The Power of Being Your Own Filter: Learn to Filter the Trivial to Find the Vital

Kristin Luck


When you’re growing a business, it can be tempting to seize every opportunity that comes your way, regardless of its fit with your company's goals and values. However, a successful B2B business understands the importance of being its own filter, strategically selecting the type of business it wants to attract and understanding that a “yes” to something less than ideal creates the potential to have to say “no” when the right opportunity comes along. By focusing on aligning with ideal clients and partners, rather than simply accepting any opportunity that comes along, companies can unlock long-term success, build the RIGHT client relationships, and avoid detrimental partnerships.

Stick with me as I dig into why B2B businesses and executive teams should embrace their role as filters (while also providing examples of both effective and ineffective filtering practices).


a successful B2B business understands the importance of being its own filter, strategically selecting the type of business it wants to attract

tweet-line-bottomWhy Filtering Matters

  1. Strategic Alignment: By acting as a filter, B2B businesses ensure that they align with clients and partners who share their core values, goals, and long-term vision. This alignment creates a foundation for successful collaborations, effective problem-solving, and mutual growth.
  2. Resource Optimization: Filtering out ill-fitting opportunities allows B2B businesses to allocate their resources more effectively. By investing time, energy, and resources into partnerships that are well-suited to their capabilities and objectives, companies can maximize their efficiency and achieve better outcomes.
  3. Reputation and Brand Building: Selective filtering helps B2B businesses cultivate a strong reputation and brand image. By working with reputable and respected partners, companies enhance their credibility and attract similar high-quality clients. This positive brand association can significantly impact the growth and sustainability of the business.

Looking for examples? HubSpot, my go to marketing automation platform and CRM, is a great example of effective filtering.

From its inception, HubSpot focused on attracting businesses that aligned with its inbound marketing philosophy. Instead of accepting any client, HubSpot targeted companies seeking to adopt an inbound approach, emphasizing personalized interactions, content-driven marketing, and customer-centric strategies. By being selective in its client base, HubSpot not only attracted businesses that aligned with its core values but also fostered a strong community of like-minded companies. This strategic filtering has contributed to HubSpot's astronomical growth and reputation as a thought leader in the marketing industry.

Ineffective Filtering? Theranos

Theranos, a now-defunct health technology company, serves as a cautionary tale of ineffective filtering. The company infamously claimed to have developed groundbreaking blood-testing technology. However, as the truth unfolded, it became apparent that Theranos had failed to filter effectively, accepting partnerships and investments without thoroughly validating its technology. The consequences were devastating, as the company faced regulatory scrutiny, lawsuits, and a severe loss of reputation (its Founder is now in a Texas prison). Theranos's lack of effective filtering not only led to the dissolution of its business but also eroded trust within the industry and highlighted the perils of overlooking due diligence.

Effective filtering enables businesses to strategically allocate resources, build strong relationships, and nurture a positive brand image. By emulating success stories like HubSpot and avoiding the pitfalls of companies like Theranos, firms can create sustainable growth, establish their position as industry leaders, and thrive in an increasingly competitive landscape.

Remember, saying NO to the wrong opportunity allows you to say YES when the right one comes along. Being an effective filter allows you to attract the opportunities that will, ultimately, drive your business forward.

Need to become a more effective filter? Check out “Part II: Explore” in one of my favorite books of 2022….Essentialism by Greg McKeown to discern the trivial many from the vital few.