And recently, I've been pondering the idea of not more, but deeper. What if I've been chasing the wrong thing? What if satisfaction and happiness comes not from looking elsewhere, but looking at what's right in front of me? Photo by AR Bahar
A few examples of what it means put more aside, in favor of deeper:
- A coaching friend has delivered a sold-out retreat four times over the last two years. He's decided, along with his co-leader, to offer this retreat only two more times. Why? In his words, "At that point, we will have a community of fabulous participants. We want to focus on supporting those people. Having a larger community leads to people not knowing each other. We want to work with what we've got, rather than adding more."
- Another friend, runs Ignite events in a large metro area, and has produced 11 of these events. He talked about bringing back past speakers to learn what they've been doing since they presented at Ignite.
- A colleague has been a social media enthusiast for the last few years. But now, instead of connecting with new people, he's more inclined to prune his "followers" and "friends". He wants to spend more time with the people in his network that he already enjoys, and less time making new connections. His network has gotten so large that there are many people in it who he barely knows beyond their name.
This may all seem contrary to the idea of A Bigger Voice. But I think it points back to the idea of "a thousand true fans". Go for deep engagement by fewer people instead of a passing acquaintance with more people.
It's similar to when I speak on effective networking and advise people to focus on quality, not quantity. Contrary to what many people think, getting a large number of business cards is not a sign of great networking. Instead, aim for one or two truly memorable and engaging conversations. That will benefit you more in the long term than meeting twenty people who you'll forget the next day. Photo by Stew Dean
As an entrepreneur, what would happen if I focus NOT on getting more customers, but going deeper with the ones I already have? What if the idea is NOT to expand to new markets, but to serve my existing market even better, more distinctly, with greater impact?
On a personal level, deeper means focusing on my sweet spot--the work that I do best and which excites me the most. It also means weaving the best of my past work with future projects, to create a stronger body of work.
A video, about bridges in a remote area of India that are made of fig tree roots, grown over decades, provides a wonderful metaphor for what I'm talking about. These living bridges withstand torrential floods which are common to the area. They are tended by the local villagers, because they are so important to the life of the village. This "body of work" is created by a community of people and lasts beyond the life span of the villagers. Photo by Unlisted Sightings
As I think about my work in 2012, I want to delve into areas that light me up, so that mystery and magic appear as part of the experience. I want to add to my body of work, to connect the dots, to purposely go for deeper, not more.
What does it look like for you to go deeper and to stop looking for more?