What’s been going on with you lately? It seems like you lack direction or motivation. Do you need a refresher, a pick me up, or just a few minutes to get things back into perspective? It happens to the best of us – we work so hard that we develop end-goal blindness and suddenly we have a problem staying focused.
Do you remember why you started this crazy journey in the first place? I know that since you first set out to do the impossible, things have changed drastically. Your whole life, your schedule, the way you interact with your friends and family are not quite the same anymore. On the other hand, you’ve learned so many useful new techniques, you’ve seen some incredible entrepreneurs lightyears ahead of you, and you might be starting to question your own business and where it’s headed.
These are some things I’ve done that will help you when you’re having trouble with staying focused and getting back on track.
At all times, help one person.
When you start out, it’s almost like you know exactly what you’re doing because you don’t know much of anything at all. It’s during the learning and expanding phase that you start to feel lost, consumed, and a little bit crazy. As your business grows, so does your ideal customer. You attract a variety of people, with different personalities, who all want different things.
Of course, you want to help everyone. You want to be able to say Yes, I can do that, or Yes, actually I do offer that. It’s hard using the word no with people that you’ve grown to love and truly enjoy engaging with.
So, the smart and strategic way to solve the problem of being everything to everyone is to do a little digging and figure out what you can do to make at least most of your customers happy.
But, there’s a problem with that, too.
While you’re doing market research, you get a better of view of how many needs are unfulfilled and how impossible it would be to take care of them all.
You’ll start to question the direction your business is going and if anyone can really benefit from it. Listening to your customers doesn’t mean changing priorities every time someone suggests something new.
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Focus your attention on one person; your copy should speak to that person, your content should appeal to that person, your products should improve that person’s life.
You want to serve one and by extension, you’ll serve hundreds.
Be a leader, not a follower.
Social media is a dangerous drug – too much of it and it will literally make you sick. Sick with envy, sick with dissatisfaction, sick with unhappiness. Watching the lives of other entrepreneurs all the time will eventually discourage your own journey. Likewise, getting caught up in what’s trending and happening in the moment can make staying focused on evergreen content terribly difficult.
Go onto your social media accounts and do a complete purge. Unfollow the people who take up too much of your attention – the people you depress you rather than inspire you. Instead, follow people that spark creativity in you, that remind you of the freedom you have to build, and construct. People that make you feel powerful and included in a world bigger than yourself.
Make three extremely important lists
There are three lists to make when you find yourself drifting:
- A list of your goals vs tasks
- A list of creative desires (future, future plans)
- A list of what you have to offer
A list of your goals vs tasks – Do you know how to get your fire burning again? Working backward is such a powerful way to manifest your goals. Make a list of all the things you’d like to accomplish. What’s the next biggest thing you can do with your business? What is your overall objective?
Then, consider all the tasks that need to be completed to get there your way. Forget about how anyone else made it there. How do you think you can make that goal happen?
Making a list of all the things you need to do will give your life structure and purpose.
A list of creative desires – What’s the best reward for an entrepreneur? Being rewarded with better, more meaningful work. We do what we love so that we can afford to do more of what we love.
We’re nothing more than dreamers and creators, always thinking of bigger, unique and experimental ways to change the world. Yes, I like to think of myself as a scientist whose left side of the brain doesn’t always function correctly. What’s the one thing you really wish you could do, but you know you’re not quite there yet?
Think of your aspirations as an extension of your current business model. Those are the opportunities that will soon be available to you as long as you keep going. With each item on the list, think to yourself, If I said this out loud, would anyone think I was crazy?
The answer should be a resounding yes every time.
A list of what you have to offer – This is more like an acknowledgment of how much your business has grown since you’ve started. What value have you been able to provide to improve the lives of your customers? What kind of content have you created? What products have you designed? What services have you offered that help to make other people’s lives just a bit easier?
I promise when you’re done with this list your confidence will be renewed and you’ll have a better perspective of what you need to be promoting front and center.
Identify your entry level product or service.
I love thinking of the bigger picture and creating the steps it will take to get there. But, when you’re thinking abut that $300 product or a $500/month service, you’re isolating the people who just want to know whether or not you’re worth their time.
Make sure you have one inexpensive product that all new customers can benefit from.
Don’t think of all the other things you offer, just map out a way to get that one inexpensive product in the hands of as many people as possible. No one knows your awesome if they can’t afford to find out!
What’s your everyday routine?
The most important thing in business is remaining consistent. I’m a strong believer that if you keep pushing your brand, relentlessly in the same strategic manner over and over again that you must be rewarded. It’s a law of the universe – meaning it absolutely must happen.
Write down what you pledge to do every single day, no matter what else is going on in your life. Turn your daily routine into a habit that is just as important as taking a shower or eating. If you believe, as I believe that hard work is always rewarded, you will find passion reborn inside of you.
Join or start a mastermind group
You are who you choose to surround yourself with. But, we don’t always know how to make those genuine connections that speak volumes of our own ambitions.
If you have a bit of time each week, you can start a group where you talk with other people who have the same struggles as you do and bounce ideas off of each other. A well-structured mastermind group can help you to take your business to the next level. These are people who get it. They will be there with you to celebrate your wins and hold you accountable to your goals.
For a mastermind group to be effective, there are three things that must happen:
- There must be a leader
- There must be organization and structure
- There must be an end time
This is not meant to be a distraction or a means of procrastination. On the contrary, it’s a great method to use for when you need help staying focused and a decent alternative to hiring a business coach. When you’re starting a mastermind group, keep in mind the best way for every single member (I’ve never been in one with more than four people) can receive tremendous benefit.
Mastermind groups are great for me because I love to see people win. I also have great respect for brutal honesty. Everyone in the group knows that we’re there to make each other better entrepreneurs, so don’t hold back!
Realize you’re not alone.
There are some feelings I thought would disappear with my success that simply never go away. Feelings of fear and doubt are always right there with you, no matter how many goals you meet or how many things you’ve accomplished.
I imagine it’s like trying to climb a mountain. In the beginning, when you see just how large the mountain is, you’re constantly tempted to turn around and abandon the entire idea. By the time you get halfway up, you lose all sense of time.
You’re not sure if you’re closer to the top or closer to where you started. The only thing you know is that turning around would be admitting to that you’ve wasted all this time without ever knowing just how far you’ve gotten.
Then, you go a little farther, get a little higher.
Every step you take, climbing up the mountain of prosperity, there’s a voice in the back of your mind, whispering What if you fall?
It’s your job to question that voice, What if I don’t? What if I’m only a few steps away, just past this last cloud? What if I hold on, and refuse to break stride?
You never know when success is right around the corner. That’s the point. Feeling lost is something that will happen again. You’ll be distracted, disheartened, and afraid. People will try to talk you out of doing something they could never do themselves. Staying focused is always easier said than done.
I promise I know that. I get that.
But, it’s not impossible.
What do you find has helped you to stay focused in your business?