In business aiming for a big splash vs. a lasting impact makes all the difference in whether your business grows and is successful. Often we opt for the big splash when a lasting impact is the right choice.
Imagine that you want to displace all the water out of a pond, and your only options are a really big rock or an endless supply of pebbles. Which option would you choose? With the big rock, you’ll get a big splash. Some water may spill out of the pond, but then you’re done. Despite how spectacular the splash was, you failed to achieve your goal.
Now, with an endless supply of pebbles, the results are different. As you dump truckloads of pebbles into the pond, you gradually displace all the water. It may take more time than you like, but you will achieve your goals.
Why Should Your Business Focus on Making a Lasting Impact?
Business follows the same principle. From our analogy, we discern a few important facts.
- The “once-and-done big splash approach” usually results in ripples that soon disappear.
- If you want to grow a business, you have to commit to it for the long term.
- Successful businesses need to ignore the big splashes happening around them.
- If you decide to grow your business with big splashes, be prepared to follow them with many more big splashes to keep the momentum going.
Pay attention to the last principle. I don’t recommend it. It is too hard to follow one big splash after another. You’ll wear yourself out trying. Your team will burn out, and you will deplete your resources faster than you can replace them. Think about the pond. How large do the stones need to be, and how many do you need. The bigger the stones are, the rarer they are, and the more difficult they will be to throw into the pond.
Big ideas and big projects are cool, but they are difficult to come by and more difficult to lift into place.
How to Make a Lasting Impact on Your Business?
These ideas may sound overly simplistic, but they form the right approach.
- Get focused – know what you’re trying to accomplish and who you are trying to help
- Stay focused – don’t get distracted by the “cool” things that others are doing (unless you need to pivot your focus)
- Do the small things consistently and with excellence.
- Keep the good of your customers in the driver’s seat of all your decisions and action.
The third bullet should make you pause. Consistency and excellence are typically the first things to suffer when we attempt to make a big splash. The result is upset customers and lost opportunities. It’s like dumping a large bucket of water in the pond for every large rock you throw in the pond.
So which will you choose in the debate of making a big splash vs. a lasting impact on your business?