Focus. It is an often used word that is part of the foundation of success. I remember as a little boy taking a magnifying glass and catching the rays of the sun above a leaf. As those rays became focused the leaf would start to burn.
To have success in business and life we must remember the lesson of the magnifying glass. Yet as often as the word focus is used, in reality, it is applied much less often. For the self-employed business owner keeping focus on what’s important is always a challenge in running a small business.
Several years ago I had a client who was in the financial services business. In terms of talent, understanding his product and service and connecting with his clients he was exceptional.
Focus—Do One Thing At A Time
He had a good business but was worn out. He wanted to quit. In personal business coaching one of the most common situations I collaborate with a small business owner on is focus. This man had a good business but he was working himself to nothing. Twelve hour days were the norm.
I asked him if I could spend some time as an observer in his office for a couple of hours. All I wanted to do was to discover how he conducted his work day. After 2 hours he had started into 8 different things and had not completed one. Also, he had had several different ideas on how to refine and improve things.
You can do many different things but if you aren’t completing any of them it ultimately robs you of your sense of accomplishment and energy. When you focus on one thing at a time and it can be completed it will absolutely change your attitude about your work and your energy.
Focus—The Key To Small Business and Personal Success
How do you go about telling someone that is having financial success that they are in reality heading toward failure? I start asking questions. It turned out that my client loved creating things. During a work day he could create 20 different things and finish none.
He always felt in a state of overwhelm. Then, after 5 he managed to focus and finish many of the things he started. Was it the nature of his business or work day that was getting in the way? No.
The problem was how he approached his work day. Once he saw how he was working he was in shock. He started to understand that being focused was going to be the key to his personal and small business success. More importantly, with focus he had an opportunity to regain his energy.
Focus—Bring More Energy And Success
When we scatter our attention throughout the day and finish very little it will have a negative effect on our attitude and our energy. We started by prioritizing my client’s activities. We looked for those things that had to be accomplished and put them at the beginning of the day. By 11 AM on most days he had the satisfaction of accomplishing several things.
Interestingly, when his focus went from creating and refining to completing what he had created or wanted to refine his sense of self-worth rose. As his sense of self-worth increased so did his energy.
And with his increased energy he started making better use of his time. All of us rich or poor have 24 hours in a day. How we use our time depends on our energy. With focus we can better manage our energy. And, the result for my client was that with increased energy he made better use of his time reducing his 12 hour days to between 8 and 9.
Very often, success is a reflection of the energy you can put into something. With more energy you will better use your time. The key is to remember the power of focus. To have the business and life you desire all you have to do is focus.