The No Focus Conundrum
So many new business owners try to build a business with no clear target in mind. Their activities invariably end up scattered and unfocussed. They end up working hard but not really getting anywhere, spinning their wheels on a treadmill, busy but unproductive.
How could this be? Simple. They never set a target before they got going, they just jumped right in and started working, never knowing what they were working towards.
To put it in perspective, have you ever tried going on a trip with no destination in mind? Seems kind of ridiculous doesn't it? Well that's exactly what an entrepreneur who tries to start a business without a destination in mind does.
Set a target. Make sure what you do actually gets you closer to that target. Just like when you're going on a trip and choose roads that will get you closer to your destination.
Of course, there's more to it than just having a target, a destination. You must also have a vision. This vision is where you see yourself and your business being in the next 3-5 years. This vision is what will guide your shorter term goals and objectives.
Since 5 years from now is always 5 years from now, your vision must be dynamic and changing to reflect the changing situation. Where you see yourself 5 years from today will be different then where you will see yourself five years from now at this time next year.
At vital as a target and a vision are, there is one more vital ingredient here. Tenacity.
Or as I like to call it, persistence. I have written on the importance of persistence already but this is so vital that I feel I need to write about it again here. A lack of persistence is often the final nail in the coffin of an entrepreneur's business dreams. So many entrepreneurs quit just on the eve of success!
Just imagine it this way. You're a football player, you're team is down by 5 points with less than a minute remaining, but has the ball on the other team's 1 yard line and it's the 1st down. All you need to do to win the game is cross the goal line before the clock reaches 0. So what do you do? Quit. Forfeit. Let yourself lose. All you needed was 1 more yard and you won. Instead you quit. That's lack of persistence.
The persistent will continue, right up until the clock reaches 0. Persistence may not guarantee success. To return to that football analogy for a moment, the other team's defense may make a heroic goal line stand and defeat you anyways. The thing is, if you're persistent, you preserve your chance of winning, of succeeding. Without persistence, you've basically failed before you've even started, because you won't have the wherewithal to see it through.