Ride One Horse – How to Succeed in Business Today

“It’s like you’re trying to ride two horses at the sametime.  You just can’t do it.”  Joseph Gandolfo
Like many success-driven people, I have belonged to severalmaster mind groups over the years.  In agood group, the members will tell the other members the things theymost need to hear – the things others won’t say.
Such was the case one warm summer day at the local coffee house as my colleagues listened to me explain how I continued to strugglewith getting my various ventures off the ground.  This had gone on for several weeks and theother members could see clearly why I was not making better progress.
After sitting quietly and listening to the discussion, Joelooked me straight in the eye and uttered these life-changing words:  “It’s like you’re trying to ride two horses at the same time.  You just can’t do it.”
Zing!  In an instant, I got the visual of such a ridiculous – anddangerous – attempt.  I immediately sawthe fallacy of my ways.
For years, I had prided myself on being a “serialentrepreneur” – someone who started a lot of businesses.  
Over the years, I had startedseveral businesses – a mortgage brokerage, real estate brokerage, businessbrokerage, and several magazine concepts. Some were moderately successful. None were phenomenally successful.
Joseph Gandolfo

As Joe so eloquently pointed out, you just can’t ride two horses at the same time.  If you do, something or somebody is going to get hurt.

Joe is not a management consultant.  He doesn’t have an MBA.  In fact, Joe’s “day job” is more like that of a lion tamer – he works with teenagers and helps them succeed in spite of themselves. He is a phenomenally talented counselor.  He regularly helps young people see the error of their ways.
And that particular day, Joe’sanalogy of trying to ride two horses explained my business “errors” in a way that no expensive management consultant ever had.
Joe was always great at breaking complex ideas into simple concepts by using brilliant analogies.
For serious success, here are some ways to apply the “RideOne Horse” strategy in business today: 
  • Realize that being a serial entrepreneurdoesn’t mean that you can’t start several businesses.  It just means that you can’t start them allat the same time.
  •  Forserious success, it is best to start one and ride it all the way to a majormilestone (say gross revenues of ten million dollars), before selling it orstarting another business.
  • Selectthe “horse” that you are in totally in love with, i.e. select the business thatmakes your heart sing every day. 
  • Selectthe “horse” that has the ability to get you where you are going – a longjourney up a beautiful mountain or a sprint around a short track.  Which one you choose depends upon your goals. 
  • Learnto ride that particular horse with tremendous skill – take lessons, getcoaching.  Cut your learning curve bylearning from others who have “been there, done that.”
A few months later, I saw a related book that had been written in 1991 by marketing gurus Al Ries and Jack Trout called Horse Sense – The Key to Success Is Finding a Horse to Ride, one of their many brilliant books.  In this book, Ries and Trouttalk about finding the “perfect “horse” to ride – the one person, product,idea, or service” that will ensure phenomenal success.  I highly recommend this book.                                                                                                                     
A few years have gone by since that day in the coffee shop.  I can’t say that I’ve mastered the ability to focus on one thing at a time.  I can say that every time I catch myself trying to ride two horses, I smile and give a silent “thank you” to my wonderful friend Joe Gandolfo.

Do you have problems trying to ride more than onehorse?  I’d love to hear about them.  Please share your thoughts below.  And if you know someone who is always trying to ride more than one horse, please share this article with them.

© Copyright 2011 Gina Carr International.

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Gina Carr is an Entrepreneur, Speaker and Marketing Consultant who works with entrepreneurs and authors to leverage social media marketing for publicity, profits and success. Combining her street-smarts learned as a publisher and small business owner with her book-smarts learned at the Harvard Business School (MBA 1990) and Georgia Tech (BIE 1984), Gina helps business owners turn great ideas into profitable money-making machines. Known around the world as The Tribe Builder, Gina helps passionate people build powerful tribes of raving fans for their business or non-profit organization. Get connected with Gina at www.tribebuildingtips.com and www.ginacarr.com.


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Gina Carr
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Gina Carr

Gina Carr works with business leaders who want to get more great reviews and fewer bad ones. A serial entrepreneur and business growth expert, she has an MBA from the Harvard Business School and an engineering degree from Georgia Tech. Gina is the co-author of the McGraw-Hill book, Klout Matters - How to Engage Customers, Increase Digital Influence, and Raise Your Klout Score for Success. Schedule a free strategy session today to learn easy ways for you to get more great reviews ... and, more great customers! www.ginacarr.com/strategy-session.
Gina Carr
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