Over the years entrepreneurs have come to me for solutions to fix their business. It doesn't take long after a quick assessment for us to discover that they've actually drifted from their original vision, their original plan – or what they really feel like is their biggest opportunity for impact in the marketplace.

And so we set upon a mission to defeat the drift.

Now, let me give you an analogy about what drift looks like, give you some examples, and finally a solution for how to defeat drift.

What Drift Will Look Like

I lived in Texas for a number of years and when you're traveling the open road in Texas you go through numerous small towns inevitably. And in every small town, there's a Dairy Queen. Dairy Queen is known for their soft serve ice cream. They also serve burgers and some other things that are in the fast food category. But occasionally, you will see a Dairy Queen with an odd sign out in front in the open road. One time I saw on the little sign underneath the brand name it said, “Spring Rolls, 3 for $1.” Spring Rolls! I had to look twice. Spring rolls at a Dairy Queen. Now that's interesting.

Now here's what happened. The Dairy Queen owner walked in their store one day and was frustrated because they hadn't had enough people coming in to buy ice cream or burgers. And they kind of looked at their equipment and their ingredients that they have. And I don't know, maybe they grabbed something out of their cupboard at home and brought it in. They said, “You know what, I know how to make spring rolls. I like spring rolls. I bet a lot of people would like spring rolls. I'm going to start making spring rolls and maybe somebody will see that sign or walk in and decide to buy spring rolls 3 for $1.”

But you know what? It is very unlikely that really happens. People go to Dairy Queen to buy ice cream cones.

Losing Focus on Your Original Vision is Drift

So this is the case in business, we tend to encounter a customer that says, “Hey, by the way, you know you're doing this thing over here, but can you do this over there?” And you say "Yes", because you think that might be another dollar. 

You come up with a brilliant idea, something that YOU think is a good idea, but you don't test it or try it or validate it in the marketplace. So you don't know for sure if other people going to like it. But then you put marketing and advertising dollars into it to try to convince people that it's a great thing. Well, that creates drift.

You hire an employee that isn't just quite right. Okay, they fill the hole, they're a helping hand, but they're mediocre. Well, that's drift.

You work with the customers or clients that come in repetitively and are never pleased -- you just sort of dread when they walk in the door and you don't finally say, “You know what, I think there's a better place for you to be served.” That's drift.

It's drift when you are working inside your own business and you're not doing the stuff that you really, really love to do in your own business.

defeat the drift

How to Defeat the Drift

We have to defeat drift if we're going to be successful in business. It's critical to come back to what we have learned that is most valuable in the marketplace, to the people that we serve. We have to come back to the things that we know are most appreciated, the things that people say yes to, and that they love. We have to shed and discard the employees, the clients, the customers that really are not contributing to the health of our business. And we have to certainly, first and foremost, honor our own vision, our own passion, our own competency we're proud of.

My assignment today for you to defeat drift is to zero in on what you believe that you can be fully world class in delivering to the marketplace. What are the aspects, the competencies, the skills, the insights, the understanding about the marketplace that you have --  that you can throw into the marketplace that is unique and truly exceptional on the on the way to being world class. 

Figure out what that is, zero in on that, be willing and have the courage to shed literally everything else. The ideas that aren't aligned with that, the things you know how to do… that you don't really love to do. The customers and clients and employees that don't really contribute, as I said, to the health of your business. 

So let's defeat drift. It's critical to straighten that path on the way to entrepreneur excellence.

Defeat the Drift.