re saying totally makes sense. Getting rich quick isn’t the solution, it only adds to the problem.

        One thing I’d qualify is that it’s ok if you don’t know everything about your space, as long as you find talent and partners who can help you as you hit roadblocks. Having a complementary skillset is definitely a key to business success.

    • You are right. People just into online business and they think they will be rich over night. They don’t realize that it is exactly like in the real world. It takes time to grow your business and because of this they abandon their business after seeing that it isn’t making money how they expected.

      • Right… people bail too early too often. Unfortunately they do this with a lot of their projects which results in constant failure. Sooner or later they realize that they just need to stick it out a bit longer.

        • Sometimes you have to move quickly but other times it takes patience in order to succeed. You just have to know when is the right moment for each of this choices.

          • Very true… somethings, like success happen over time. If you’re not patient , you quickly lose your cool and ultimately your chances at succeeding.

  2. Shawn Tyler Weeks :

    My blog used to just be a general weight loss blog, same as hundreds of others. But then I started preaching about counting calories. It’s the best way to lose weight, nothing else is realistic or has a higher rate of success. I lost a few a followers by emphatically claiming that, but I’ve picked up so many more people who agree with me and have found success with it (long-term success with it).

    I’m a walking, talking billboard for counting calories. CBS interview is lined up for early January, CNN followup shortly afterward. I don’t know much, but I know calories.

    • By the way, congrats on your wait loss Shawn. It’s been a long time since we worked together… we should partner up some time.

      • Shawn Tyler Weeks :

        Appreciate it, Neil. Yeah, it’s been a few years — about 7. I am always open to ideas, just get in touch.

    • This is how it always happens. You can’t please them all. In the process you loose some followers and you convince other people to follow you but in that time you evolve and this is more important.

      • If you try to please them all, you’ll quickly find yourself stressed out and getting no where.

        • It is absolutely impossible to please them all. You have to realize this and concentrate on those that remain behind you.

          • You can’t please everyone, but enough people is really all that matters. Those people that you focus on and satisfy are more than enough to make a difference.

  3. TrafficColeman :

    Well said don’t see me getting into the “How to train a Dog” niche..because I know nothing about..and I don’t even want to learn.

    People just need to stick with things they are passion about, and the days will be brighter.

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

    • I agree with you….. if you’re in a business just for the money, it’s usually pretty short lived.

    • You can choose to start whatever business you want but after a while you will realize that is not what you wanted and you will abandon it, although it could have a great potential. This is why it is better if you start a business by doing something that you like and you will get satisfaction in the future.

      • It does help, there’s no doubt. However, sometimes what you’re interested in may not be what makes money…. I’d find a medium

  4. Thanks for the reminder Neil. I get caught up in crazy ideas sometimes and need the help of my wife to bring me back down to reality.

    I’ve been spending more time lately focused on one project that fits right in with what I do day in and day out at work. Things finally seem headed in the right direction!

  5. Michael Dorausch :

    Ha ha Neil and thank you very much, I came across your post on twitter intending to make a comment, very much appreciate you thinking of me on this topic.

    I think you’re correct here, too many people wanting to get-rich-quick, not putting in the commitment of working your plan daily.

    We have had this talk before, but many entrepreneurs often times fail to see other successful entrepreneurs, that are right there in their own community. Usually it’s because the entrepreneur that going to work everyday isn’t doing something that seems or appears particularly exciting (like running a doughnut shop, a pizza shop, coffee house or local bar). However, taking home six figures a year, growing on that year after year, adding tax benefits, business-related travel, and lifestyle support, all continues to add up. We often fail to recognize that the old guy owning the doughnut shop on the corner in reality owns the entire shopping center, but he still focuses on what he knows best, and lets his investments are in for him. There are so many of those entrepreneurial success stories in every community, but they fly away below the radar, and that’s actually a sweet spot to live one’s life in.

    Keep up with the awesome information you continue to provide Neil, I always have a great admiration for your insight and knowledge.

  6. Michael Dorausch :

    And I apologize for my poor sentences in previous comment, I’m voice dictating while working out on stair climber. Sort of another lesson, be efficient with use of time. 🙂

    • Awesome idea. I’ll have to try it out.

