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York found a franchise that allowed him to outsource all of the things that were not critical to his success—the entire business system represents extreme outsourcing—while he focuses on marketing and business development, his core strengths. This perspective is particularly powerful if we introduce the idea that the Maui Wowi business is relatively simple: It has few moving parts and few management challenges. This allows York to focus his energies, laserlike, on marketing, which determines his ultimate success or failure. In contrast, a Sylvan Learning franchise, for example, would have required that York manage a staff and multiple activities, thereby draining his focus.

The other components necessary for a go-it-alone success are also present: York’s ability to serve different locations and different markets creates great flexibility and room for high creativity. And he can leverage his time. He sets up the venue, and then his hourly workers staff it. He gets the maximum bang out of dreaming up new marketing ideas and implementing them.

York’s career is unusual in that he has been a successful leader in many distinctly different business arenas, including the classic corporate environment and the dot-com segment. But his experience at Maui Wowi has tapped a particular wellspring of creativity: “Each day I feel a special sense of adventure and energy.” There is probably no better way for someone to describe the alignment of his core competency with his individual daily work.

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GO IT ALONE! Copyright 2004 by Bruce Judson. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.