As someone with a driven mind, I’ve both been accused of being unable to focus and also of being too hyper-focused at times.
You know what? It works both ways.
But “focus” is still one of those keywords in business and success, and it’s one I’ve learned to deal with as a leader in the home service industry and in coaching leaders for the past few decades.
And I can’t emphasize the importance of focus for success and knowing how to focus on the right things.
But too much, too little, or focusing on the wrong things will wreck your business. Believe me; I’ve seen it and done it.
I don’t want you to make the same mistakes, so let’s dive in and level up our leadership, my friends.
In my time working with clients, I don’t think I’ve ever had someone tell me they weren’t “growth-oriented.”
Can you imagine if someone came up to you and said something like…?
Nah. I’m happy with exactly where I’m at. I don’t want anything more or to improve at all.
I’m always for being grateful and accepted who you are, and your purpose, but part of that is striving to be the better you and step into your greatness.
So I hear it all the time. “I’m a growth-oriented person.”
Sure, sure. But growth is about change. It’s about wrecking certain parts of yourself, so you make room for the new awesome you.
Do you want to grow? You need to take some time to work on your focus.
But I AM focused.
Yeah, sure. Are you really? Do you keep the goal in mind with every act?
Do you reflect and act based on your goal and purpose?
Are you someone who lets the world, excuses, and other things get in your way and slow you down?
No one wants to answer yes to all these, but you might be.
And it’s time to reflect on focus and see where we might be able to wreck some things in a positive way, if you will, here and there.
Focus And Wrecking Business
Today I really want to talk about your focus and how it can be wrecking your business.
Focus is simply an act, and it can be good or bad.
But today, I want you to realize there’s no good or bad.
There’s just focus.
If I’m focused on why this industry sucks, then that is what it is.
You’re going to continue to get reminded why the industry sucks.
But if you’re focused on being the leader that can learn, develop, evolve, grow, and step up, then that’s what you’ll see.
You’re the right person to lead this business through these challenges.
The focus itself doesn’t care; it’s just simply guiding your mind.
Learn From Mistakes Of Those Who Came Before
Many of you have heard of the past stories and challenges I had with my father.
He was a great man who left the world way too young at 54, and he taught me a lot about racing.
He had a need for speed if you will.
My dad taught me about kind of living on the edge.
He taught me about going for it.
He taught me about playing full out, and as a young man, I followed some of his…avenues of playing full out and living on the edge I shouldn’t have.
I wound up finding myself in a little bit of legal trouble based on those activities and those actions.
But his focus was there. 100%
And I picked up that level and ability to focus from him. It’s served me well, but I had to learn where and what to focus on.
So I shifted my focus, and I grew up, learned a lot, and became an entrepreneur.
The funny thing is that I have a lot of those same traits that Dad taught me, and I’d just apply them legally in business now, and then influencing people just like you to make the changes that you want in your life and your life experience and your leadership ability and your capability and your confidence in your team and the results that you ultimately get in your life and finances.
I just want to remind you today that your business and the results that you get are very much like driving a race car.
Some Wise Words From Chris Crew, President At Blue Collar
Chris Crew, the president of Blue Collar Success Group that I founded, will tell me oftentimes that he wants to drive and go full-out with the business.
When I first promoted him to president, we had a deep conversation about what his roles and responsibilities looked like, and his analogy was around how he’s gonna drive this car of Blue Collar, and he’s going to race it.
He’s going to go as fast as he can with it, as safe as he can, but we’re going to make pit stops here and there.
He basically said he’ll race it as fast as he can without wrecking it.
He understands the need for balance in focus and having a well-rounded focus.
Do you run full-out without caring for the wreckage you leave behind? No.
Do you run slowly in fear of making mistakes? No.
Do you get distracted by all the shiny stuff around you? Of course not.
Focus is a balancing act that takes in the whole picture while also being targeted on the important goals.
It’s tough, but so is leadership.
That’s why we’re here today.
Leading Is Like Driving; Focus Keeps You Safe And Heading The Right Direction
I learned to drive in Colorado, and we moved there when I was a young kid.
And when you’re learning how to drive in the snow and when you start sliding in the snow, you don’t focus on going off the cliff.
You focus on where you want to go.
One of the things in racing is don’t look at the wall, right?
I want you to write that down right now:
Don’t look at the wall.
On the race car, if you start sliding or things aren’t going well, don’t look at the wall; look at where you want to go.
If there’s a car that’s spinning out in front of you, you don’t look at that crash.
