Is it time we start thinking smaller?

So often in our professional lives we feel the need to do everything., appease everyone and expand into new areas constantly. Perhaps the art of not feeling this pressure is what is giving some successful individuals the upper hand.

The popular Netflix documentary, “the subtle art of not giving a f***”, adapted from the book by Mark Mason is drawing attention for its philosophy focused on prioritising the things which are most important to us, rather than issues we are made to believe are important. This mindset is possibly very useful in business. Should we be focusing on the area of our companies which are truly important and will be offering the most growth rather than constantly trying to expand and having our attention constantly drawn in ‘shiny’ directions.

Often when reflecting on the reasons for failed businesses, it is mentioned that individuals felt they attempted to expand rapidly, or ‘bit off more than they could chew’. Is it this mindset that we must always be expanding and challenging ourselves a reason that some individuals are left feeling unfulfilled in personal lives and out of our depth in our professional lives?

Often ego plays a large part in this. Expansion occurs rather than furthering development within niches and we attempt to branch off into avenues which we later regret and feel were ill conceived. In an economy which is driven by a constant comparison it is not difficult to reason that we are frequently making business decisions led by trends and where attention is focused. Whilst this can, in many examples, create vast amounts of opportunity and lead to unexpected success, should we be considering that sometimes thinking smaller can be of benefit.

Companies can forget the vast amount of success which is possible whilst maintaining attention within a small niche. Often the most successful businesses successfully occupy the smallest areas of an industry.

On a smaller scale, this need for expansion can come in the form of attempting to remedying all issues faced within a business by one individual. This not only creates stress on the individual attempting to remedy everything, but additionally creates a lack of trust within colleagues. Faith in the ability of others, recognition of varying skills and allowing yourself to lean on the abilities of colleagues are often the attributes of a successful team. Is it time we lean into focusing on the micro task at hand in order to create larger success? In reality the combination of focusing on individual tasks and greater recognition of the greater picture, optimises success.

Having a focus on the larger picture, aiding co-workers and expansion to new areas is by no means a negative but perhaps focusing on individual work and fulfilling niches is not a negative either?

Written by Lexie Cook, EP Business in Hospitality