You are running a business, you need to treat it as such.
If you treat your business like a hobby, It just won’t do very well, If you don’t take it seriously, If you give it a half assed effort, if you don’t focus on your business, If you label it as a side hustle, or you give it less attention than it deserves, then you are dooming that business to failure.
When you are doing something, give it your full focus. I appreciate that you may well have other things going on, other businesses, other commitments, maybe you even work a job somewhere, and that’s fine. I’m not suggesting you have to give up on those things, not at all. You just need to focus on your business.
Your business, that is your future.
It is your legacy, It is something that is a direct reflection of the effort and thoughtful action you put into it. You may not have to spend all day every day working on your business. And by, ‘may not have to’, I really mean that you may not have the time or resources to do so.
You are, after all, only one person. However, in the time you spend engaging with your business, you need to give your business your full attention. If you have set aside two or three hours a day for your business, then in that two or three hours give your business your complete and total attention.
Focus is hard work, but your business is worth it, your business depends on it.
Attention and focus are not quite the same thing. Attention is involuntary, it is our perception of the world around us. We pay attention at all times, whether we like it or not.
Focus, on the other hand, is the very thing that people are talking about when they say pay attention. Focus is your ability to block out other things so that you can focus your thoughts and your attention on that one thing.
So focus on your business, it deserves it and you deserve it.
You want your business to succeed, so give it the energy and the focus that it requires and deserves. To do otherwise is to do it and yourself a disservice, to do otherwise let’s your business and the customers of that business know that your business isn’t that important to you. You and I both know that’s not the case.
Your business absolutely is important to you. Don’t let it seem like it’s not, don’t give the impression that it doesn’t matter, because it does matter. You don’t want it to suffer because you haven’t given it the attention that it needs because, what would have been the point in doing all the work that you’ve done thus far, if that’s what you’re going to do?
Focus on your business.
In the time that you have allocated to your business, nothing else matters. The same principle applies whether your business is part time and you’re doing it around everything else that you do. When you can only give it a couple of hours a day, or it’s full time and you’re cracking the whip for eight hours. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that you focus, you give it your undivided attention. You don’t allow yourself to be distracted and you don’t allow yourself to go off course.
You knuckle down, you get stuff done, and you focus.
As an example, let’s say you’ve allocated three hours per day for your business and in that time, you have marketing related things to do, and you have sales related things to do.
You have an hour dedicated to marketing, that’s every aspect of your marketing emails, socials, more traditional stuff like print etc., all the different marketing channels you’ve decided you’re going to utilise, you get that done and you don’t stop until the hour is up. You don’t do 10 minutes, and then go and have a cup of tea in the garden, you get on with it. No ifs, no buts, no distractions, no nothing.
Then you have an hour dedicated to sales activities, and that would include things like actually talking to people, having conversations to close those sales. To make those deals that have been set up by your marketing efforts. And in that time, you dedicate yourself to those activities. You do them, you don’t flounder, you don’t bail out, and you don’t let yourself off the hook. You just do it.
And then you have an hour for the more background tasks, the admin tasks and so on. And in that time (I’m sure you get the idea by now, but we’ll go through it anyway), you just do it. No ifs, no buts, no distractions, no nothing. You get those jobs done.
Magic just happened, did you feel it?
If you can do that then that means that those three hours that you have allocated to your business, because you have focused in that time and you have got things done you have achieved more than a lot of people do in 8 hours. Even if you haven’t actually finished everything because you’ve been too bold in your assumptions on what you can do in that time and you still have things left over that have been pushed to the next day, that’s fine, so be it.
The time that you’ve allocated to your business, that three hours, have been more productive than the average business owner is over the course of eight to 12 hours. So congratulations, you have focused, you have got shit done, and you have achieved something.
If you do that consistently, day in and day out, the results will follow. They will, it will happen, It can’t not happen. You keep applying the work you do over and over and over again. The more you do this, the easier it becomes to focus. The more you practice working without distraction, the easier it is to get stuff done.
When you put the effort in to focus, and the more regularly you do it, the more likely it is to become a habit.
And what a wonderful habit that would be, to be able to sit down for three hours of intense, focused work and get stuff done. Doing that, you will achieve far more in your business than most people do in 8 to 12 hours, because you have the secret weapon. That’s not really a secret. You have Focus.
Focus is a choice. Not everybody could actually sit down for an hour, and do the work without a break, without stopping. There is an element of recovery time required. Focus is hard work, it is energy intensive. And that’s fine. I just use that as an example, you need to figure out what works for you in terms of timings.
I know people, clients of mine, that couldn’t do more than half an hour at a time and they will need 15 minutes of recovery time before they can do it again. And that’s fine.
Your optimal focus period
Once you sit down and become self aware enough to know what works for you, what your optimal focus period is, then you can be more productive than anybody. Because you understand yourself, you understand what works for you, and you apply it consistently every day.
Over time, your optimal focus period will actually improve because it will become less energy intensive for you to get in the right state of mind to focus. It will become an easier thing to do. But you need to make it happen, It won’t happen by itself. You need to force it, you need to figure out what your optimal focus period is and then you need to apply that, settle down and focus on your work.
Get it done. There are no excuses.
There are no reprieves, there is no anything, your business relies solely on you. So, focus. Your business deserves it, you deserve success. Your business, in order to provide you with that success, requires and deserves your focus. Stop making excuses, stop messing around, just focus.
A while ago I wrote a list on my company website. A list of 13 things you can do and implement that will help you to improve your focus and it is well worth a read. Even if you only implement a couple of them, the change you feel in your ability to focus will be dramatic. You can find that piece here https://mikethebizguy.co.uk/Blog/9/13-top-tips-to-help-you-to-focus-and-get-the-job-done
I also wrote a blog post on this very site about understanding yourself if you would consider yourself to be a scatterbrain. That is also well worth a read, you can check that out here https://mybizacademy.co.uk/theres-power-locked-away-in-your-scatterbrain