This one is for the people out there that I can relate to the most. This one is for the small business owners.

Focus is everything, and it's the hardest thing.

There is so much you are responsible for. There is so much you could be doing.

I get it.

This is why I'm so obsessed with my calendar. My calendar (and many other tools) helps me focus on truly what needs to get done each and every day. As things pop up throughout the day (which unexpected things always do for small business owners) - it helps me put it in a place where I'll know it will get handled appropriately, but allows me to stay focused on what I need to get done that day.

The greatest risk to a small business owner's day is a lack of focus.

The opposite of being focused is becoming overwhelmed.

Regardless of what kind of SMB (Small and Medium Business) you run, I can guarantee we share in similar challenges.

The basic stuff:

1. How to get clients / customers

2. How to hire the best people

3. How to be more efficient with our time

4. How to train people to do as many of our jobs as possible so we can scale our time

5. Finding the right kinds of technology tools to be the most efficient

The fun stuff:

1. Conceiving new revenue generators

2. Beta testing a new idea

3. Learning

The hard stuff:

1. Firing an employee

2. Firing a client

3. Saying no to revenue when it's the wrong kind

Focus is so important to even putting your best foot forward to attacking these challenges, let alone being successful at overcoming them.

Focus is not just the first step, its every step. It's the only step.

Additionally, focus is fluid, meaning it changes from one moment in time to another. It has to change. You're responsible for so much. Once you can own that your focus can change, it's like a stress relief. Ironically, it should allow you to focus even more.

How Small Business Owners Can Establish Focus:

Establishing focus is a three step process for any successful or aspiring Small Business Owner:

1. Goal - what are you trying to achieve, or what do you need to achieve? This can be as micro or macro as you want, depending on the day, mood or necessity of the situation. A macro goal can be something like ours - To Be The Best Client Services Company, Period. A micro goal could be - do a really fucking great job on the phone call pitch I have today at 3:30 p.m. or a task like - "launch website today at 6 p.m."

Your Goal is your most important part of establishing your focus, because it is what your focus revolves around.

2. Plan - I'm not the biggest fan of this step, but I've come to realize it's necessity in the process of staying focused. Planning is time that you could be working, but when you plan effectively, it allows you to both 1. Work in a more focused fashion and 2. Not forget to do important things (which is obviously critical for a Small Business Owner like yourself).

So planning can look like whatever you want or need it to look like. It can be a simple "to do list" that you think through and write out, or it can be an elaborately integrated process or project management system that you use to communicate with your team (or anything in-between). The most important thing is that you execute, which beings me to #3 - WORK.

3. Work - This is my favorite one. This is what the most successful and fulfilled small business owners do best - work their asses off. But when small business owners pull off the kind of work they know they're capable of around the goal and the plan they laid out, it's way different (in the good kind of way), than when they just are overwhelmed (unfocused) and plow through their day all stressed out.

Executing your work with focus is the most rewarding.

Executing your work with focus is the most fulfilling.

Executing your work with focus builds the best relationships.

Executing your work with focus maximizes your earnings.

In whatever way you choose to prioritize those things as a Small Business Owner, those are the things you'll achieve from becoming focused.

Whatever methods and tools you decide to use, remember to spend more time focusing.

Thanks for reading, watching and listening, and have a great day!


Paul Hickey, Founder / CEO / Lead Strategist at Data Driven Design, LLC has created and grown businesses via digital strategy and internet marketing for more than 10 years. His sweet spot is using analytics to design and build websites and grow the audience and revenue of businesses via SEO/Blogging, Google Adwords, Bing Ads, Facebook and Instagram Ads, Social Media Content Marketing and Email Marketing. The part that he’s most passionate about is quantifying next marketing actions based on real data.

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