Things are usually fairly crazy when you run your own business, or if you are managing a large slice of the corporate pie. I don’t think there is a time when you can sit back and say ‘well, this is nice and calm’ – in fact, if you can, then it usually means something is about to go horribly wrong, in my experience! But no matter how chaotic things may be, and how many balls you are trying to juggle – one thing is always evident – FOCUS is key.
I am often being told ‘I don’t know how you do it!’, or in fact asked ‘how do you do it?’ – and the honest answer to the latter is quite often I wouldn’t have a clue; except for one thing.
From often hard-fought experiences throughout my career, I have learned that there is always – always – an absolute need to plan, prioritise time and energy – and above all else, focus.
The desire to chase the bright and shiny objects in business is there within all of us. How often have you found yourself going off on a tangent, only to come back a few days later (or a few weeks later), dollars down, head hanging, kicking yourself for not thinking things through, and asking yourself what the hell was I thinking? You seem to be moving in circles whilst others go forward in great leaps and bounds; why? Because their eyes are on the main prize, whereas yours are wandering like a magpie towards the always glittering ‘maybe’ just out of reach.
So many times – too many times – I have seen business leaders – good people, who should know better – losing their focus. Taking their finger off the pulse. Making knee jerk reactions. Responding to what others are doing instead of keeping focussed on their own direction and own end goal. Why? Because their focus has either shifted or simply isn’t there.
We all know a plan is critical but to keep heading in the direction you want to take – well, that takes focus. We all know that a rocket to the moon with no programmed course will basically keep going round and round in orbit; but a rocket with a program behind it, allowing for deviations for the prevailing conditions, understanding the mechanics of the mission – that involves smarts, determination, resilience and above all else, focus. Continual focus. And just like looking at an image without wavering tires out your eyes, so can commitment to a plan or a vision tire out your mind and your stamina.
So the question is how? How do you tame the tornado of ideas that are running through your brain? How do you rein in Hurricane You?
Sorry to tell you this, but no-one else can do this for you.
You have to take ownership of your plan, your direction, your ultimate journey. I have spent the last two weeks running the Business Planning Masterclass for our members and what it has shown me more clearly than anything is that the gift of time to stop, think, reprocess and truly focus on one’s goals is just that – a gift.
You are in charge of your own business destiny. And as Paulo Coelho says, “Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate and make sure you know exactly what it is you want. No one can hit their target with their eyes closed.”
Keep your eyes wide open. Use every second wisely. And take a time out. To breathe. And focus.
Give yourself that gift today. Trust me – it will be worth it.
Just one week to go until the Melbourne LBD Business Seminar on May 30. Be a Courageous Leader and book now to hear from Matt Church, Rachael Robertson, Suzie Hoitink and Karen Gately about how they found their business courage!