Losing focusBy Nina Kaufman, Esq.
Where’s your focus? Is it in “just get through today?” Or do you have a real strategy you’re working?
One year, it took 3 smack-me-in-the-head-with-a-brick experiences to get the lesson of focus, and to apply it to my business.
I’m driving down Interstate 75 from Gainesville (GA) to Orlando (FL) to get from one business conference to another. It’s a dull stretch of road. With dusk approaching, it lulled me into a stupor. Suddenly, B-R-A-A-A-A-A-A-P-P !!!!! I’m drifting into the left center lane, right in front of a dark green tractor trailer. I swerve to get back to the right lane. The truck driver honks again (Georgia highway version of the middle finger). A giant billboard of Jesus asks “Have you decided?”
I sprain my left ankle at the gym. Aieeee! My mind was elsewhere—probably thinking about business as I did elevated knee raises. I wasn’t paying attention. Stepped off a riser at an odd angle and went down like a sack of potatoes. It hurt like a somanabeach. Took the better part of 3 months to fully recover. Made hobbling around at networking events rather uncomfortable.
My father suffers a stroke while traveling with my mother in Portugal. It takes two weeks of wrangling with hospitals, doctors, travel insurance companies, and airlines just to get him medevac’d back to the United States. What I don’t realize then is what will follow: four years of testing, diagnosis, physical therapy, recovery, setback, hospital stays, rehab, long-term care, round-the-clock home aides, and weekly visits to my parents before Dad dies.
In all three situations, my focus was pulled away from where it needed to be.
It happens to my clients, too.
Their mind is elsewhere—busy with the day-to-day—so they’re not seeing the overall trends of the business until it’s in a danger zone.
They get hurt (one was skiing in Vail) or have a health challenge that restricts their availability.
Or a family crisis erupts (like, caretaking for a mother with Alzheimer’s) that pulls them away from their business significantly.
How can you bring your focus back?
- Know WHY. Why do you want to continue to build and scale your business? Write it down.
- Choose your priorities. Is it money? Visibility? Family? Build toward those.
- Befriend your numbers. Are your client engagements profitable? Are all those business expenses necessary?
- Stay healthy. Find ways to take the time NOW, or your body will find ways to make you take the time later.
- Thank the lessons. Your focus may have been pulled away … and maybe that’s telling you something.
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