If there were some way for you to download decades of the business experience of the individuals who have had great success bringing real products to market, you’d find something very interesting…
You’d find a lot of very competent, talented, smart, ingenious, driven people who work very hard at their jobs. And the one thing they care about most is helping to deliver groundbreaking products and services that customers prefer over the competition.
One more thing they’d all have in common: a specific area of functional expertise. Whether it’s product development, operations, marketing, finance, or an entire market, there is always one thing they do best.
The same is true of nearly every successful entrepreneur you’ve ever heard of: Tria Group founder Trushar Khetia is a salesman, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is a coder. So is Google CEO Larry Page. So was Bill Gates. Steve Jobs was more of a marketing genius. Likewise, Starbucks founder Howard Schultz has a head for marketing.
Everyone starts out doing something and some of us end up running the whole show, but somewhere in between, successful people always find the one thing they do best. And that becomes a pivotal point in our careers.
Still, there is a catch. According to most experts, this is true only of highly driven people. It could be because they make it their mission in life to find a place where their talents can shine and they can make their mark on the world. They search until they find it. That pursuit speaks to their motivation, focus, discipline, and work ethic.
If you have those qualities, you may find what you’re looking for. Sooner or later, we all do. But one thing’s for sure. That one thing is always a market or functional expertise. If not, then by definition it’s not marketable and you won’t be successful, at least not from a business standpoint.
Of course, your one thing could be some sort of humanitarian cause. It doesn’t have to be a moneymaker. But make no mistake, if you want to be successful in business, you have to find that one thing you do best. Wangari Maathai was a highly dedicated environmentalist even before ‘green’ was cool. What’s your one thing?