Apr 3, 2006

I Gotta Get FOCUSED!

Welcome to Flo's Business & Fun Blog

Hope your day is starting off beautifully and that your weekend was great! Today's article is about being focused or unfocused in your business. Is it the home business of your dreams or is it more of a hopeful frustration? Brian is sharing the kind of focus that is needed to run a successful business, read more below...

Daily Thought
"Work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed."
~ Vaclav Havel ~

"I Gotta Get FOCUSED!"
by Brian Schaeffer
© All Rights Reserved
HTWFH eZine Editor

Are you working long hours everyday on your business, but you don't seem to accomplish much?

Oh sure, you can tell anyone what you've spent your time on!

You're in there every single day, religiously creating marketing projects, answering email, helping customers, making new contacts and generally doing all the things good business owners do!

Do you have a lot of fantastic ideas, many of which are in the process of translating into some dynamite projects?

Really. You've got a GREAT idea, nothing ever like it before. You're going to make a killing in sales! And about half way through, you come up with another GREAT idea. You start to enthusiastically pursue it! Whoa. Wait a minute. What if I...

...and few of them are ever actually completed.

Are you realizing the home business you dreamed of, or is it more of a hopeful frustration?

If this sounds familiar - and most of us can claim it at least once in awhile - then you might be the victim of an unfocused, undisciplined mind. (No If you're suffering from this, you can attest to the wrack and ruin it's bringing to your business. A disaster!

In business, an unfocused mind is akin to trying to vaguely hunt a Rocky Mountain Ram!

Bear with me on this for a minute.

Can you smell the pine on the wind and the grasses at your feet? Can you picture the rugged terrain?

There he is! Your target. How magnificent and inspiring! This is the animal which had you up at three in the morning, sneaking over miles of treacherous ground.

You see him. He doesn't sense you. You slowly lift your rifle, aim carefully, click off the safety, breathe out, settle your aim and gently start to squeeze the trigger.

BUT NO! What's that? A better target!

An eight-point buck! Wow! Oh, you always wanted one. You shift your aim and ...

What was that tawny flash? A cougar. Stalking the buck.

Oh man, oh man, oh man! A cougar!

Ram. Buck. Cat.

No, you are here to get a ram, so ram is what it'll be. You shift back to the ram, but he's bounding over the ridge!


Take the shot!

Phuuuuuuuuut. Whoops.

You had grabbed your son's BB gun instead!

The little round shot bounces and skips off the rocks forty feet away. It's going so slowly, you can actually watch it fly through the air as it hits and bounces, hits and bounces.

Kind of like your heart. And it goes lower and lower with each bounce and skip... and comes to a stop.

[Okay, okay. I'm finished with my wild west, New Mexico hunting scenario!]

Unfocused business is precisely like that.

The height of elation! The distraction of invading choices. The deep loss of unaccomplished intentions.

Does this sound familiar too? Especially when seen through the lense of the disappointing results of all the hard work and effort you've put into your business?

Don't despair! There is a remedy!

One of the key traits of successful entrepreneurs that has been consistently identified through multiple surveys is the ability to focus the mind and carry a project through to completion without allowing distractions.

In fact, focus is also one of the main points to basic training in the military. The generals want focus in their troops so that their side can win no matter what gets thrown at them.

Now, some see this as a one-minedness or harshness, but the reality is that this kind of mind-set gets things done! In addition, once learned and mastered, focus can be turned on and off like a lightswitch!

No, focus is not the result of an Abbott & Costello Frankensteinian brain transplant!

This very same characteristic is a learned ability and applies to all business owners whether their enterprise is large or small.

The kind of focus that is needed to run a successful business entails being able to start and accomplish a myriad of smaller tasks, aligning them to complete larger endeavors, and coordinating those into a finished product.

Successful focus is a matter of planning, deliberate behavior and extensive practice. (I know, I know; many of us would rather watch the Abbott & Costello movies!)

Sure, it's hard at first. Yes, it's work, and dang difficult work for some of us!

BUT, the alternative to developing focus in your business is more of the same sad consequences. More changeless, disappointing, frustrating results. More of the unvarying, unsatisfying lack of sales.

There are some analogies to be made with managing a home based business. (Oh, oh, here comes that hunting thing again!)

First of all, while hunting, there are times when our hunter was focused... walking across difficult ground, being aware of surroundings and aiming the rifle, but notice that it is momentary focus; just long enough to accomplish some small task. In business, focusing on little tasks alone does not a sales make!

Second, if the hunter gets distracted and takes his eye off his target, he generally ends up with nothing. Distraction is one of the biggest headaches for a home business owner. Most of us have other obligations in addition to our work - kids, spouses, phone calls, housework, etc. There are also business distractions. Emails, paperwork, etc. It is sooooo easy to get wrapped up in little distractions! Yes, our family is important, and yes, we must make time for them and make them our top prority, but they need to know when you're working and unavailable. Yes, email is important, as is our business paperwork, but as the Bible states, "There is a time for everything...."

The best answer to distractions is scheduling. Make one, accommodate everything necessary and set priorities. Then stick to it!

Third, all the preparation in the world won't do one any good unless it's the correct kind of preparation. Wrong rifle. Whoops.

Make sure the proper components, tools and information are in place before starting an activity.

I was speaking with one of our town's public school custodians recently, and he was complaining that tasks took so long because he had to go get this other tool, run and fetch that, find this... while he was in the middle of it all. I suggested that he take a few minutes, think through his activity, noting what he might need to accomplish it, and then gather all his tools and supplies before he started. It's simple, but a certain time saver and frustration buster! He's a happier man now because he's doing just that!

In business, especially a home based business, preparation is the key to a successful accomplishment whether writing an email campaign, putting together the next great package, designing a kicking advertisment, or participating in some joint venture. Knowing what you're going to do and how you're going to do it before starting gives a clear road map which, when faithfully followed, leads to a rewarding conclusion.

That's focus!

Brian Schaeffer is an author, educator and publisher of the How To Work From Home eZine. You can visit him at his websites: http://www.HowToWorkFromHome.Info, http://www.WellnessShop.com or http://www.GreatGiveAways.Info; or you can email him at: Brian@HowToWorkFromHome.Info.

Have yourself a Super Monday!

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