When I was young my father and his peers told me about working toward a goal such as taking care of your family and thus they had pride in any position they accepted to meet that goal such as a janitor like my father or a cook as it was their attempt to create the resources to take care of their family which was their primary goal.
Once you establish your business goals you should seek to consider the “means to an end” concept as an underlying practice for your business. For example you may seek to have a national service to the government providing system integration or security services but your initial contacts are in the areas of facilities or administrative and through a teaming relationship or contract opportunity you start with an agency you seek to serve but not in the discipline you prefer.
I have learned once you demonstrate good work that customers will seek you out and also provide amazing references to others within an agency and thus you create a brand name for your company that reflects quality, reliability and customer service and that will transcend your technical skills and carry you very far within the federal government where those qualities are highly valued especially in services.
Early in the history of our company we started in the area of facilities maintenance because through relationships established when I was employed with another federal contractor I was able to team with another company to win a contract in that area. The other company had the technical qualifications and I had the contract administration and financial skills so it was an ideal match. We built an amazing reputation for customer service and for supporting and developing our employees. We transformed a lot of practices into systematic processed which were computer based. Consequently I was able to leverage that contract and win other contracts including one in IT. Thus, I was able to go from facilities to my goal of IT through building not a technical reputation but one for customer service and outstanding employee management.
A means to an end will allow you to accept opportunities within the context of your goals and ensure that you have a timely path to success.
This also demonstrates that there are some great principles that our parents and elders have given us and they have relevance in our businesses. Please share your pearls of wisdom with us.