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What’s the least you can do?

Lots of folks, such as Anne and Judi Sohn on Web Worker Daily, are talking about New Year’s Resolutions. While you’re working on your New Year’s Resolutions this year, resolve to do as little as possible. Seriously. Listen to finance guys for a change. You’re spread too thin, right? Why continue spreading yourself thin on stuff with low returns? Instead, spread yourself thin by putting as little effort as possible into things with the potential to generate large returns. The Nobel Peace Prize went to Dr. Muhammad Yunus for realizing the smallest amount of money, applied to the right investments, can do more to change the world than throwing a lot of money at solving problems on a macro level. Imagine what the Gates Foundation’s money could do spread around that way. Hell, imagine what half that money could do.

With the exception of love and friends, you’ve got a limited supply of just about everything worth having. Whether it’s money, time, your customers’ attention, what-have-you, scarcity rules. This year, fight fire with fire. Focus on the bare minimum you can do to get the greatest return, then focus your energies on that and give yourself more remaining time, money, etc., to apply to the other areas in your life. That’s a resolution anyone can live with.

(Credit Where Due Dept. – A shout-out to Chad Dickerson for the original post that set me off this thread. Chad’s an enjoyable read. Check him out.


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Tim Peter

Tim Peter is the founder and president of Tim Peter & Associates. You can learn more about our company's strategy and digital marketing consulting services here or about Tim here.

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  1. […] One of the problems with making my living from interactive marketing and running websites is that it looks, on its surface, simple. Most folks have seen enough websites to have an opinion about what makes a website work and what doesn’t. Often, they’re right. Given the extraordinary growth of the web over the last decade, we’ve all benefited from “all boats rising with the tide.” However, it is truly one of those vocations – and, admittedly, it’s not the only one – where the devil is in the details. At certain levels, such as in high-volume e-commerce sites, where I’ve spent a good chunk of the last decade, the difference between 25% and 28% growth adds up to many millions of dollars every year. But not every site fits that model, which makes Seth Godin’s recent post about small businesses getting on the web noteworthy. Except for the part about Squidoo – which I’m not too sure about – I have a tough time disagreeing with it. It all comes down to ROI. Most businesses need a website. But if you can get what you need from that website for extremely low cost, by all means do it. In fact, I don’t know that Seth goes far enough with his modest proposal. A website, for all its benefits, can prove a black hole down which small business owners can toss too much time and money. The focus needs to be first and foremost on your business. And unless your website is your business, do the least bit possible. […]

  2. […] Late last year, I wrote a fairly popular post called “What’s the least you can do?”, about being selective in your choices. Seth Godin picks up the torch and gives a solid overview for marketers on how to do the least bit possible. It’s a Good Thing. My favorite thought is what Seth tells “…people who want to become marketers… go start something and go market something.” Do it in a way that’s financially savvy and you’re on your way. […]

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