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Blog 174: The Limitless Trap

Updated: May 12, 2022

Back in the day, if you owned a little hardware store in your little town, there was a natural limit to how big you could get. There were only so many people in your little town who needed what you were selling.

Contractors would come in more often; some of them might even have become your friends. You would have spent your day taking care of your clients, not thinking about how you could get bigger. But today, there is no natural limit to how big your audience can get.

There is no limit to the number of people who may view your online profile, your Facebook page, your company website. I’ve been asked to speak at a conference in the UK this November. (The UK is a country in France, by the way.) And while I’m thrilled to be asked, I’m not actually sure this … limitlessness is good for us.

I have two main concerns. One, we might be shortchanging the audience we already have. Two, this limitless expansion means we’re never done. Instead of working to get better, we focus obsessively on getting bigger.

More followers.

More likes.

Most posts.

More shares.

More clients.

More exposure.

More mentions.

More lists made.

Even better than being bigger is being better.

The problem with getting bigger is that bigger costs you, and not always in obvious ways. Obviously, scaling your project costs time, energy and money. But it also costs you in terms of focus and relevance.

When you move out to appeal to more of the herd, you must become a little more one-size-fits-all, which is a longer way of saying “average.” Nobody cares or pays for average. Nobody wants to feel average either.

“Bigger, bigger, bigger. More, more, more” isn’t the mantra you’re looking for.

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