Grow Your Business Strategically: Chase Antelope, Not Mice

Sharon Muniz
November 2, 2020
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Grow Your Business Strategically: Chase Antelope, Not Mice

Think about your current projects.

Your current clients. Any pending sales.

Okay, now that you’ve got that information swirling around in your head, here’s a question: Are they antelope, or are they mice?

(Not literally, of course.)

Are they big-deal projects, clients, or sales that represent a big win and a lot of resources for your company? Or are they – to use another analogy – small potatoes?

American politician and author Newt Gingrich popularized the ‘chasing antelope’ strategy as a way to maximize the value for your time. In an evocative statement, he noted that a lion can catch mice, of course…but is that chase really worth the time and effort for a small snack? If the lion spent his time mostly doing that, he’d die.

On the other hand, antelope “take more speed and strength to capture and kill, and once killed, they provide a feast for the lion and her pride,” Gingrich went on to say.

It’s far more productive, according to this strategy, to spend your time chasing antelope.

Now, unless you work as a safari guide, you’re unlikely to literally find antelope to run after.

What does this mean for you and your business?

When you’re investing a lot of time into finding business for your startup, it can be easy to think that you need to start small. Or that you need to accept every job.

That might not be the case. In fact, that very mentality might be the reason you’re not making it to the Big Leagues.

You’re limiting yourself.

It’s time to stop doing that.

Think about it: If you’re always scuttling after tiny, dime-a-dozen gigs as you attempt to grow your business, you’re always going to be getting those insignificant jobs.

Sometimes, it just makes sense to tailor your marketing to your dream clients – to the big sales – the ones that could make your business soar. After all, your dream client isn’t going to answer an advertisement that isn’t clearly geared their way.

Not all sales are equal. Not all products are equal. Think about it: It’s often just as easy (or hard) to land that 1M sale than it is to land a 50K sale.

Here’s what this looks like in practice:

Aim high to win big.

  • Build out your marketing strategy to attract the clients you want to have knocking down your door.
  • If metaphorical ‘mice’ are important for your business for now, that’s okay. After all, consistent revenue is key. However, put people, resources, and assets on your long-term win-big dreams, as much as you can. (You only reap what you sow, right?)
  • Productivity guru Tim Ferriss notes that this strategy applies to time management, too. When he looks at his to-do list for the day, he looks for the one task that, once completed, “would render all the rest either easier or completely irrelevant.”

In other words, he looks for the antelope. He ‘works smart’.

Prioritize your time and your resources well.

Choose to work strategically so you can win big.

And, soon, you’ll be working smart, too.


About the Author

Sharon Muniz

Sharon Muniz established her software development consulting firm in Reston, VA after 15 years of working in the software industry. NCN Technology helps clients implement best practices and software to drive their business to success. Ms. Muniz is skilled at strategic planning, business process management, technology evaluation, project and agile software development methodologies.

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