    • Michael Fokken :

      Michael Dorausch you are an example of how to become successful. You are using your time wisely and trying to always figure out how to manage it better. This is one thing I’m working on, waking up earlier to work online so years down the road I can leave the job I don’t love and work at what I do love.

      Just a good example of what you said Neil, that it won’t happen over night.

    • You are able to do more tasks simultaneously and that is a good thing for you. I also try to do more things once at a time but very often I fail at doing it right. I definitely have to try more because I need to be more efficient in order to get where I want.

  7. Neil:

    Yes, focus is important, but often as entrepreneurs, we’re necessarily not equipped to be good CEOs; I could speak for myself, and have no qualms in accepting that i had become a bottleneck in the professional management of my company. A recent merger with another company in the same space has helped both of us tremendously – for me it’s helped me get back to what i do best – build relationships and write (good proposals, blogs, etc.).

    Here’s a case i’ve made for small enterprises to merge:

    Your readers may find this relevant.

  8. Is it me or did Neil just wrote a blog post on how to start and run a business instead? lol. Good one Neil.

  9. Also, i must say that your Harsh Fact #1 is hard hitting. I’ve lost a LOT of money trying to build SaaS products (grass is greener on the other side) than focussing on strengthening our open source services business. In the process, i lost loads of money (wasted on writing lots of code but nothing released), lost good developers, earned bad reputation among employees, and overall nearly killed my business. Duh!

    Lesson (hopefully) learnt!

  10. It’s definitely been my experience that talking about what you are passionate about is the best way to accomplish what you’d like to do; when you are passionate about a subject, others who are also as passionate will find your blog / product / website etc. and will enjoy what you have written; writing about things that you find boring, most likely your readers will find boring, and of course this will lead to less benefit to you. Another great post Neil 😉

  11. Nice tips, Neil! I’ll also recommend to stop reading books like “Make $100 an hour” and such other things which claim to tell you the big secret. There are only 5 things which are working: Freelancing, Adsense, Affiliate programs, CPA and link sales. 🙂

  12. Hi Neal,

    This whole personal brand thing is very interesting to me. Did it exist prior to the internet or the last ten years? It seems like the internet and blogs has created a personal brand niche that wasn’t as available to the masses before. Now, anyone can market themselves and develop a personal brand. Since it’s so new, not as many know about it or are skillful at it, so it’s really like the Wild West — land is available for the taking.

    I also agree about sexy businesses. It’s super easy to want to chase after a sexy business (something you’ve said in other posts), but that’s not always the best decision. The less sexy one that makes money would be better. Wal-Mart isn’t sexy but it made Sam Walton the richest man in the world. Sexy businesses really are overrated.


    p.s. It’s too bad I missed you while you were down here in OC. I was out of town, otherwise I would have hit you up. Did you have a good trip?

  13. I completely agree, Neil. This world would be a lot more productive and efficient if each of us would focus on our strengths and then outsource the rest of the work to those who do those tasks best, or hire employees to do it. Of course in the beginning, you may not have the funds to do this, but you certainly can consider outsourcing it overseas, which would cut costs quite a bit.

    And with regard to jumping from business idea to business idea instead of sticking with your current business and putting all of your time, effort, and focus into it, I know many people like that, and they never have sustained success, if they have any success at all. They just follow the new shiny object and think “THIS is the one that will bring in the riches!” It’s almost like they are addicted to the rush of pursuing a new business idea. They don’t realize that you need to put time and effort to get over the “tipping point” to where you get into the black and things start happening at an exponential rate for your business.

    I actually had a talk with a multi-millionaire who gave me some great advice on starting a business. It has to do with momentum, and how most of your time and effort is going to be in the beginning stages of building a business. He likened it to the journey of Apollo 11, the first rocket to reach and land on the moon. 80% of its fuel was used within the first 160 seconds of the flight to get it started for a journey that would take it 250,000 miles from Earth! After that, momentum kicked in and it just kept going faster and faster with not much need for fuel.

    He taught me more than just the power of momentum. I actually wrote a blog post on it. Your readers might find it inspiring:

    Keep up the thought provoking and useful blog posts, Neil!

