Intentional focus, exceptional management, and robust balance can go a long way to keeping you in business. Often what appears to be a dead end is simply a navigable roadblock.

Curiously since entering the industry full time around 6 years ago I’ve seen a lot of different people share in the same small pool of mistakes. Most of these mistakes are the result of a complete lack of focus, exceptional mis-management, and a total personal life imbalance.

Cynicism aside, the industry is only getting more interesting, not less. I thoroughly enjoy the dynamic of a rapidly evolving environment that makes the “veterans” heads spin. These mean more opportunities not less. When markets have big shakeups it becomes evident who are the innovative thinkers, and who just got lucky and followed somebody elses’ instructions. If you don’t find innovation fascinating, your in the wrong industry.

Here is a way to practice innovative thinking over the holidays: take the Groupon challenge and think about how you could re-invent your business model so it could reach a $1 billion valuation in the next 16 months. And for 2011, don’t forget what I wrote in this post.

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