Archive for Staying Focused

Focus: a vital skill in the Age of Distraction.  Simple but not easy, I know!

Here’s a great article and acronym from a blog by Joel D. Canfield, a consultant who helps virtual assistants grow their business.
He wrote:
“The most important aspect of your business is what’s happening between your ears right now.  How you think is your greatest asset—or you greatest liability. I’ve recently discovered two people who not only understand this, but who know how to help the rest of us get a grip on it. Wendy Kerr and Elisa French share their keen insights at their website Business Breakthrough Now.
This morning I read their latest, a great piece on focus which used the acronym I stole for my title. Their focus was on positive thinking; to choose some specific aspect of a positive mental attitude, then look for ways to implement it throughout the day.
I have trouble focusing. It’s not a medical issue. It’s because I find virtually everything fascinating. I have ideas all the time. Good ideas, I’ll wager. Then, I try to make them all realities. At the same time.  If you find yourself, at the end of your day, or week, or month, pondering what you got done on this, that, and the other projects, comparing which you made progress on and which languished—ask yourself whether each of these projects is directly supporting your primary business or life goal.
Goal. Singular. As in one single primary goal for your business. One single primary goal in life. It’s hard to narrow everything you love down to a single overarching goal. It’s also incredibly powerful.  FOCUS. Follow one course until successful.”
What one thing are you going to focus on today, this week, this month to grow your business?

http://www.findvirtual.com/profiles/blogs/follow-one-course-until

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Feb
12

Success from the Inside Out

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In my last post, I ended with this statement:

“The most solid foundation for your success comes from—can you guess?—you. ” 

I confess, I’m an “inside out” girl.  I believe your success starts from the inside out.  You can be so much more effective when you know and understand yourself and how you operate..a missing ingredient for many people.   When you know who you are, you can easily filter in what works, and filter out what doesn’t, based on your personality, learning style, and time constraints. 

Knowing yourself  gives you decision making criteria so you can sort through the marketing pressure and hype.  You can tell whether a particular business model, marketing technique or info product is  something that you can actually use and benefit from.

In these times of information overload, and the vast array of marketing options and ways to design our businesses, it’s even more important than ever to understand who you are,  and how you operate, what your values are, and who your target audience is.   

Why? Because the Bright Shiny Objects are getting brighter, shinier, and more plentiful by the day.  As the number of information products, trainings and channels to market ourselves mutliply, so does the need to discriminate, to know who you are and to have an internal navigating system.  That’s ever more critical to staying focused, on track and making some money. 

Making money?  Oh yeah..that!   

Clearly there is much to learn, and clearly there are plenty of people willing to teach us. But even good business advice comes in different flavors, and we have to find what works for us. The problem is that every “guru” has a different recipe for us, and it’s so easy to run from pillar to post, following the latest advice.

Ultimately then, you need to find your own internal home base.  A place from which to sort through and choose a business model and marketing strategies that make sense for YOU and YOUR business.  From home base, you are grounded in yourself, and know your priorities, values and who you are.  

That gives you the power to navigate through your own “gremlins” or vulnerable areas, like perfectionism or feeling “Not Enough”.  You can find that  sweet spot where you are not yet perfect (and don’t have to be) but know that you are indeed “ready enough” to take action.

Are you ready?  Then come back to visit here often…and in the meantime, watch out for those Bright Shiny Objects!

To your success and sanity,

Ellen

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Feb
11

SoloPreneur: Know thyself first!

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Are you rushing breathlessly ahead with your business plans and marketing without a clear vision, strategy and plans of action?  Are you putting the How before the Why?

Here’s my response to an excellent post by Richard Goutal on his blog, Fitting the Pieces, which is about collaboration and internet marketing.   We met at the Online Revenue Workshop together in Las Vegas, with Jeannette Cates and Connie Ragen Green, and I am very impressed with his knowledge and generosity. 

To succeed in any business–especially as a solopreneur, we need to have clear answers on this: who am I, what strengths  and talents would I enjoy offering in a way that meets my customer’s needs?  Who am I trying to serve, and what is the best way to reach that audience?

Following the clarion call to “Take Action Now!” many seem to rush  ahead or get caught up will-nilly with the latest Bright Shiny Objects.  It seems especially true with internet marketers. With all the hype, the constant email barrage about the latest technology we MUST (or are intimidated into believing we need) in order to succeed..and all the things we feel we must know about before we can start a business, it’s way too easy to put the How before the Why.   That’s the  double edged sword of online businesses where there’s a relatively low cost to get started and a plethora of  models to choose from. 

Can you imagine trying to create an offline business without a clear idea of what you were selling or who you were selling it to?  No one who had any serious desire to succeed would even consider that.

I’m not taking a stand against taking action.  We all get it that without action, the best made plans of women and men will languish in our idea journals, or on our hard drive.  For those of us that may be more introverted, analytical or slower to act…getting lost in inquiry and introspection or even planning and generating business ideas, can be a trap,  where we can get bogged down for years.   Trust me on that one.

Discrimination is key–taking the right action, the strategic action, the action that makes the most sense NOW and will get us where we want to go faster and easier..that’s the challenge.  How much to plan, how much research to do, before we jump in? When is someone ready, or ready enough, to get their business into motion?

Perfectionism and the need to have it all figured out in advance can be a huge obstacle.  Here’s a very different philosophy, which I heard Michael Port express when he was building his Book Yourself Solid platform: “Ready, fire, aim”. That certainly has worked for him.

But I don’t think it does for most people.  

The most solid foundation for your success comes from—can you guess?—you.   

Yup.   It’s that simple.  More on this next post!

To your success and sanity,

Ellen

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