The Importance of Focus

Entrepreneurs usually try to do everything themselves; and because of their adventurous spirits may become distracted easily by what they see as business opportunities around them. This is a universal truth that may be applied to all entrepreneurs, both the successful and the not-so-successful. Many successful entrepreneurs do indeed have their hands in many pies, so what am I trying to say? I’m trying to emphasize focus on one step at a time; and one business at a time, until you reach the Sir Richard Branson-esque heights of entrepreneurial stardom.

In fact, let’s use the good Sir as a model. When he was much younger, he started a school magazine. While he toiled over getting it to success levels, he then started a young record label. After that came the stores, then Virgin Air, then the hot air balloon experiments and so on and so forth. He’s even got people to book flights to the moon, without yet having completed the virgin flight! So how do you focus when there are so many opportunities, ideas and potential business plans floating around in your head?

It’s no accident that Sir Richard’s businesses are successful. His focus on them occur on a daily basis. Of course, these days he can spend a bit less time on them, since he’s put in the time. But, until your business gets to the level of sustainability and profitability; and until you can hire staff to properly steer it forward, a certain resolve for success must be had. I know of a friend who is becoming exceptionally successful at Marketing, but sees the restaurant business as an opportunity. Now, if he were to abandon his burgeoning business to chase plates and knives, his Marketing company would suffer.

I’m not being pessimistic here. It is because I can see the level where he’s at; and his business cannot do without him at this very moment. He engages clients, he sets up meetings, he designs product…he is the chief cook and bottle washer. If he were to leave to focus on another business, his current one would suffer detrimental harm. However, if he waits about two to three more years, he just may be at the level where he could afford (financially and time-wise) to start up a small restaurant business.

Think focus. Steve Jobs type of focus. He is known to have set a task for a day and not reply to emails or even answer the phone while he was working on his Apple project. See what Apple became? That’s the result of laser-like focus on your business. You may be young; and the world is indeed your oyster, but don’t go chasing after other oysters when the one you hold may contain the most valuable pearl…at least for now!