  14. Well Neil, like J. Holiday says, “When your backs against the wall you just gotta hustle harder” and when you hustle harder, you learn to love it. repetition leads to loving what you do.

    Like you said in one of your videos, “I WAS A HUSTLA SELLING BLACK BOXES WHEN I WAS 16!”

    Yea, you and I aren’t that much different. Although, now I’m soon to be 23 yrs old and having an online empire while still keeping the low radar like your boy Mr. Michael Dorausch says, “There are so many of those entrepreneurial success stories in every community, but they fly away below the radar, and that’s actually a sweet spot to live one’s life in.”

    – Thanks for blowing my cover Mr. Dorausch =}

  15. Neil,

    Like most of your posts, this was compelling, to-the-point and relevant. The truth about “focus[ing] on what you know” resonated most with me. For particularly curious people, the desire to know more can lead many to dismiss what they already are good at. But taking stock of accomplishments and stepping back from the “to-do” list to reflect on what you have already done and can easily excel at, is so important to develop greater depth and expertise. Thanks for this very helpful post. Best, Nihar

    • I’m glad you found it helpful Nihar! Yeah sometimes you need take a few steps backwards before you take some giant leaps forward.

  16. Absolutely true. People respect and follow you because you are knowledgeable and an expert in your field… and it takes sometime to be there…
    Sticking to one business till it becomes successful and then going vertical is the best way to become an authority… reminds me of Darren Rowse… Now whatever he does is a success!
    As my guru says “If you can row one boat, you can row any boat.If you don’t know boat rowing, changing the boat won’t help”

  17. True say, Besides being in Love with what you do, and passionate about it, you also need Determination, buckets full of it.
    Which will keep you focused and id say keep the fire (the love) in you going, to see your business to the end, Couse its not an easy ride.
    Its like a love relationship, it has its ups and down, but its worth while at end.

    • It is very much like a roller coaster, with ups and downs, but as long as your passionate about what you do, you work hard, you can make it happen.

  18. focus young grasshopper, focus!

  19. As usual Neil, some great words of wisdom here. Hopefully they will save some folks the time of going after the quick-buck and and get back to patiently and consistently building their business, income, wealth and legacy – cheers to you : )

    • Thanks Mark, it’s good to hear that you enjoyed this topic. Yes, people are out there for the quick buck and almost never get it.

  20. I know what you’re saying but the idea of focusing on “nothing else at all” is idealistic and not practical. I’m a business coach so all business models go against you on this one. We still have to file taxes, keep records, generate business, etc. or we go out of business like 50% of all business do in the first year and 80-90% in the first five years.
    The truth is, as I see it, is that we must not waste time doing those things we don’t need to be doing. We can either outsource, or do without, but we can’t avoid responsibilities or legal matters.
    I like the simplistic method of: Must; Should; and Could
    If you Must do it … do it!
    If you Should do it … do it after you’re done with what Must be done!
    If you Could do it … and you follow this thinking, you’ll probably never have time to waste on the Could do things.
    But thanks for this post because most of us – me included – get caught up with Confusion, Distraction or Procrastination rather than Focus. Another topic for another time.

    • Yeah, I get what you mean and I know it’s difficult to cut out every single distraction, however at the same time, you can take a conscious approach to stop most of the time.

  21. I am really pleased by the system you teach people on going about what they are good at, but I would rather like to urgue if you give atleast training to the needy people.

  22. Excellent article! I always look forward to receiving your emails and reading the amazing content you so graciously give to us. I definitely have ADHD and often lose focus. Only recently have I really buckled down to make money with the skillsets that I possess. And guess what? I’m making more money now than I ever have before! I love it! It’s a great feeling to not only do what you love but to get paid for it and to actually be in high demand! Thanks for this great article and reminding us not to lose focus. 🙂

  23. Great article, What’s a ADHD?

  24. Branding is extremely important. Since I’m a designer I spent a good chunk of time developing my brand for the launch of my Where is Jenny site. The majority of my business came from leveraging my personal brand and networking with like-minded individuals. I never tried to sell anyone, just built a relationship. They knew what I did, so whenever they needed a designer, they knew who to call.

