Finding vs. Keeping

Entrepreneurs are naturals at finding. We easily find business opportunities and new markets. We quickly find people who want to work with us by sharing our vision. And if we have the patience, adaptability, and tenacity, we find enough customers to build a business.

But once we make the find, we have a tendency to direct our time, attention, and resources away from it. We often lose interest with the people and organizations who take big risks in buying from us, working with us, investing in us, and partnering with us:  the early adopters who helped us build the foundation of a business.

Rather than meet with current investors to see how they can help us beyond a check, we’re off to find another investor. Rather than getting to know customers so they are likely to buy more and buy again, we’re off to find another customer. Rather than training and developing early employees so we increase the chances of them staying, we’re off to find more people to help.

Yes, this is pretty logical for entrepreneurs. After all, it’s more fun to do the hunting than it is to do the gathering. It’s more of a challenge to find something new and more boring to keep something old. It’s easy to get distracted by the shiny new object and hard to stay focused on the tried and true. But the irony is that all of this is not logical for building a business.

And it’s only getting worse. The more we tap into digital means and efficiencies, which make finding far easier than ever before, the less we tap into more human ways of doing things, which make keeping far easier. But if you do more of the latter, you just might find a competitive advantage.

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