Never, ever, ever compromise on your core. Ever.

Mark owns a fabulous little café in Diamond Creek called Piccolo Meccanico. As my four-year-old daughter Scarlett would say, Mark is way into coffee.  In a kind of obsessional, borderline unhealthy way.  And while he’s way out in the sticks, he would be right at home in a trendy inner city coffee haven.

I’ve got a three-part test for a good café – polished concrete floor, big expensive Italian coffee machine, and aloof, disdainful barista (ideally with tats).  Mark is perhaps a little too friendly, but apart from that, he’s got it all in spades.

Here’s what it looked like the other morning:

I overheard Mark apologising to another customer:

Mark: "Sorry... the coffee is taking over."

Customer: "I've got no problem with that."

I loved that answer.  I didn’t have a problem with that either.  Great coffee is Mark’s core.  It’s what his whole business is about.  It should take over a bit.

As thought leaders it's good to get clear on what our core is. I recently had someone asking me how she should change her pitch going into the corporate market. She was saying that the message that she has for her public clients wasn’t resonating as much for corporates. Some still loved it, but not as many. She was asking how to change her stuff (peak performance) into engagement or productivity or more corporate stuff.

My reflection was that she shouldn’t. That would be compromising her core. There are enough people who love what she’s about. Find those people rather than compromise.

Similarly at Thought Leaders we help people get to black belt, and then stay there for a decade to become financially free. While there are lots of opportunities for us to add on other things, we need to stay vigilant in making sure anything else we do doesn’t detract or compromise our core.