I’ve been a life long learner; some in higher education and some in the school of hard knocks. Mostly, I’ve been blessed with opportunities. And while I’m no Dale Carnegie, I do feel wealthy in my life.
Years ago, in my first business, I fell in with a group of entrepreneurs who were constantly complaining about business, money, the economy, clients, and even dating. We always had a good time after work, celebrating the survival of another day, while spending our profits on drinks, food, movies, and other distractions.
Don’t get me wrong. These were amazing, creative, fun, and motivated people.
And we were all focused on the wrong things.
Here are 3 things to focus on for success.
1. Focus on what is working well.
Seems simple. But this is key for your success in business and life. You, your partner(s), staff, and contractors all have one or more gifts that they love. If used for the business, these gifts will bring profits, satisfaction, and rewards, allowing everyone to keep doing what they love.
This “Appreciative Inquiry” can be done with your entire company from time to time to see where to direct more of your resources. Ask yourself, your staff, and your clients ‘what is working well?’
Pouring money into areas that no one enjoys or have low profit margins, makes no sense unless there is a purpose, like a loss-leader that brings in new clients. An example is low priced business cards as a loss-leader for print shops.
Take time to focus on what works in your business.
2. Focus on what your client wants.
Obvious you say! If you’re not listening to what your client wants, to find their ‘need’ that lays just below the surface, you will never solve their problem and they may not return. Or worse, they may complain to others about you and your company.
A few years back, I had someone pitch me a product. They started the conversation by asking about me, my dreams and goals. Then they pitched a product that would never reach my goals. I had absolutely no interest in their product, yet they truly believed it would help me achieve my dreams.
Where was the disconnect?
We had different focus points. While we both wanted to help others get what they wanted, they had a belief that their path was a fool proof way of getting to my goal. Our approach at Blue Zoo Creative is to ask questions and really listen. We find out specifically what our clients want to do, be, and achieve. Next, we then FOCUS on finding others who have taken a similar path to reach these goals and learn the path. Then we show our clients the best path to reach their goals.
3. Focus on Your Goals and Dreams.
This one thing will propel you the fastest to success. An ancient Greek phrase, credited at least once to Socrates, says, “As within, so without.” Another variation is “As below, so above” from Hermes. In other words, what you focus on in your mind and dreams, will eventually be created ‘without.’
“That sounds like a lot of new age hooey,” you say?
The principal is sound. What you focus on expands. If you decide that you want to buy a green Volkswagon Beetle, suddenly you start seeing them everywhere. Each day you make decisions that either move you towards your new car or away from it. When you stay focused on your goal, you start taking steps, like saving money, that move you closer and closer. Finally, you’re driving off in your new GREEN Volkswagon Beetle!
The same thing works in business. Leadership must have clear goals and vision that are communicated regularly to your team. Heck, go a step further and communicate it to your clients!
Reach out to your entrepreneurial community and talk about what is working for you and for them. Celebrate each small milestone. And, remember to revisit your goals and keep expanding.
Working on our goals, I had the question, “Does an ant focus on the city that surrounds it, or does it focus on the crumb it’s carrying?”
We too can get bogged down in the minutia of life. Fortunately, we’re not ants! Take time to look up from your daily routine to see the big picture.
What is your focus? What are your dreams and goals?