Focus is What Can Differentiate You from the Competition

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Success in business requires laser like focus. You can’t have extreme success without extreme focus on the RIGHT business activities.

For years before I made it to the NBA, I loved playing both baseball and basketball. In fact, I even dabbled with baseball in college. But I became frustrated with both. I knew I could play pro ball, but neither prospect looked good at the time.

One day my college basketball coach told me I needed to make a choice or I would not reach my potential in either sport. I started focusing on basketball and I was starting in the NBA just a few years later.

I was at a similar crossroads again after my eight-year basketball career ended. As I transitioned into business, I did a little bit of this and a little bit of that, which equaled a whole lot of nothing. Finally my wife said to me, “Honey, I can’t help you do five things. Can you choose one business pursuit and just focus on that one thing?”

I took a few weeks and decided to focus on professional speaking. As they say, the rest is history — I am now a hall-of-fame speaker.

My focus in both cases was a decision I made. I was doing multiple things at one time, but after some good counsel I was able to make a different choice and choose to focus on one thing. After I chose to focus on only one thing, excellence was the benefit.

The funny thing is that I never would have realized it myself. I needed some help getting focused. I firmly believe that if I never focused on my one thing at a time, I would have had a much different life. A life of less. I would not be a hall of fame speaker or a former NBA athlete. So focus can make or break your success.

I hope you aren’t underachieving the way I was because of a lack of focus. So my question for you is simple: What are you focused on right now? What is your one thing? I love Chick-Fil-A because they are simple. All they do is chicken. In fact, their marketing is simple too. All day long, all they do is chicken.

Once I focused on basketball, all day long I did the right basketball activities. Once I focused on speaking, all day long I focused on the right activities to grow a successful speaking business. You see, if you are doing more than one thing, you are probably spread too thin.

The moment you get focused on your one thing, you may not be able to get to the top of your industry, but you will surely move up the food chain from where you are today. You can make some serious strides, but only if you make sure you are completely focused on your one thing. If you think about it, businesses that struggle are often focused on too many different things and get overwhelmed. New or struggling business units require so much attention that companies can get distracted by their problem child and lose focus on their core business.

Even within your “one thing” in business, you need to make sure you are focused on the right business activities. Once you get focused on your one thing, here are a few steps that can position you to make your move on your more distracted competition.

  1. Commit to your one thing
  2. After you commit, your next step is to own your one thing.
  3. Focus only on attracting and retaining your “right” customers.
  4. Focus your attention only on revenue producing activities.
  5. Put your smart phone away during work hours with a few disciplined checks a day.

I actually believe the smart phone with all its bells and whistles has actually made us dumber because it has robbed us of our focus. Without all the distractions of social media, media alerts, Facebook, Twitter, Periscope, extra activities and people, it would be much easier to redirect the energy back to the basics of business.

In today’s fast-paced world, focus is more difficult than ever to achieve. But it can differentiate you from the competition. Are you distracted into a state of less than? With all the information available to us at the touch of a button it should make us better, smarter and more productive but our new world has made us too easily distracted. Please get your focus back to what matters, your one thing, and before long you may be the best in the world at what you do.

I challenge you to develop a focus plan for the remainder of this year  Send an email to and provide me with a glimpse of your plan.  

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