This week at our Legacy meeting we’re focusing on FOCUS! My friend and colleague, Jenifer Fox-Gerrits is going to be speaking on the topic. Jenifer is an ADD (attention deficit disorder) coach and consultant. While Jen has coached business owners most of her clientele are young adults.
So, why the focus on FOCUS? Everything that I’ve read and experienced says that the ability to stay focused and centered is a critical entrepreneurial skill. Believe me; I know how difficult it is to stay focused. Have you ever been cruising along on answering your email and then, SQUIRREL!, a link takes you to a website and then another and another…… (Have you seen Up!, the movie? I love where the dog gets so easily taken off focus when a squirrel runs by! I can relate!)
Focusing begins with understanding what’s important. I recently wrote a blog post on “What Matters?”. Once you do a little work around that topic, you’re ready to work on focus. “What Matters?” clarifies your vision, purpose and strategy-the what, why and how of what you do. That clarity gives you what you need to align your focus.
So, how does this work for the entrepreneur? On a daily basis we have a lot on our plate and so many opportunities to be “squirreled” off track. It’s easy to get to the end of the day and wonder where the time went and what on Earth did I accomplish. My best days are when I have a plan and then… work the plan! I usually need to make a list and then check it off. I also need to schedule time for phone calls and email. Otherwise, if I take calls and answer email all day long I NEVER get anything done! I know this strategy doesn’t work for everyone but for me, it does. Just last week, I was really behind on scheduling meetings with people. I simply made a list, and then, scheduled a time to call people to get on their schedule. If I hadn’t written it down and scheduled the time, no dice-I guarantee it.
I’ve also learned to make short-term, small goals. I have an overall business plan but I WORK my quarterly strategic plan. Have you been to my office lately? I have bright green paper with “The 80% Shift!” written on them posted all over the office. I just had my son hang up collages so we can put pictures of our Community on the wall. I’m reminded of “What Matters?” everywhere I turn.I’ve told my advisors that my word for 2012 is significance. We want to be of more significance to our members and clients than ever this year! They’ve been given special “permission” to hold me accountable to that. In other words, I can’t count on myself to stay focused. I need little tricks and I bet you might too! If you do, will you share them with us?
To YOUR success, Peg Stookey
About the author
Cincinnati Small Business Igniter
260 Northland Blvd, Suite 114
Cincinnati, OH 45246