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What’s the difference between an opportunity and a distraction?

In “business speak” an opportunity is an activity that could make your future life better, while a distraction is an activity that only wastes time. Not all opportunities pan out, and many were a distraction in disguise, you were just too tired and/or excited to notice it.

So while it’s an innocent-looking question, it should really be approached just like it’s an “innocent log” floating toward you down the river Nile. Sometimes, they turn out to have teeth.

If I’m being honest, it’s often hard to tell if some decisions were the correct ones well after the results come in, let alone before I made them.

With my clients, I use the TIABRS mental framework to develop a single piece of paper that contains a one-glance “compass”. When a decision has to be made, and it involves interaction with potential clients, this helps determine which way we should go.

In a nutshell, this is what you need to see:
– Target market: who is this for
– Insight: what expensive problem are you solving
– Alternatives: who do you want to be compared with
– Benefits: what’s in it for the client
– Reasons to believe: why should they trust what you say
– Superiorities: why should they choose you

Using this, you will be able to consistently filter decisions into opportunities and distractions. Not much help against crocodiles, alas.

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