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How to focus: part 1

If you’re a small business owner, and especially if you’re a one-woman-band / solopreneur, finding focus (and sticking to it) can feel impossible.

A single day can include fulfilling orders, answering emails, scheduling social media posts, ordering stock, trying to fix that thing on your website, wondering whether you should invest in advertising, uploading products, taking photos, and on and on and on.

Whew! Can you see why you feel exhausted?

A big part of my work with clients has been to cut through the noise and find the things they really need to focus on – and then prioritise them.

This week and next, I’m sharing focus tips, reminders, and to dos that will help you to focus and find more ease in your business.

Today: It’s part one, and we’re starting out with WHY a lot of small business owners don’t stay focused. (You may recognise yourself in this list)…

5 Top Reasons Creative Business Owners Don’t Stay Focused:

  • We overestimate what we can do in the short term. We think things will take 10 minutes when they really take half an hour. We think we can get a wide variety of things done in a single day, task-switching merrily. We are wrong.
  • We underestimate what we can do in the long term. We dream small because we’re really tired from all our overestimating in the short term. This is the twin sister of the point above, and they’re both brilliant observations by Gretchen Rubin.
  • We underestimate the effectiveness of focus. The biggest secret of business is that focus actually works. Going all in on one thing feels vulnerable because we think we have to do everything. But time and again, it pays off. Big time.
  • We don’t trust we’ll get to it later. We carry all the to dos over to our daily lists because we think we’ll forget. So we’re just thinking about a million things, all the time.
  • We don’t trust we’ll choose the RIGHT focus. OOOOOOOH, this is a big one. The vulnerability of committing to a thing. Let me tell you: you know what you really want to focus on. You know how to get resources and support if you’re not sure of specific steps.

Sound familiar? All the more reason to start seeing focus as the key that unlocks your potential…

And I’ve been there too! I like shiny things. I like ideas. I like creating. It is HARD to commit to one thing (more on that in a minute). But the last couple of years, and especially the last 12 months, have been more and more focused for my business – and it has massively paid off.

Plus I see this all the time with my clients. The focus of creating a new collection and working towards the launch. Focusing on a clear customer desire and meeting it. The clarity of working on a new website to completion before adding in any other projects.

It works.

Focus actually makes us MORE productive, profitable, and effective. Which leads to more success, happiness, and satisfaction.

By focusing, you get a sense of completion, you start trusting yourself more, and your confidence grows. You work on the things that uniquely right for you – and seriously, that’s just the best.

So here’s what you, dear one-woman-band, need to let go of…

You have to let go of comparison, distractions, and what other people are doing.

Choose two or three projects to focus on at a time and commit to them.

If (when) something else comes up, put it one a “to consider” list for when you have space to take on your next project.

Join me next week, when I’ll be sharing real-life examples of client projects and how to focus them. (And I have some exciting news!)

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