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Change is constant – focus is a choice

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January 26, 2023

It’s a wrap on 2022, and the new year is already underway.

As I reflect on the last year – both personally and professionally, the one thing that is constant is change – ends and new beginnings.

I know this – I’ve written about it before, but it still catches me off-guard.

For better or worse, life happens.

We like to think we have the crystal ball and can control the future or certain daily, weekly or monthly outcomes – but we don’t.
The best we can do is plan, prepare and adjust to what life brings us to both mitigate the impacts and prepare ourselves for the curve balls. 

Focus is our mantra for 2023.

So, what is focus?

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, focus is a point of concentration: directed attention: emphasis.

Why is focus important?
It is the gateway to all thinking: perception, memory, learning, reasoning, problem-solving and decision-making.

Without good focus, all aspects of your ability to think can suffer.

If you can’t focus effectively, you can’t think effectively.

As author Tony Robbins says, “Energy flows where the attention goes.”

Author and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar also speaks to the importance of focus, noting, “When you focus on problems, you will have more problems. When you focus on possibilities, you will have more opportunities.”

As a business owner, wife, mother and now grandmother, there are many things that vie for my attention.

Distractions are always knocking on my door.

It’s my decision whether I choose to focus or be distracted. 

You’ve all likely heard gimmicks on how to be more productive, how to free up 10 hours a day of your time, etc.

The reality of all this is that it’s a choice.

Most people focus on being busy instead of being productive.

As a business owner or employee, I bet you can identify in yourself or others around you that the ability to be busy far outweighs actual productivity.

I can also bet this is often used as an excuse as to why other more important things (focused things) aren’t getting done or the attention they need.

Let me share a story of a business owner who never had time to focus on planning for the future of his business.

He was too busy handling the day-to-day activities and trying to be all things to all people.

If a customer had a request, he would adjust the company’s product/service to accommodate the need.

Eventually, the ability to scale the business became impossible.

Everything was a “one off,” there were no systems and processes (at least none that were being followed), pricing was arbitrary, and quality and service became a significant issue.

They were losing money because the business lacked focus.

This same business owner began to realize he was the problem.

He hadn’t set a vision for success.

He hadn’t focused on their core business model.

The company needed to focus and simplify by identifying its target customers, the value they were providing to those target customers and the resources, systems and processes it needed to deliver.

Once this “focus” and strategy were developed, it was a game changer for the business.

They fired non-fit clients, raised their prices and were achieving bottom-line profitability of more than 20% – and they were growing.

When you are focused, no one can stop you from achieving success.

Consistency is key.

Many business owners try new ideas and strategies, but they fail to stay consistent.

It becomes their roadblock.

Change is constant and unpredictable.

But when your focus is aligned with your actions, it can produce great results.    
Jayne McQuillan is president/owner at Journey Consulting, LLC.

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