Doing This 1 Thing Will Double Your Sales (and other things)

Naval Aviation is remarkably good at coming up with short, curt phrases that help to remember behaviors that produce great performance. Unlike most startups, the Navy has had the benefit of time and experience to develop these.

“When you’re not having fun anymore, it’s time to stop”
“Aviate, Navigate, Communicate”
“Be brilliant at the basics”

It’s that last one, brilliance at the basics, that I think is really important, not only to startups but all business types. While it’s really alluring to think that you can do a jillion things and do them well everyday, it’s only really possible to be brilliant at a couple.

Startups are, by design, undermanned and it leads people to try to do too many things simultaneously. Marketing hat, sales hat, finance hat, design hat…hats hats HATS! Really, when we’re switching off between tasks that fast, we’re not doing any of them very well. When I touch every item on my to-do list without finishing any of them, it sure feels productive — but it damn sure wasn’t.

Countries, as a rule, aren’t very bright relative to well run businesses but even they know to engage in trade based on their competitive advantages. We’d do well to know what our personal competitive advantages are and, when we just can’t cross ’em all off today, engage in ONLY those.

Being brilliant at the basics doesn’t feel like it moved the needle over a day or even a week but put a year of it in the rear-view mirror and you’ll be astounded at how much you achieved.