When you boil it all down, success online is dramatically affected by only one thing!
I’m an entrepreneur, probably like many of you reading this, and can attribute my continued success over these 18 years to one basic principle, focus.
There it is folks, it’s that simple.The tricky part is learning how to keep your business focus.
In America, we grow up with the idea of the “American dream” and the belief that anyone can do anything or be anyone. The way our society is structured, I’d say that’s pretty much true. The greatest attribute of American business is that you can apply the same principles to your own ideas and business, you just need the drive and dedication to do so.
Maybe you won’t be a hundred-billion dollar company (I mean, you definitely could. The only thing stopping you is yourself), but you can still achieve consistent growth in your industry regardless of what it is.
One Thing Principle
Recently, a colleague and I were talking about success. Since he has given me good advice and friendly council over the years, he had my rapt attention while sharing pearls of wisdom from his 40+ year technology and business career. My friend asked me, “Do you know what the secret to success is?” Almost without letting him get the words out I said, “No, what?” After a dramatic pause he said, “One thing.”
I waited with bated breath for him to share this life-changing secret, expecting a “life hack” to give me a competitive edge in the market.
Nothing happened. He wasn’t saying anything.
We were just looking at each other in silence, until finally I asked, “And that ‘One Thing’ would be..?” A wry smile crept across his face. “I have no idea,” he said. “That’s for you to figure out. Whatever you decide, do it with all your heart and do it better than anyone else!”
I got the point. My friend had reinforced a principal so basic and so true that many of us seem to forget in the mist of the daily grind.
Focus and passion are what will set you apart in your industry. Not your personal wealth, last name, or social status; focus is what will help you ultimately achieve your goal.
“Do it With Passion, Or Not At All”
You need to be passionate about what you do. If you don’t believe in yourself, I can guarantee nobody else will. You’ll be surrounded by people selling short cuts or enticing you to play it safe and get a reliable 9-5er instead. In these moments, you need to solidify what you believe and why. Sometimes you’ll feel like giving up, you’ll fail and your dedication will be tested. But like Bruce Wayne’s father taught the future “dark night”, we fall so we can learn to pick ourselves up.
Marketer Gary Dahl made it big in the 1970s for doing just that. Maybe you don’t know his name, but you may remember his product. Dahl recognized a need in society and filled it in the most ingenious way.
Dahl was the entrepreneur behind the “Pet Rock”. A rock people! He had an idea and ran with it. And you know what, it paid off big time.
I’m willing to bet your business may be a little more practical and complex. But if that guy could make it, so can you!
Focus on Staying Focused
I’ve been there and I’m still there actually, battling to stay focused on my goals day in and day out. It’s easy to let your work dominate your life and have your passion burnout as a result.
The world around is zipping past. Maybe you’re missing out out on seemingly great opportunities or getting hackled by those around for working too hard and taking too many risks. Entrepreneurs are the dreamers, the inventors, and the initiators of change in society, so naturally we might seem like we belong in the nut house.
But, I implore you, DO NOT give up on your dream. It may take years, sacrifice, and struggle, but those hardships will be nothing compared to the defeat you’ll feel for the rest of your life if you give up now.
Over the years, I’ve put a system in place to keep me on track and stay focused on my goals. I’ll share them with you here:
5 Ways to Stay Focused
1. Surround yourself with the right people
“Birds of a feather…”. Spend time with like minded individuals who will support, encourage, and constructively criticize your actions and ideas.
2. Rest and center yourself regularly
Workout, meditate, pray…whatever your thing is, take the time to control your energy and quiet your thoughts. You need to learn to control your thought processes and you do this by exercising it.
3. Set limits and boundaries
If your work becomes your identity, it can permanently damage other ares of your life. Everything in life revolves around balance. Set specific workday hours and then when you get home, leave work tasks alone.
4. Ditch the tech for a while
What do we do after a long day? We plop down and zone out for a few hours in front of a screen. Our constant immersion in laptops, iphones, and tablets have been shown to have negative side affects like eye strain, ADD, and increased anxiety levels. We’ve become addicted to constant stimulation. Do you even remember what you used to do before the internet? Think about that.
5. Have a daily routine
Hold yourself accountable. Following a regular routine can reduce stress levels, prioritize tasks, and illuminate errors so you can address them more efficiently. Routines plan out your day so you can move from task to task without constantly worrying if you’ll have enough time to complete everything. Set time limits for each task you need to accomplish. This will reduce conscious, or unconscious, procrastination because you have enforced specific deadlines.
The principle of One Thing — Focus, is especially relevant when applied to the Internet. A singular focus is fundamental to answering the question; “What’s it going to take to do business on the Internet?” The numerous elements, tactics really, that go into the development of an effective e-Strategy for your small business are important, without question. But, more important than any combination of any element or tactic is simply focus!