Can you believe that almost 3 months have passed since the New Year’s celebrations? A few weeks ago, I read a quote about time on Forbes which basically stated that time is the only commodity you need to generate money. And it struck me how strongly I felt about it. I thought it was the rashest rationale ever.
First, you can’t leverage time! It is a man-made construct to satisfy our psychological need to anchor our perceptions from to moment to moment as reality that hold true forever and it comes into a finite packaging. 24 hours in a day; 60 minutes in an hour and 60 seconds in a minute; not one more! If you have only 24 hours to make money by “selling your time”, you can only make a finite amount of money. Now, if you are selling “value” as opposed to time, the more value you deliver, the higher the price, regardless of time.
Second, if that quote held true, then every single entrepreneur who had a plan, goal, milestones, or even the faintest idea of what the new year will look like in terms of revenue, would have achieved their objectives. We were all granted the same amount of time.
Is that what happened? Has every entrepreneur out there achieved their financial goals? If you have, congratulations! If you didn’t, why?
You probably have heard this anecdote before, when Bill Gates and Warren Buffet each took a piece of paper, and without consulting each other, wrote down what’s responsible for their success. They both chose the same word: FOCUS.
Focus is the hardest thing to achieve in business!
Starting a business, or a relationship, or a family, is not the big deal. Growing. Developing. Accomplishing. Finishing. That’s what creates value.
Focus means saying NO a lot. No to a hundred of good ideas. No to a role that is outside of your broadband. No to what doesn’t drive your business.
As the leader of your company, you should constantly refine and focus your vision on your business powers. There are 9 powers that drive value (cf. Business Powers Assessment) but here are the main four:
- Your customers
- Your solutions
- Your people
- Your numbers
The first one is obvious: without customers, your business doesn’t exist. End of the story.
The second one, your solutions, relates to your ability to continuously fulfill your promise to your customers in an ever-relevant way to satisfy them today and tomorrow.
Your people: your team and employees are the ones who actually represent your business internally and externally, upholding the company’s vision, mission and values. By carrying out business tasks and projects, they are a part of your value delivery.
And finally, your numbers! As an entrepreneur, understanding your pricing, cost, margin, profit i.e. financials is a MUST. You also must be able to anticipate your future cash flow needs before you miss a payroll or are left with two month worth of runway (cf. Financial Fitness and Financial Mastery).
As March Madness is about to start, there are many examples of focus in basketball that can translate to business. I will leave you with these two.
“Basketball is like photography: if you don’t focus, all you have is the negative. Dan Frisby”
“I would tell player to relax and never think about what’s at stake. Just think about the basketball game. If you start to think about who is going to win the championship, you’ve lost your focus. Michael Jordan”
If you have drifted and wandered for the past couple of month, now is your chance to regain focus, plug the hole in your productivity and increase your chances of success.
Author: Carine Dieudé, Partner, Director of Strategy, Entrepreneurship Aficionado – Growth and exit strategies, systems and operations, for startup, small and medium-sized businesses.
Altima Business Solutions, “Empowering You To Focus!”
Altima Business Solutions: We are business accelerators. We collaborate, mentor and advance entrepreneurs who are creating tomorrow’s jobs.