I crack open a beer as my friend Jan pulls up on his motorbike.
It’s high summer in Holland – a dry and sweltering 35 degrees Celsius – and I’m sitting in the shade behind my house.
Been looking forward to see Jan, it’s been months.
He steps off the bike and the first thing I do after giving him a big hug is push a cold can on him.
The helmet and the sweat have plastered his hair flat against his head and around his face.
“Hang on, let me take this off first”.
I sit back down and watch him peel his leather biker suit off him. Zippers left and right, straps and buckles, boots and gloves…
He must be absolutely boiling in that suit.
He finally sits down in his shorts and t-shirt, perfectly wet all over.
As he grabs the beer, he says: “You know what you could make? A motorbike suit for summers. It would have all
the hard padding in place – knees, shoulders, elbows and so on – but instead of leather to hold it all in place, you use a mesh-like fabric, like sturdy fishing net or something like that.
Right? It’s the perfect product: protection where you need it, and for the rest nothing but ventilation.
I would totally buy one”, he concluded
“Why don’t you order one?”, I joked.
“No but seriously: you could make tons of money. They would sell like hot cakes.”
I looked at him, the sweat still running down the side of his face as his body slowly adjusts to the shade and the temperature of the beer.
In itself, Jan was totally right: Bikers have a real need for this. As such, it would probably sell ok, as long as it’s summer.
But the idea would have been disastrous for me. After all I was a tailor. I ran a small luxury tailoring company, and fine suits was what I made.
Not biker suits. If I would have taken his idea, I would most certainly, absolutely definitely have hurt my tailoring business.
Yes I know, I went on to hurt and furtherly kill my business, all on my own. That’s not the point here.I was a tailor, and I wanted to make suits. I was good at it, and I liked it
There was no compelling reason for me to change that or give that up. More money? Myeh. No fun. I would end up running a small factory and dealing with sales more than with making stuff.
Yes, yes I know. I now deal with sales every single day, and it’s been over a year since I made anything. Will you just let me get to the point?
The point being: focus. Do what you’re good at, do what you’ve chosen, and focus only on that.
Don’t get sidetracked, don’t fall for the lure of shiny new things. Focus. Do one thing, do it really well, do it over and over again.
Just like when I stopped tailoring, so that I could focus on only one thing: copywriting. The result is a business that’s fun and that sustains me.
Focus and one-pointed attention bring you fantastic results. Be wary of good ideas because they’re nearly always a sidetrack.