  25. The Bad Blogger - Down & Dirty Secrets Not For Losers :

    Well… I think those people are stupid and brainless. Years back, in my country I leave in, there is this business about bubble tea when youngster likes to drink a lot, I do not know why may be it looks cool or what and all of a sudden… it’s like almost overnight, those Auntie and Uncle started small shop and sell those bubble tea… and after a few months… the trends drop and less and less people drink those bubble teas… and finally business close down for the reason almost every single location in Singapore had a shop that sells those drinks…
    Look this people who started the bubble tea shop doesn’t know anything about running business, and that is why their business is a failure… for the reason they go for the money more then what their passion and interest are.
    Well… I guess is human greed…

    • It is… because the idea of making money is so sexy, people easily become distracted. You need to learn discipline and self control to help you stay focused.

  26. It’s so true what you said about ” focusing in what you know”.
    But most of us had to learn it the hard way. I’m right now learning to outsource what i can’t do very well myself and the result is very encouraging.

  27. Well said Neil It is better to teach what you know than learning what you don’t know and then teaching it to others.

  28. Ray | :

    I agree with your post Neil, but not everyones passion can be turned into a money making business. Whats your advice if someones passion cannot be turned into a business?

    • You should be creative… maybe you like collecting beanie babies, but that business is saturated. Look into getting in some type of vintage item collector. Work is work… at the end of the day, you need to make money. Whether it’s something you enjoy or not. It’s a lot easier when you enjoy it.

  29. Eric | Starcraft 2 Strategy :

    Great blog, particularly the part about going vertical only when your current biz maxes out. That makes a lot of sense, and helps you avoid losing focus on your main biz or cash cow while being distracted by something that may not pay off.

    • It’s too easy to get distracted… being focused is a very big challenge, especially for me. However, once you’re on the ball, you can really make things happen.

  30. Yvonne Salazar :

    I have thoughtfully reminded myself on many occasions, the meaningful words of William Shakespear “to thine own self be true”, this means follow your heart, what you love and naturally this is what you will probably be good/great at; don’t compromise for $ sake alone

  31. I agree with what you are saying Neil. There are a lot of people looking for a quick financial fix (or just plain greedy!) and wasting their money on a lot of promises of cash without work.

    There are two things I would add:

    1. When starting a business (or choosing a profession) look for something that you love to do, but also that you are good at and that there is a market for. Unless you have all three elements, you will end up with a business that doesn’t work for you.

    2. The other problem I see a lot is people that have those three elements (such as web developers or coders) who decide to start a business but don’t realise that there is another set of skills they need to add to their tool bag to be successful. These are business skills – things such as evaluating your opportunity, finding a workable business model, marketing, finance. Because people don’t have these skills and don’t understand how to build their business strategically with them, they often end up with businesses that aren’t working for them. I am building a website ( to share these skills with people that are good at what they do but need to learn the’ business’ side of doing business.

    • Susan:
      …who decide to start a business but don’t realise that there is another set of skills they need to add to their tool bag to be successful. These are business skills…Because people don’t have these skills and don’t understand how to build their business strategically with them, they often end up with businesses that aren’t working for them.

      You’re spot on, on this one. This my guess is would be the case for a huge, huge, percentage of first generation entrepreneurs who struggle with running businesses beyond a certain size and scale.

      I’ve been through almost 3 years of intense ‘business coaching’ for learning skills beyond what i had inherently. Yet i must say that i have been, at best doing a mediocre job of being a CEO – i clearly see much more organisation that needs to be part of a CEO’s work-day; and i for one am unsure if this can be truly learnt. Being a ‘birds-eye view person’, makes it difficult for me to get down to ‘nuts and bolts’ of day to day operations and projects management. Hence, one hires people; and yet, being in India where job hopping is quite intense, building a company around stable talented people is tremendously difficult.

      I recently merged with another company our size, and have found that such mergers, or attracting “partners” through an ESOP/sweat equity model, is an effective way to create complementary skills-based leadership in the company.

      Your thoughts?

