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Andy Grove, former CEO of Intel, realized that his company would need to make a dramatic change or face extinction. This often-told story about the company’s “strategic inflection point” centered around betting the business on microprocessors instead of memory.

[shareable]There are times when we as experts need to “bet the business” on particular strategies or directions.[/shareable]

It is a moment of declaring to ourselves and to the world that we will not be swayed from our chosen path.

In this article I list 7 steps you can take to find the clarity and the power that comes from betting the business.

First, let’s note two important things to know going into this:

  • Focus is a powerful tool.
  • Time and money are precious.

We only have so much capacity, which means we can’t chase every last opportunity.

So then, we look across the sea of opportunities that raise their hands to use each day, and we have to choose which opportunity deserves our time and precious resources so that we can focus on what’s important to our business.

Seven Steps

1. Consider Where You are Most Gifted

Take a deep inventory here.  Get out a pen and paper.  Write down every activity you have done today, or in the past week.

Put a star next to every item that does not give you a ton of energy.  This will likely be a long list.

Every item that has a star next to it just became the job description for work you need to delegate.

You only want items remaining where you can contribute from your area of genius.  Most likely no one else on your team will be quite as gifted as you in this area.

Business coach Dan Sullivan calls this your Unique Ability.

2. Hone Your Focus

This is often the most difficult part for any entrepreneur who is trying to bet the business, but can be especially hard for creatives like us.

Chances are pretty good that your to-do list is filled with a) more than you can handle, and b) more than your organization should be handling.

You’ve simply taken on too much.

In this step you get to focus on one revenue-generating activity that you want you and your organization to do at a world-class level.


Not 10.

Not 5.

Not even 3.


3. Don’t Change Horses Mid-Stream

It is easy to want to change your focus when you see your business coach friend landing a bunch of high-dollar workshops with local companies.

Or when you see your public-speaker friend launch a successful online membership program, and adding a nice pad to her monthly recurring income.

It is natural to want to chase the gold at the end of their rainbow.  Remember, this is their rainbow, not yours.

Go find your own gold.

[shareable]You can find your own gold. Here’s how.[/shareable]

4. Think Process

What steps need to happen first, second, and third to bet your business?
What can you outsource to a contractor or an employee?

Minimize to the greatest extent possible the work that you — the business owner — do.  This creates more time for you to do that work, and ensures that you get more and more practice doing the things that no one else in your company can do.

5. Lean In

This is where true grit is determined — where you put your stake in the ground and say “This is my territory!”

  • You bet the business.
  • You fight your demons.
  • You slay your dragons.
  • You suffer setbacks.
  • You circle the wagons.
  • You live to fight another day.

6. Understand the Journey is Not the Destination

As John Eldredge has pointed out, we are often duped into confusing journey and destination.  He offers the analogy that a 10-hour plane ride to Italy is nothing like being in Italy.

[shareable]The journey is not the destination.[/shareable]

The same holds true for us.  Don’t get hooked on the journey.  You have a goal and you want to reach it.  Stay focused so that you can bet the business.

7. Experience the Sweet Smell of Victory

Even with the setbacks, bumps, and bruises that come with the fight, there is still no better feeling than reaching your goal.

Your newly dedicated resources are now focused on the task at hand, everyone driving in the same direction.

You’ve overcome setbacks you never dreamed were possible.  You stayed the course.

You bet the business.

You’ve won!

[reminder]What activities do you need to STOP DOING so that you can focus on the one activity that really matters to your long-term future?[/reminder]