Jack of all Trades, Master of None

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In February of 2018, we visited Medellin, Colombia for the first time and fell in love, but one of my takeaways may surprise you!

We found a street food vendor selling Tacos al Pastor, think of a giant, upright meat kebab with hundreds of small pieces of pork rotating all day long as half of a pineapple drips down over the meat from the top down, slowly caramelizing and tenderizing the meat. Around 7 or 8pm, the meat is ready and the vendor opens for business to the public, and the sidewalk area he set his cart up on was always packed with tourists and locals alike.

In February 2019, we came back to visit and went to make our taco stop and found the owner now has a restaurant space directly behind where he used to hang out with his food cart! The tacos are still the same, slow roasted deliciousness, and guess what? He still only offers Tacos al Pastor, with exactly 4 different drink options, and he’s only open Thursday through Sunday. I started thinking about the owner and his explosive growth over the past year and there’s a lesson there I think many of us need to be reminded of:

You don’t need to offer every service. You need to streamline your offerings, do what sells best, and stop all of the other nonsense, because it’s just taking away from your most successful and aligned offerings.

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You can’t tell me that customers haven’t asked if he can or will prepare beef, fish, or vegetarian tacos? But, no. He does Tacos al Pastor, with three sauces, the exact same toppings, and when his prepared meat runs out for the night, he’s done. By keeping his offering simple, he also attracts exactly the right customers for his business. I keep returning when I’m here, and look forward to it every time. I don’t care that he only offers the one thing, because I’ll go somewhere else if I don’t want his pork tacos, and his business will still be jam packed every Thursday through Sunday.

This is exactly what the Pareto Principle (80/20 rule), which I consistently use to assess my business and those of my clients, refers to. It claims that 80% of your results (effects) come from 20% of your efforts (causes), and that conversely, the remaining 20% requires the remaining 80% of your efforts. So, I’m constantly working to streamline and focus more on the activities that yield the best results, and less on those that just don’t. Just because I get a few requests to add a new service offering doesn’t mean I need to add that new service offering. I run my business, I choose what services to offer, and I choose which need to go by the wayside.

What do you need to 80/20, Marie Kondo, or streamline in your life or business?

What does it mean to Marie Kondo your business, and why is it important? Here's a hint: it's about defining your specialty or niche. Click to learn more!
Katelyn Stanton