      • Hi Rahul,
        Sounds like you have made a good move. I think you do need to have core competences in your founding team – that’s why partnerships work well.

        And yes, the business learning curve is a huge one. Sounds like you have stuck in there and made it happen! Congratulations!

      • Makes sense to me Rahul…. having a collaboration of successful people is a great way to come up with some very creative ideas.

    • Something you love to do may not be the easiest thing to make a business out of… sometimes you just got to do what you got to do to make a buck. Sooner or later you can transition out of there and change your focus else where.

  32. Mark - Wealth Coach :

    Many people stay online via blogs/social network with an intention to make money online. Only some people can do up to moderate levels and few can reach the success levels. There can be various reasons to these failures or not reaching the desired success. But what I have been observing from majority of such people is they lack patience. They dream to get Too Much Too Fast. So unless, you realize your inefficiencies and come up with an innovative action plan, you cannot reach the SUCCESS.

    • I agree… sometimes people are practically where they need to be to achieve success, but they back off. You gotta push it.

  33. 100 % agreed with your point do only what you are good at. I am in the age where i students get out of the universities as graduates and think that we are the king of the world!

    Once they get in to online business and then they get to know the dark side (lets not call it a dark side but the real side)

    i think every business needs time and efforts no one can be a overnite milliners! and especially the online business it needs more time and smartness…

    you share some of the key factors that one at least should consider!

    Thumbs up!

  34. I’m a graphic and web designer. I recently started a new graphic website as a side project( to my web design business, which is inside of my “focus” area, trying to make some extra income.

    Since I am always looking for ways to increase my income, I received a call this weekend from a guy wanting to recruit me to sell insurance for Primerica for extra money. I gave him some cordial talk, but once I was off of the phone, I remembered this article and thought “You know what… I should probably focus on graphics, web, and online businesses/marketing since that’s what I’m good at.”

    Thanks Neil… you probably saved me from a lot of frustration and wasted time! Love the blog BTW.

  35. These are great suggestions, especially focus on your strengths. Being “balanced” is a myth. If we could be great at everything, we wouldn’t need anyone else’s help. Do a few things really well and you’ll get noticed for it. Look at anyone who is very successful…there’s your proof!

  36. From a young entrepreneur to other young entrepreneurs out there, one of the key essentials to your strategy should be sales or promoting yourself. Sales, Promotions = Revenue and awareness of your business! I just recently worked with a client who believes that he can’t sell, or better yet doesn’t want to sell but have “dreamed” of having a sales team that works for him. He has not developed his business yet and wants to have 100 account reps. Caveat to all future entrepreneurs, what ever it is that you provide service/product, you need to learn the basics of sales or promoting yourself, before building your business.

  37. Neil,

    Very true!

    Our strengths, make us naturally inquisitive & have a restorative quality… They don’t drain us… In fact, our strengths make us feel strong!

    And passion keeps us from quitting when we feel like there’s no end in sight…

    On the other hand, getting into businesses that one has no clue about can only, in the long run, be self defeating…


    A well written post, Neil 🙂 Looking forward for more! 🙂

    • Right, going into a business you have no idea about will be very challenging. I suggest you stay around your realm of what you know.

  38. I deal with many people every month that try to sign up for our DIY loan modification software system and they dont even know how to do a loan modiication them selves, but yet they want to resell the software! Its crazy… they lack many fundamental skills needed to be succesful like basic web marketing… they thjink they can just buy the Do-it-yourself loan mod software and it instantly makes money for them. It drives me crazy!

    • People are sold on the dream of making money on the web…. you don’t have to burst their bubble, they’ll find out themselves.

  39. Tip: Make sure you know what you’re good at – think those singers trying out for American Idol. Of course some may not be able to do this because of their illusory superiority (i.e., the Dunning Kruger Effect)

    Vergil Den

  40. I also did the same mistake for many times assuming I will be able to manage time for everything. However it is clear that only one thing can be done at one time.

    • It’s great that you were able to realize this… for some people who decide to be “thick headed”, like to keep believing it not to be true.

  41. For me I always fight with starting new business are just putting that much work into my existing businesses. The only problem is there excitement in a new business which helps spark new ideas. On the other hand I will will probably make more money and have a better business if i just apply my efforts into my main company.

