As a kid I remember trying to start a fire using a magnifying glass and dry grass. I never was successful. Why? The short answer is that I lacked the focus. I was a kid with a cheap magnifying glass and no patience.
Many entrepreneurs exhibit that same lack of focus. What is it I need to do today? What do I feel like working on? Should I spend time on the marketing? Or client related issues? Or maybe I should check email again!
Small business owners accomplish a great deal more when they focus their efforts in one direction. So even if they only have 15 minutes today, and 30 minutes tomorrow, and 23 minutes and 17 seconds the day after that to work on their next initiative, they continue to make progress on completing their goal.
Compare this to a lack of focus where today you spend the 15 minutes working on a marketing initiative. Tomorrow you spend 30 minutes researching a potential client base. And the day after you spend your 23 minutes and 17 seconds on adding a Google+ account.
In the first example you have made over an hour’s progress toward accomplishing something big (and hopefully important.) In the second example you may or may not have completed a single task. Instead you have split your attention among three different endeavors that are now each just a wee bit further along than when you started.
If focus is what helps you to keep moving forward, strategic planning is what helps you to identify the project that is important enough to merit your focused time and energy. And ironically, strategic planning helps you to focus because it’s much easier to maintain a consistent focus when you are invested in the outcome and convinced of its importance.
What are you focused on? Is it strategically important to grow your business? If you answered no or you’re not sure, then it’s time to get fired up. Do some strategic planning, identify the critical strategies that are in your strategic leverage zone and get ready to start marking them ‘DONE’.
Have a great day!