As a small business owner; dealing with all of the issues all of the time can make it very difficult to stay focused on the right target.
Having run a number of my own businesses I know how easy it can be to think that you are focusing on the right things but what has taken your attention are the day to day issues; the immediate – problem solving.
It feels good when you deal with problems. It feels like you are busy and that you are keeping the business on track. Unfortunately it’s an illusion, a trick that the mind plays on the stressed.
Focus is an intangible skill, it’s easy to see it in others and sometimes hard to achieve for ourselves. We recognise people who are very focused in their activities, they are not easily derailed and they do not appreciate distractions. When in a focussed state people can seem somewhat unsociable and unfriendly but they are very effective.
There is only one goal when you are running your business and that is to drive the revenue and customer base so that your business grows; and that is where your focus should be. But life gets in the way: delivery problems, service problems, supply problems, staff problems. So you do what you have to solve those problems – your focus has shifted from the goal to the obstacle. When this happens it is time that you lose.
Time lost developing the business today reveals itself in 2, 3, 4 months time when order books and customer levels start to drop. To rebuild it takes time, sales made in haste to fill spare capacity usually have one thing in common they are discounted and margin suffers.
By focusing on the right goal it forces you to ask the right questions about your business. If you have issues diverting your attention from the goal your question should be, why? And the obvious next question, what can you do about it?
As Tony Robbins said:
“Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.”
When you lose focus on your true goal and you focus on the obstacles in the way, you stop asking the right questions and therefore you don’t get the right answers.
Business coaches will always get you to focus on your goal so that you can identify the steps and actions that will get you there.
There will always be problems that need to be solved. When you focus on the problem you deal with the symptom, when you focus on your goal you deal with the cause.
Making sure that you are focusing on the right thing in your business can be like looking through a pair of binoculars, sometimes you have to take them away from your eyes to get your bearings, and then you can pick up your target again.