  42. Vivek Krishnan :

    Awesome post man. As usual, I love the image that go with your :D. On a more serious note, it is true that a strong personal brand can work as a leverage.

  43. Free Logo Designs :

    It’s always better to do what you’re good at. You can do also other things, for example if you are a designer you can code, but you will loose at least twice the time and energy doing something new. You can also not enjoy it.

    The solution is to outsource it, so you can do ONLY what you enjoy doing.

    Great blog (BTW)!

    • Always a great strategy… delegate what you can’t do to someone who can do it better. I do it all the time.

    • If you are good at something look for a partner that is good at something else and combining these 2 together can help you to start or grow a business even more. But you have to be careful about who you choose to be your partner because it is the person that can grow or destroy your business.

      • That’s why choosing a business partner is kind of like choosing a wife. You’re going to be spending so much time with the person and just like in a marriage, if things go sour, you’ll be giving away half the money 😉

  44. Craig Elias - Creator of Trigger Event Selling :


    I completely agree with your post about the power of focus and feel lucky that I figured out a lot of what you talk about a few years ago.

    I now donate about 500 hours a year helping startups in Calgary get established and will be sure to add your blog post to my list of suggested readings.

    I was recently asked “what is my approach to building a successful small business in a market FULL of similar, sometimes larger, companies”. Below is the answer I gave. I use why own company as an example because it reflects what I do not just what I teach.

    I provide it here because I think it reinforces a number of things you talk about AND provides a few new thinking points.

    I look forward to your comments.

    Six ways to build a highly successful small business:

    1) Pick a niche – There are thousands of generalist sales training companies run by sales guys and gals that have 20+ years of sales success. The problem with the vast majority is that their generalist approach means they can only operate in their own city, or maybe a few neighbouring cities, because there is another other, perceived to be similarly great, generalist in every other city. By picking a niche – capitalizing on Trigger Events to get in front of highly motivated decision makers at EXACTLY the right time – my expertise creates demand for what I do beyond just my local geography. Search for any other expert on “Trigger Event Selling” and you won’t’ find one. This allows me to create demand for my expertise almost anywhere in the world.

    2) Be THE expert – Specialize, speak, and write. I specialize in just one thing timing: repeatedly getting to the right person at EXACTLY the right time. I have written a number of articles, and done several webinars. As a result I now have a book: “SHiFT! Harness the Trigger Events that TURN PROSPECTS INTO CUSTOMERS”, and having a well respected book makes you the ultimate expert.

    3) Create a market – Creating my own terminology means that when people search the web for any of the major components to what I teach – “Window of Dissatisfaction”, “Trigger Event Selling”, “Won Sales Analysis”, “Emotional Favourite”, “Trigger Event Referrals”, “Credibility Curve”, or “First Call Effectiveness” I dominate the top 10, 20, and in some cases even the top 50 Google search results.

    4) Protect your market – I own over 250 domains names related to what I teach. This makes it easy for people to find me and makes it harder for a copycat to market themselves. E.g.,,,,,, , I tried the Trademark route but found that there were so many different classifications a competitor could use to copy Trigger Event Selling and because I would have to Trademark in so many different countries, I would spend 20 times as much money doing trademarks vs. leveraging a large number of domain names.

    5) STATE YOUR POSITION OUT LOUD – Polarize your audience. If you believe that the best sales people make the best sales managers, SAY IT OUT LOUD! You will create a loyal following that believes in the same things you do and you will get some extra exposure by being provocative. For instance I say TIMING IS THE SILVER BULLET IN SALES. Some people may disagree but even if they do disagree they remember who I am and that makes it more likely they will notice me in the press and at some point they’ll come around because of what is called the “Lemming Effect” if a large group starts, or is perceived to have started, doing something others follow because they fear being left behind if they don’t. E.g. I recently did a webinar that had 3,000 registrants. Mentioning that when I speak and write – notice I am mentioning it here – will have others wanting to know what they are missing out on. If you want to know what you’re missing out on, you can get access to the recording and the handout by downloading the preview chapter of my book at

    6) Get exposure – In 2008 my goal was to get 24 pieces of exposure (be interviewed, have a story written, be part of a podcast, etc.) and by November I had my 24th piece of exposure. Having and stating your position will help you get in the press more and increase your exposure. Ten pieces of exposure on smaller sites or niche outlets is as, if not more, effective than one piece of exposure in one major outlet. Check out HARO – Help a Reporter Out. It comes out three times a day and it resulted in 5 interviews in the first few months. Getting all the exposure also helps me to increase the “Lemming Effect” that I mentioned in #5 above.

