Focus: Mastery is impossible without it!

business man meditation yoga FREEDIGITALPHOTOS dot NET AmbroOne of the simplest and yet most difficult keys to personal and professional Mastery is “focus.”

I’ve had times in my life when I’ve been highly productive. I’ve also had times when I’ve fully embraced the proverbial analogies of herding cats, running on ice or juggling too many balls.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has days like this…

I work furiously for ten hours, I’m exhausted, I’ve checked a dozen items off my to-do list––

And I’ve accomplished absolutely nothing! (At least it feels that way.)

The problem is usually focus. It’s one thing to get a lot of things done––it’s quite another to get anything done that’s going to produce meaningful results.

One of the best examples I can give you is that of prospecting for new business. If you run your own business, I’m sure you can identify…

We have an extremely high closing ratio. Other people in our business ask how we’ve achieved this––and they usually don’t like the answer.

If you’ve been in business any length of time, I’m sure you’ve heard some expert say, “It’s a numbers game.” This strategy simply says that if you want more business, you’ve got to pitch more prospects. That’s true to a certain degree, but we learned to pitch to fewer prospects and it’s working better for us.

We learned to pitch only to prospects who are highly likely to purchase our services. That requires a little research, but research time is a very good investment. We only want to invest time and marketing resources with prospects who are most likely to need and want what I do.

Before we learned to focus, we spent even more time making ice cold calls and sending emails to people who were never likely to book me. Our closing ratio was extremely low as we were pitching prospects whose needs and interests simply didn’t fit my theme or philosophy––we weren’t even on their radar and as a consequence, we were wasting our time and money…

And we wasted a lot of money!

Operating with a very limited marketing budget, we ended up sending less effective materials to more prospects. To be blunt about, we cheaped it out!

Now that we focus on likely matches––we send an impressive package to likely prospects. Each package is a serious investment, but the likelihood of closing an opportunity is much higher. We can afford to make a better impression––and one that lasts should that prospect not be ready to buy today but may be very interested in doing business in the future.

Be The Best Joe CallowayI also learned to focus on what I do best instead of trying to be all things to all people. My dear friend and mentor Joe Calloway wrote a whole book about it: Be The Best At What Matters Most. Read it!

My experience and expertise is in developing the character and mindset of leaders and people who want to become leaders.

When I first got into this business, I tried to cover several other areas––including more technical business functions and processes. Those are important too, but not my passion. I’ve been in business a long time, I know as much about sales and customer service as most people in business––more than plenty.

However––that’s not what I’m best at. I’m best at helping people become leaders and helping leaders become better people.

The less I allowed myself to be distracted––or attracted to other shine objects, the better I became at delivering my message and providing much more substantive and tangible value to my clients.

Simple––I did a much better job when I stayed focused––and people responded.

Marketing and promotion are important, but the best marketing tool you have at your disposal is the quality and value of your work.

The net result of all this focus was surprising. It shouldn’t have been.

2016-03-15 15.21.19For years I taught my martial arts students that focus was the key to applying power effectively and efficiently. I told them not to confuse power with exertion––that it’s more effective to hit your target with a BB than miss it with a canon!

I had to discipline myself to apply the same focus to my business that I had in my arts––and that wasn’t easy.

It might not be easy for you either––especially if you’re ambitious, hard-working and conscientious. Like me, you might not feel you’re accomplishing anything unless you’re going balls to the walls at all times––even if you’re tipping at windmills.

Focus is the key to applying your skills, talents and energy in the most effective way and to the most productive and meaningful ends.

The fact is that with focus, you’ll very often find that you can produce more in less time. This also gives you time and energy to spend on higher level thinking and on activities that can make a much more dramatic impact on your business and your life.

Focus gives you time and energy––to focus.


Additional resources to help you focus…

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