06/01/2010 02:15 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Strategy vs. Tactics

Every day I talk with people about building something. Building a blog, a business, an empire, whatever. I've noticed that most of the questions I hear are all about logistics and tactical decisions: Which shopping cart? Should I use Wordpress? How do you host the images? And so on.

I'm happy to talk about anything related to the logistics; that's how we all learn. You can ask me anything and I'll tell you how it works for me. But... the thing is, none of that stuff really matters.

Changing the world is more important than having a tricked-out website. You can have the best website in the world, but if you don't have a clear vision for what you want to do with it, no one will care. You can have a super-optimized business model, but if no one wants to buy what you're selling, you don't have a business.

Most important: You can learn all about tactics as you go along, but you have to have a clear strategy from the start.

After you have a clear strategy, then you can go back to some of the tactics. Then you can figure out what you're doing and how to make it better, and you'll see more of an impact. But starting with the tactics is almost always a mistake.

Bonus note: when you start to succeed in getting your message out, a number of people will usually try to emulate your success. The interesting thing is that they tend to copy the tactics but not the strategy. Too bad for them, because they'll only see a fraction of your success. This is another reason why you don't need to worry much about competition.

In short, it's like the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland said: "If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."

Do you know where you're going?

Here's wishing you an amazing and ass-kicking week.