    P.S. I also own the domain names and…are you beginning to get the picture?

    Contact me by phone (1.866.744.7904 or 1.403.874.2998), Skype (Craig.Elias), or Web ( if you have questions about any of the above points or how you can apply them to your own business. or how you can use them in your promotion or sales strategies.

    • Totally makes sense. I agree with everything you have to say except for number 4. Creating your terminology does work, but I hate doing it. I rather just use the existing terminology out there instead of creating buzz words and confusing customers.

  45. Great article Neil.After reading this i learnt that i should focus only on those areas where my strength lies.But one question?
    I am strong in WordPress and there is already tough competition on WordPress then what is your suggestion

    • Doesn’t matter… there is enough business out there and you always have the opportunity to get better.

    • The suggestion I would give you is to become better than the competition. There is space for improvement in everything we do. We learn as long as we live.

  46. Really, Neil it is a great topic to be discussed for everyone who want to be successful in any walk of life.Particularly those who are in internet marketing business to be very careful & focused. Here I would request Mr.Neil to share(elaborate) a post on Harsh Fact#1 specifically for internet marketers.

    • Internet marketers especially can easily go off into a different direction… this can drastically reduce your chances at success.

  47. Always an important reminder, “focus on your strengths”. “Outsource” the rest. I have a habit of working on my weaknesses and from a personal development perspective this is great, but from a success-oriented perspective, it’s not.

    • People end up wasting too much time trying to save a few bucks while they can rather spend their time doing more productive and money making activities.

  48. Neil, What do you think of this quote on sticking with your expertise (it’s from Warren Buffett, so I paid attention):

    “When my wife was pregnant, I didn’t think I was going to deliver a baby. If I get a toothache or something, I don’t take out my own tooth. I turn it over. I follow Adam Smith‘s advice; turn it over to a specialist.”

    This one is awesome as well: “As you go along, you learn what things you’re not going to understand. Knowing what to leave out is just as important as knowing what to focus on. Somebody said how to beat Bobby Fischer; you play him any game except chess. And so I don’t play Bobby Fischer at chess.”

    There are five more here:

    What do you think?

    • I like that and it’s very very true. Stop spending your time trying to learn things that you really don’t need to know or just need to know about once or twice. Give it to a specialist to take care of.

  49. Great post – just wish I had seen it about a year ago! I too am trying to sell stuff online, but I had a choice about the “products” I bought to resell and the array of stuff I chose to buy is mind-numbing… Weeding out now to focus on just the stuff I know… or stuff my good friends know. 2011 should be a much more focused year!
    Thanks for the info! Got here from John Chow’s link and am not disappointed!

  50. Great Article on focus and leveraging your business efforts – just referring to your friends Chiropractic practice. Some business models are limiting and make it so difficult to grow your business.

    Thanks for sharing…

  51. India Auto News :

    Very well said 🙂
    as i am auto freak trying to get in to Niche market now & making value addition to indian auto market for next 6 to 8 months, then i am planning to invite advertisers on this platform.
    Do think this sounds good Neil ?

  52. The mantra to make money online is to give solutions to people who have some problems and then charge for it. This was something you too had written in one of your posts. But for somebody to give solution to a person who has a problem, you should know about the problem and its pertinent solution. This can only happen if you are knowledgeable about whatever subject is in discussion.
    Hence it is always easy to make money from something that you are good at.

  53. Edinburgh Driving School :

    If you know how to focus on the important tasks and leverage the people who con help you the most then that is you on your way to success.

  54. SeriousLuxury :

    Can’t agree more! Do what you’re good at, not what you feel good about. You’re more effective hence move forward further.