You look at where you want to go.
If you’re racing and you’re right behind somebody, don’t focus on them. Focus on where you want to go.
You’re not looking at the back of the car; you’re looking through that car, picking your lines of where you want to go right on down the track.
The same is true in leadership and in implementation and in behavior change and in the systems and processes and things that we implement into our businesses.
This simple idea is just a big reminder.
Don’t look at the wall.
It doesn’t mean that you’re not mindful of it.
It doesn’t mean that you don’t know that it’s there, and it will totally wreck your car.
But it’s not your focus.
Don’t focus on failure; focus on success, and be mindful of what will make you fail.
The “Walls” In Business
There are a lot of walls or things that could wreck you in business.
The competition is getting stronger and stronger.
There’s a ceiling to pricing.
There’s a technology that is going to take over the industry.
I want you to not look at those but rather look at where you want to go.
So if there’s a wall there, where are we going to go around it and yet stay within the boundaries to keep racing and running?
Where Is Your Team Focused?
It’s not just about you either. It’s about each and every member of your team as well.
When you think about human behavior, some of your technicians or frontline team that might be living paycheck to paycheck, and they’re looking at their bills every night, and they’re just focused on this.
Is this where you want them focused? I know I don’t.
I’ve lived that way, and I bet you have too. It’s no fun, and it’s not good for happy, productive, and fulfilled team members.
They’re so focused on debt and whatnot; they’re like:
- How am I going to get out of it?
- How am I going to shift it?
- Am I going to change it?
- How am I going to attend training and learn how to sell more?
- How am I going to learn how to cross-sell?
- Am I going to learn to set leads?
- How am I going to learn to sell on tune-ups?
- How am I going to create better options?
Can you help them? How?
The same is true for you.
If you’re looking at the overhead and focused on that, you won’t work on what’s really changing the game.
You’ll make decisions that look great on reducing overhead, but it may wreck your business.
Yes, overhead is a wall on the racetrack. You need to be aware of it, but don’t make it the total of your focus.
Because you know what happens then?
That’s when you crash. You get pulled into it.
How To Highlight Focus On The Right Things
Hopefully, I’ve convinced you that we need to make focus a priority. In every element of life, the most successful people are those who’ve learned to balance focus on the right things while also remaining aware of the big picture and challenges that arise.
It’s a tough balancing act, but I wanted to leave you with a couple of ideas that may help you rise to the next level and step into your specific greatness.
#1 Look At The End Goal, The “Why”
If you’ve read or listened to, or talked to me for any length of time, you’ll know how important the “why” is to me and anything you do.
If you don’t have the drive or the reason or purpose for something firmly implanted in your brain, you’ll never succeed.
Take some time to reflect or journal or discuss with others what the real goal of your business or system is.
This is your end goal.
For a racer, it’s to win the race. This is what the focus should be in order to win.
Now, we won’t win every time, but that should be our goal.
Set a goal for yourself as a leader or for your business.
Make it something you have some control over. Don’t say something like:
I’m going to run my competition out of business.
That’s not a goal for you. That’d be like saying the racer just wants to beat his rival.
Real successful people look at their goals based on what they can do.
Make it something like:
I want to increase sales and service calls in this specific area by 300%. Or whatever you think is reasonable.
Start with the end in mind. This is your focus.
#2 Gather The Right People And Tools
Now, like the racer, we need to make sure we have the right tools.
First, make sure you get the real people on board. The right mechanics, pit crew, driver, design folks, or whoever, if we’re sticking with the race analogy.
In your business, with the goal in mind, what people do you need?
And then, what training do they need?
Write it down, discuss it, and communicate with your team.
#3 List The “Walls” And Plan The “Pit Stops”
The focus is still on the goal. Our focus is still pinpoint on what matters, but we do need awareness of where challenges may occur.
This is where we need to keep the walls in mind. Make your budget, account for overhead, think about team retention, and all the stuff that could pull you off focus.
But remember, this isn’t your focus. Deal with it all within the lens of how to accomplish your goal.
Don’t forget about the pit stops, either. In the race analogy, we know the cars have to stop for checkups, repairs, new tires, gas, and all that stuff.
Your business needs it too. Set times and a plan for how to check-in, so the whole thing doesn’t catch on fire when it’s too late.
#4 Go All Out!
With your focus in mind, the right people and tools, and challenges accounted for, go all out! Chase your focus as hard as you can.
It’s as simple and complicated as that.
Now go get warmed up and make it a better-than-fantastic day!