The Importance Of Focus

My son Jeff and my daughter Chelsey have big dreams.  Jeff is finishing up his last year as a drama student and wants to be a screen actor.  He has already been an extra in a handful of movies.  Chelsey wants to be a country music writer and artist.  The interesting thing with these two is that Jeff has a rich, deep voice and could have been a singer, and Chelsey was accepted as a drama student to a high school academy.  I taught each of them that they had to focus and concentrate on one dream for now, because they will have to put a ton of effort behind their dream to make them a success.  So they made their choices and are shooting for their big dreams.  And they are going to stick to their focus as long as it takes them to be successful in it.

Many business people tend to lose focus.  Not that they change their goals, but that they don’t stick to a particular plan.  For instance, a business person might set out to advertise in magazines but decide later to also advertise online.  Sometimes doing too many things at once is not a good idea, because it tends to create a lot of unproductive busyness.  For instance in our example, managing online advertisements is different than managing magazine advertisements so it might be difficult to keep a handle on both.

Good focus in business does make things kind of boring.  If you are finding yourself with less activitiy than you’d like, perhaps you can turn it up a notch, but following a specific business plan makes more sense than adding a bunch of different parts on.  So instead of trying to do 5 other things, do more of the things you are already doing.  If you’re the kind of person that gets bored easy this may seem like a drag, but keeping our focus is important and will help us achieve our dreams.

Sometimes you need to make adjustments.  Don’t think that having good focus means that you can’t make adjustments to your business plan.  When you notice something is not working as well as you like, it is ok to tinker with it to improve your results.  Just make sure to stick with the change long enough to verify that it works or that it doesn’t.  Sometimes the results of changes are a bit delayed.  And making all sorts of changes at once is not a good idea because if things get better you don’t know what worked, and if things get worse you don’t know what made it bad.

I have a friend who has a great core business but tends to like to create new businesses, like all the time.  Each new business has nothing to do with his core business and tends to distract him to such a degree that he really can’t put the time into his core business that it needs.  If you feel the need to create side businesses because your core business is so successful, create one new side business and make it successful or close it down.  Don’t leave a bunch of dangling businesses that will never be successful because you can’t give them enough time.  Just work on one and if it looks good, keep at it.  If it looks bad after some time, close it down and move on.

Focus is really important to success at anything.  Trying to do too many things leaves you scattered, sort of like “a jack of all trades and a master of none” as the saying goes.  Be the best at something.

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