What’s most important to you as an entrepreneur? Are you trying to make a quick buck or are you trying to build a sustainable income stream? Do you want to have to keep hustling to make your next dollar or do you want to develop organic growth for your business?
Most people would pick the latter option for each of the questions above. In simplest terms, most entrepreneurs pursue dreams to build successful businesses and as a result, build wealth.
Of course, different people have different views of success and wealth. Both are very subjective, but what most entrepreneurs would agree to is that they want to be in business for the long-term.
Does that describe you? Do you want to be in business for the long-term?
If it’s true that most entrepreneurs are building for the long-haul, then why do so many continue to invest time and money into pursuing the “low-hanging fruit” rather than putting those efforts into strategies and tactics that build long-term, organic, sustainable growth?
I get it. You need to go after the low-hanging fruit because you need to make money quickly. If you don’t make sales and generate revenue in the short-term, you won’t have a business in the long-term.
That’s a valid argument. However, low-hanging fruit can also distract you from your original mission and your greater purpose. It’s called mission creep, and it’s a real problem that entrepreneurs have to be careful of at all times.
Let’s Go Back to the Beginning
Ask yourself these questions:
- Why are you in business?
- Who is your ideal customer and what problem do you solve for them?
- How many of the low-hanging fruit opportunities actually put you on the best path to fulfill your mission and solve your ideal customers’ problems?
- How many of those low-hanging fruit opportunities are distracting you from your mission and ideal customers?
Be honest. The answers to these questions will help you evaluate opportunities and pursue the ones that are right for you and the business you want to build.
The Key to Success is Focus
When you allow your mind, your activities, and your priorities to become cluttered by opportunities that don’t help you move along the path to reach your goals, you’ll set yourself up for disappointment and quite possibly, failure.
In other words, the quickest and shortest path between two points is a straight line. Low-hanging fruit can make that line very crooked. Sometimes, it can even cause you to circumvent your goal entirely!
Now, before anyone says, “She said I should ignore easy wins,” let me assure you that is not what I’m saying at all. I’m recommending that you evaluate every opportunity — even those that seem to be the easiest — and make sure it won’t take you too far off of your path to reach your goals.
One of the first things I always teach marketing students, professionals, business owners, and clients is that a focused brand is a strong brand.
When you try to be all things to all people (or take every opportunity that lands on your doorstep), your audience will get confused. They won’t know what to expect from you anymore. Confusion is the number one brand killer, and your customers will turn away from your brand if it confuses them. Instead, they’ll search for a brand that meets their expectations in every interaction.
With that in mind, consider every opportunity carefully and make sure it’s the right match for your brand and your goals.
Be Strategic for the Best Results
Do you want to keep hustling to make a quick buck? If so, focus on the low-hanging fruit. Do you want to build a sustainable income from a growth-oriented business? If so, be more strategic and consider the low-hanging fruit as just one small part of your long-term business and marketing plan. There is room for both. You just have to be smart about it.
Originally published 8/12/16. Updated 3/24/23.
Great article and perspective!
Susan Gunelius says
Thank you, Charlene!
Paula Brown says
What a great article…for business & life in general!
Susan Gunelius says
Thank you, Paula!