I was sitting here thinking about a couple new business ideas and listening to my favorite hockey team on the radio. Between periods there was an interview with the general manager and the interviewer asked him what the best lesson or advice that he ever he ever received for running a hockey team.
I found his answer interesting and relevant to any business. He said the best advice related to making trades [the most pressure packed part of a general manager's job].
When making a trade always look for a 3 or 4% improvement in your team or even at one position, if you try for anything more than that you’re playing Russian roulette.
He went on to say that of course, a single trade can get you a 20 or 30 or 50% improvement or even win you the stanley cup, but looking for those returns will not put you in the best frame of mind for improving your team.
I remember when I was in the picture framing business; I used to make all the traditional photo frame colors. A couple customers asked me to make some “brighter” colors…personally I didn’t like them, but I wanted the extra sales so I made the colorful frames and eventually my business exploded as the style of photo frames shifted en masse.
The moral is that looking for ways to become and instant success or to get rich quick, will often waste your energy and lead you down the wrong road, where finding one thing you enjoy and applying consistent effort with an eye to incremental improvement can take you far!