We have talked about the importance of having laser focus in business (Missed it? CLICK HERE!). Then we gave an example of how to go from totally distracted to ready to rock the to-do list (Read More - CLICK HERE!).
Now we are going to start laying it all out and teach you exactly HOW to create focus for your business. Here are six rather simple steps to creating focus…and you can begin applying them today!
1. Have Your Task List Ready
The whole purpose of creating focus to begin with? Get that daily task list done. If you have done your planning well, your daily to-do lists should contain only actionable steps.
The to-do list is not the place to put items like “be more active on social media”. That is a goal, not a step you take toward the goal. If your task is not do-able, it is likely a goal and you need to break it down further.
For example, to list “work on my novel” gives you no direction at all when you sit down to work. A task like this is workable: “complete outlining chapter 7 of novel”.
The first step to focusing is to have something to focus on, so have your daily to-do list well-ordered and full of actionable steps, written down, and handy.
2. Create a Focus Zone
One of the most powerful things you can do to help your focus is to create a special area for you to do your mentally intensive work in. As much as possible, tailor it to what thrills your soul and keeps you positive and relaxed.
For one person, that area might be a desktop computer, whiteboards on three walls, classical music in the background, and a “Nerds Will Rule the World” poster on the wall. For another it could be patchouli incense, a nature view, a fountain on the desk, and vision board on the wall.
The goal is to create a space where you are relaxed and prepared to let the success juices flow. After some time of consistently using this space, just like Pavlov’s dogs, your mind will begin to salivate, eager to get its work done, once it senses you are in that special place to focus. The specifics of that place you created are one giant trigger that says to your mind, “It is time to get down to business and focus”. It really does make such a difference!
3. Stay True to Your Niche
Most entrepreneurs are running over with great ideas and skilled at taking a project from an idea to an action plan. They tend to be good at starting projects. Not so many are as good at finishing them. Sure, there will be times when you give a project the ax for good reasons, but more often than not, those unfinished and unforgotten projects should not have been started to begin with.
If you want to be successful, commit to focusing on one niche ONLY, until that project is running smoothly and maintaining it is somewhat routine. Then, perhaps develop a business in a second niche.
Let all your business activities revolve around that one niche. Don’t be unfaithful to it by dilly-dallying around with other niches too. Give it your undivided attention. Turn the back burners off and make a masterpiece out of what you are cooking up on the front burner. That’s much better use of the asset of YOU.
4. Dump What Doesn’t Work and Expand on What Does
This tip assumes that you monitor your business so you know what is working to improve your bottom line, and what isn’t. The approaches that fall flat…. let them go, as they are a waste of the resource of you. And when you find what the sweet spot is for your customers and it works…do more of it, perfect it, continue with what is working.
Here is an example from one of my own businesses past….
I created a cosmetics line. Initially, I only sold it online…on eBay, my own site, and Amazon. I did well with it and was pleased with the results for the time I put into it. Then, I had a local boutique ask if I’d be interested in doing makeovers at her shop. I found that…I kid you not, 100% of the people I did makeovers on bought my line. About ¾ of them bought exactly what I recommended and had used on them. My results with one-one-one blew my pretty decent results from internet marketing out of the water!
As a result, I immediately got to work on creating a consultant program for doing home parties since once people tried it, they were hooked. Experiencing the cosmetics first hand was the sweet spot. I did not eliminate all my internet marketing, but I did quit selling it on eBay and fine-tuned what I was offering on Amazon. The website became more of the place where customers reordered than a place I tried to drive new potential customers to. My focus was more on what was working extremely well, and much less on driving web traffic.
To develop focus in your business, do likewise…. ditch what isn’t working and run with what is.
5. Outsource What You Stink At
Few people are so competent in every area of business that they could not benefit greatly by outsourcing some of their duties. It frees you up to focus on the things you DO excel at.
It doesn’t make much sense to take hours to learn to do something you don’t enjoy doing and have no natural aptitude for, when you can get somebody else to do those tasks while you focus on the areas you ARE gifted in.
If you can make $100 an hour writing, why would you waste a whole hour trying to do a social media graphic, when you can have them made for next to nothing? If you are serious about your business, that hour you are not spending wrestling with Canva is another hour you can write…. which should pay for the graphic and leave plenty left over for you.
That is the power of outsourcing. Learning to let go and outsource is a game changer for a lot of business owners. It absolutely changed the way I personally do business. I focus on what I am gifted at and others do most of the rest. No more never-ending learning curves, struggling to do tasks I hate doing, and feeling all spread out…unfocused.
Want focus? Outsource.
6. Don’t Go it Alone
Being an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart. It takes a certain amount of courage, determination, and what I call bounce-back-ability. Anyone who says they have never failed, has certainly not ventured much, because “failures” and struggles, doubts, confusion…. they will happen. What differentiates the successes from the wanna-be’s is how they respond to them.
Successful people are never a success in isolation. Like it or not, when we can all get along, we are better off together than apart and need one another. It is more against our nature to be a lone ranger than it is to fellowship and with so many resources for support available today, you never need to go it alone anymore.
Explore Facebook groups and communities, get a coach or mentor (worth it if you choose wisely), buddy up with an entrepreneur friend if nothing else. Find people you trust and respect and then actually go to them with your concerns, struggles, questions, or when you are just having a bad day and need somebody who understands to say “hang in there, it’ll all be fine.”
These places are also where relationships form that can lead to collaborations, bartering relationships and the like. Other business owners are not your enemy, but can be your greatest asset.
Don’t know where to start?
In summary, to create focus in your business, you want to work in a special focus area you created to meet your needs, armed with a written task list. Stick to your niche, and stick to doing what you are gifted at, outsourcing the rest. This type of focus will perfect your strengths.
And don’t be a lone ranger…reach out, ask questions, develop relationships focused around your business. These habits will prune away the distractions and time sucks so you can focus on what truly means the most to you, sharing your passion through your business.
This list is just a starting place for developing focus. Are there tips you have found particularly helpful when it comes to creating focus in your business? We’d love to hear about them!