  55. Singapore SEO Guy :

    You just hit the nail on my coffin… lol.

    My wife says that I have ADHD and I blatantly use it as an execuse for the lack of focus in my business.

    My new year resolution would be to stay FOCUS, especially on things that I’m good at.

  56. “Focus” is a most important thing to reach at success, after defining the Goals our focus and hardwork is important. No one deny for money, today most of all people want to earn maximum Money, so agree with Neil that we need to focus on how to earn money..

  57. interesting article about making money but i am looking for more articles on online as i didn’t find any good one till now to earn some with them

  58. I used to be one of those people, I got sucked into the whole “make 100000$ in 2days” scams..well that example was an exaggeration but I’m sure you see my point. I really started trying to make money online with the mindset that I would not have to do any work and everything was going to come easy. now I know better. To do anything in life successfully you need hard work and dedication.

    • Yeah, there really isn’t a such thing of making money that quickly. The only thing you gotta do is focus on taking small steps at a time.

  59. Many times I have thought about starting businesses that I have no idea about, and then I dump the plan halfway, just because my interest in them fades away. If people start getting into things, only because there is lot of money in it, then they are going in a wrong direction.

  60. Ade Fahrudin :

    I strongly agree that we are need to focus on something we already knows.
    I was studying how to earn money from online business, so many challenges and it is very difficult for the focus.
    very very must learn for the focus … this is what I feel, I don’t knows anyone else..

    • Focus is definitely very important. You should always do what you know best, it benefits you and everyone else.

  61. Another post in the “Harsh Reminders” category. A very bittersweet read but much appreciated nonetheless. Someone has to say it so it might as well be someone who is also providing helpful advice in conjunction with the reality check. Thanks 🙂

  62. That’s true neil, we must focus on what we know. Trying different things simultaneously will end to nothing but mess. As the saying goes, jack of all trades, master of none. Sometimes it’s better to have an expertise and try developing it first before trying out something new. This way you’ll definitely see your progress and achieve the results you wanted.

  63. College textbooks :

    People just jump into online business and they think they will be rich over night. They don’t realize that it is exactly like in the real world. It takes time to grow your business and it is a lot harder to do it all on your own.

  64. It’s funny how people dump their money into get rich quick ideas. If they used that money on books and information by people who have been through the process successfully, then they would be much better off and much more successful. Instead they fall for the scams and websites promising riches and waste a lot of their money. Now they are much worse off than before.

    • A lot of would prefer not to work as hard or as much. That is why they put their money into such investments, so they can make more without having to do more. I agree it would be more beneficial and the sooner people understand that the faster they will succeed.

  65. Bryan McKenzie :

    It’s funny, a lot of these get rich quick schemes are actually just a get rick quick scheme in and of themself for someone who promises you will make millions of dollars after reading some random e-book!

    • You definitely want to be suspicious of anything that promise millions and no real work from you. If it sounds to good to be true, it most likely is.

  66. website company :

    Hi Neil,
    You made an excellent point there that one should not lose focus and should not engage in new ventures just for the sake of money. If you are good at something it is better to stick to that as switching over to something different may to be prove fatal decision. When you are working on your strengths you already have the confidence which is not there once you take up something new . If you spend more time on your strenghths sky is the limit.

  67. What great advice. We are all different and have different strengths as well as weakness. So we need to do some self evaluation so as to identify our strengths and go for it. If you are able to access reliable training from a recognised source, it can be very helpful.

  68. hey neil,
    excellent article by you. and that’s true neil, we must focus on what we know. great information.


  69. The majority of my business came from leveraging my personal brand and networking with like-minded individuals. I never tried to sell anyone, just built a relationship.

  70. Courtyard Wellness :

    I absolutely agree – If you are really good at something, focus on it.

    I have a friend that is talented in many areas but his great merit is in programming and development but he constantly trying to make money from a different areas and what comes out that he never earns enough money – not from his main occupation and not in general.

    • There is an old saying ” a jack of all trades is often an ace at none” . There is nothing wrong in being interested in many things. However, if you want to be great at one thing you have to really focus a lot of your time and energy into it. Thanks for reading!

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