Blinded by the Light

June 3, 2009

This past weekend I spent three and a half days on Sunset Beach with 27 other martial artists training eight hours a day.  It’s an annual grueling occurrence for my martial arts group, and for those mothers out there, it is somewhat akin to childbearing – in the midst of all the pain, you swear you’ll never do it again, only to find yourself back there a year later.

I had an epiphany during our last sparring workout.  It was early morning, the sun was low in the sky, and I somehow managed to keep each of my opponents facing the sun.  Something clicked, and after almost four years of no-strategy, haphazard, throw-a-kick-out-there-see-if-it-lands sparring I was actually employing a STRATEGY.   

How often do we follow the bright shiny object, or react when we should be planning? 

I know Summit’s been guilty of it every now and again – a potential piece of business presents itself that isn’t in our sweet spot, but we pursue it anyway. The result is never our best work, and it sometimes exacts a great cost.  When you have limited resources—and who doesn’t these days—it’s critical to stay the course. 

Don’t have a course?  Here’s how to get one.

  1. Create a situation analysis, self-evaluation and competitor analysis: both internal and external; both micro-environmental and macro-environmental.
  2. Set objectives. Put them against a timeline; short-term and long-term.
  3. Craft a vision statement, a mission statement, overall corporate, and, if needed, strategic business unit objectives (both financial and strategic), and last but not least tactical objectives.

When you are done you’ll have a clear picture of where you stand today, where you’d like to be in the future and how you plan to get there.  Be at peace with the fact that you cannot and should not be the right choice for everyone.  Focus on those who need and are receptive to your product/service and your approach to doing business.  Your laser sharp business strategy and Disruptive ConversationTM will surely blind your competition.

Or, you can stare a little into the sun and take one right on the chin.

Wanna get smacked? Try some Marketingsmack today at

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