The Value Of Focus

While I'm perfectly capable of hyper-focus for hours at a time, I'm also the Queen Of Getting Distracted.  Sometimes I have to go back 10 tabs to remind myself what I'm supposed to be doing. Working on Social Media does not help one bit!

And entrepreneurial personality types are notorious flibberty-gibberts when it comes to staying focused...

So, how do you cope with all the distractions, not to mention the business ideas you see every day. Entrepreneurs are shocking for seeing opportunities everywhere, just everywhere.  

I'm getting better as I get older but I have to fight against it all the time, weighing up each new temptation against my strengths, skills and aptitudes., not to mention my available time and current obligations.

The entrepreneurial allure of multiple opportunities can lead to a scattered focus, diluting your efforts and reducing the likelihood of success. Understanding the importance of focus and implementing strategies to maintain it is crucial for sustained growth and achievement.

The Power of Concentration

One of the most influential books on this topic is "Focus" by Al Ries. The book provides a cautionary tale for entrepreneurs tempted to diversify too soon. Ries argues that companies that concentrate on their core products and services are more successful than those that spread themselves too thin.

This principle resonates deeply with my experiences coaching new clients. Many entrepreneurs try to cater to everyone, offering a wide range of products or services. However, this approach often leads to mediocrity across all areas. Instead, by identifying your ideal customer and focusing on your most profitable offerings, you can build a stronger, more sustainable business.

Practical Strategies for Maintaining Focus

To implement this strategy, start by clearly defining your core product or service. This is your "lead product," the one offering that you can sell profitably and consistently. Without a successful lead product, you don’t have a business.

Next, identify your ideal customer. This isn't just anyone who might buy your product but those who will benefit most and provide repeat business, ideally working up your product or service ladder. Understanding your ideal customer helps tailor your marketing efforts and product development, ensuring you meet their needs more effectively.

Another practical tip is to create a "not-to-do" list. This list should include tasks and opportunities that, while potentially beneficial, do not align with your core focus right now. By consciously avoiding these distractions, you can dedicate more time and resources to what truly matters.  Making a list of them gets them out of your brain and into your journal, so you can tell yourself you won't forget the ideas but can always come back to them later.

The Importance of Discipline

Maintaining focus requires discipline. It's easy to be swayed by new trends or the promise of quick profits from unrelated ventures. However, true success comes from remembering there is no such thing as 'quick profits' and you'll do much better over time by committing to your core mission and pursuing it relentlessly.

This discipline also involves regular review and reflection. Periodically assess your business activities to ensure they align with your core focus. If you find yourself drifting, take corrective action immediately. This might mean saying no to lucrative but distracting opportunities or revisiting your business plan to reinforce your primary objectives.

Success Stories

Several successful entrepreneurs attribute their achievements to maintaining a sharp focus. For instance, Steve Jobs is famously quoted as saying, "Focus is about saying no." Under his leadership, Apple became a model of focused innovation, producing a limited range of products but excelling in each one.

Similarly, many small businesses have found success by identifying a niche market and serving it exceptionally well. By becoming the best in a specific area, these businesses can charge premium prices and build a loyal customer base.

Recommended Reading

To explore the value of focus further, consider these recommended readings - all three helped me enormously:

  1. "Focus" by Al Ries: This book discusses the importance of concentrating on a single brand or product to achieve success.
  2. "The One Thing" by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan: It explores the benefits of focusing on one thing at a time to achieve extraordinary results.
  3. "Deep Work" by Cal Newport: This book delves into the concept of focused work and how it leads to increased productivity and success.

Conclusion

The lessons from maintaining focus highlight essential principles for any entrepreneur. By concentrating on your core offerings and ideal customers, and avoiding distractions, you can navigate the entrepreneurial journey more effectively. Stay disciplined in your approach, and regularly review your progress to ensure alignment with your primary objectives. These strategies will help you build a more resilient and successful business.

Post inspired by one of 25 lessons from my new book 'A Better Entrepreneur'


Photo by Nadine Shaabana on Unsplash


Tags

able to focus, al reis, al ries, deep work, entrepreneurial focus, Focus, the power of one, value of focus


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  1. Hi Nicola, thank you for your emails sending brilliant insights about your journey as an entrepreneur. I relate to many of the things raised on this topic. It is a curse and a blessing to be hyper resourceful and think on several ways of addressing a challenge or a problem.

    I see now that consistency and focus is the key to live a successful life. But which one comes first?

    Let us make this a challenge and talk about this in the near future.

    Sending radiant joy! Irma

    Irma

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