In English idiom, "2 left feet" refers to an inept dancer and generally, a clumsy person. Putting this meaning aside, I wish I had 2 left feet so that I don't have to worry whether to go left or right, so I'll just stick to left and let Life happens as it always does, and if I walk left long enough, maybe enough people will start to question, "Does this guy ever turn right?"
Regardless of what 'success' means to you, for everyone reading this, it is a plus, not a minus. Success is a profitable endeavour. No intelligent people on earth would insist on walking from circumstance to circumstance getting pulled down all the time and still declare themselves a 'success' if that's fine with them. Well, it's fine with them, but I call it 'stubbornness'.
Success is not hocus-pocus; it's all about FOCUS. Just how many people had faltered in time past, thought twice and diverted when success was just a block away or around the corner. Consider the total revenue (in US$ billions) amassed by Coca-Cola and Pepsi Cola. Pepsi bought over Taco Bell, KFC, Domino Pizza and owns a range of soft drinks like 7-Up, Miranda and others, to name just a few.
Come to think of it, so many 'advisors' in the world say you shouldn't put your eggs in one basket; that's why you diversify your attention left and right. Here is one very great example of why putting all your eggs in one basket can earn you 10 times more. Coca-cola may not be good at mergers and acquisitions, but it has transcended that kind of business. It has become such an evangelistic institution that it conquers India faster than you can say 'Christianity'.
It's the same with McDonald's. McDonald's stick to 'McDonald's' and The Mac--small and big--becomes such an indispensable identity, people cannot "think outside the Mac". Today, many food franchises have emulated McDonald's franchise/food delivery system, but it is still the largest food chain in the world and will remain that way for a good while.
You can be a successful entrepreneur and feel relatively secure in life. You may no longer need to worry about maintaining your home or the welfare of your spouse and kids, but the level of success enjoyed by Coca-cola and McDonald's is something on a scale that cannot be contained by family life, not saying that family life may be a hindrance too. To rise to that level, surely more work needs to be done on building up current flagship products and foundation.
So do you start to walk right? Not really. Success is really achieving one thing and using that as a stepping stone to achieve something else. It's no secret, but oh, how many CEOs do not have the wisdom to appreciate it. For some reasons, they thought having only one type of product is not enough to provide a sense of security, so 'expansion' means 'diversification'.
Creative Technology might have a better bet sticking to its "digital home entertainment" concept. It could have built on the SoundBlaster to move closer to that vision quickly rather than to dabble with MP3 players and optical disk drives. The MP3 player market already belongs to the iPod, no matter how technically bad it is compared to other players while Creative had to write off its disk drives in the late 90s due to excess inventory, remember? It wins some, it loses some, but has the company learnt its lesson yet? Someone must go to the main headquarters in Jurong and tell Mr. Sim Wong Hoo about it.
Netscape Communications came very close to that level of success, very close. It collapsed on itself by expending all its energy on suing Microsoft because it must have thought "the Internet and the browser market is mine, MINE! Muahaha". Instead of improving its own backyard, it got distracted by another company's presence and competition. What does that tell you about not having enough faith in oneself? Now Microsoft and Google are encroaching in each other's territories so we shall see how history repeats itself.
Friends, be focused! The center-point of your attention and the jewel in your eye is the most profitable of them all. Your family members and a few close friends may know you for many good and bad secrets, but most people know you for only one thing. I know nuts about the ingredients that go into making Coca-cola, but the impression is it's better than Pepsi. Creative Technology is known for creating beautiful sounds on the computer. Bill Gates got rich making software. Michael Jordan is the king of basketball, so is Muhammed Ali for boxing, and either have tried baseball. The late Peter Drucker is the founding father of management consultancy and much less well known for his infatuation with Japanese art. Who cares about Japanese art until someone comes along and proactively promotes it like a loudhailer all his/her life?
If you want to catch the attention of as many people as possible, you simply cannot diversify. Do not be tempted left and right but ponder the narrow path right upon your feet in front of you. Here are 3 ways you can build up your ultimate success through focus:
1) Build on your strength. Each and every person has a set of different capabilities, in which some are greater than others. Do you know what you are already good at? Do you have a revenue model for your capabilities? Start building up those good ones to a commercial level with more practice and research for better revenue generating methods in exchange for your products and services which arise out of your capabilities. The beginning of an unsuccessful business is when you become a jack of all trades and master of none.
2) Build on your uniqueness. This refers to natural talent. Beethoven composed his first symphony at the age of 4. You call that 'capability' or 'talent'? The question is: what are the few things you can do brilliantly without pushing too hard? While others find it difficult, you find easy. When you find something that gets you excited and passionate about, business becomes play instead of work.
3) Build on your life purpose. For a great many people, money is a stumbling block. We are constantly trying to ensure that our deserved payoff matches the amount of effort we expend, no less, but yeah, more would be a bonus, thank you very much. If everybody thinks and acts like this, we will all be a step closer to hell really. There's no greatness in living a life as suckers. Truth is, living a purpose-driven life is most profitable at its heart when you feel you are really alive doing the things you love to do and knowing that your contribution to the people around you will make you great, without ever thinking so much about payoff.
You only have one life to live, so what do you want to be remembered for before you die? Think about it. Life is full of all its joy and pain, and consequences whether you do certain things or not, but until you gain a sense of direction as you ponder every step of your feet, you wouldn't have known how wonderful 'progress' means to you. Achievement is a great feeling; don't indulge in it though, it's only interim. There's always another level of success ahead of you...yet.
All roads lead to Rome; that doesn't mean it's necessary for you to go to Perth. But if you have no choice but to go one big round through Perth, you will have to do it if you seriously want people to remember you for your one and only Rome.
Nelson Tan is the webmaster behind Internet Mastery Center. Download $347 worth of FREE Internet Marketing gifts at http://www.internetmasterycenter.com