Feature Image: LaylaBird
From passionate to ambitious, to motivated, relentless, creative, and visionary, there are so many traits that can help an entrepreneur rise to the top, but staying focused is the one ability that absolutely every business owner must have if they want their company to go big. Learning this has been pivotal in my business journey with Kardia. Without a strong and unwavering focus, entrepreneurs won’t be able to take their company to the next level, let alone reach their maximum potential.
Why The Right Focus Is Critical for Business Owners
You can’t have focus unless you know where you’re going and what it looks like when you get there. That’s why a detailed vision is so important for your personal life and for your company too. Your vision and your focus go hand in hand. They direct each other. As an entrepreneur, that vision starts with the reason you started your company in the first place, where you want to take your company now, and an understanding of the kind of impact you want to make with it in the world. Then, everything you do needs to align with that. If not, you will get sidetracked.
It’s important to remember that focus doesn’t necessarily mean completing tasks â€” sometimes, people get caught up in doing the same thing over and over again and they call that being focused because they’re checking things off a list. From personal experience, that can actually backfire on you. In one of my first companies, I spent a lot of time running from task to task and putting out fires. I felt busy and I was focused on whatever was in front of me at the moment, but what I didn’t do was check in to see how my focus was lining up with my vision and the impact I really wanted to create. As it turns out, it wasn’t. I was focused in the wrong direction and that took me completely off course, which was part of the reason why the business ultimately failed.
That’s why checking in with your vision, and making sure you’re always on track with it, has to be part of your daily focus. That way you know what you’re doing matters and exactly why and how it’s moving you toward your goal.
How Entrepreneurs Can Sharpen Their Focus
Just like time management and organization can be improved with effort, so can an entrepreneur’s focus. It’s all about self-awareness â€” business owners need to ask themselves what they really want out of life, what they want out of their business, and what they want out of the decisions that they make each day. When they have clarity on these three factors, they’ll actually know what they need to be focused on at any given moment.
If what you’re doing isn’t lining up with one of those three things, then why are you doing it? Checking in regularly and asking yourself that question often, is a great way to make sure you don’t get sidetracked by things that don’t truly matter to you and your bigger vision.
Poor Focus Versus Good Focus
As mentioned above, not all focus is productive or beneficial to entrepreneurs. Micromanaging is a great example. The hyper-focus might be getting a task done exactly the way you want, but in the long run it’s going to put your company at a huge disadvantage because everything about your business starts and ends with you. That’s not scalable.
A much better focus, and use of your time, is empowering and inspiring people with your bigger vision. That gives them a direction and clarity on where they need to go. Then all you really have to do as their leader is help by supporting them to do their job the best they can. Let them grow and learn, rather than focusing on whether a task got done in one specific way.
The best leaders have a great vision and communicate that vision to their team on a regular basis. They help each team member understand how they fit into the bigger picture and what they should be focusing on to help that bigger vision come to life. Which is why the focus for your team meetings should include a review of what’s happened, where the company is currently headed, where things are working and where they aren’t.
The more you get your team involved the more engaged and focused they will be. And by getting them involved more often to find solutions, your company will benefit hugely from their different perspectives because new points of view lead to new and better ways of doing things. You just can’t get that through narrowly focused micromanaging.
To Wrap It All Up
The ability to stay focused is the one trait that really helps entrepreneurs empower themselves to ultimately bring their vision to life. Understanding what good focus is and what bad focus is in business, makes a huge difference to your ability to move your company forward. And when entrepreneurs can sharpen their focus through better self-awareness, bringing clarity to what they really want out of their life and business, it helps them make better decisions, which leads to better results. That means there’s a much greater probability of advancing to the next level and having your company reach its full potential.