We all want to make money from our businesses. However, it’s all too easy to become too focused on personal financial goals. Setting your sights on a new home, car, or gadget as well as other kinds of distractions can actually detract from your business and harm your chances of long-term financial success.
Here we take a look at some common mistakes made by entrepreneurs in terms of focus, and what you can do to fix them.
It’s Not All About The Money
For those in business, it’s tempting to want to prove your success with the traditional trappings of wealth, so you become over-focused on material gain. However, as successful entrepreneur and CEO of LA Wolfe Marketing Lahle A. Wolfe points out, focusing solely on financial goals can actually harm your business. She says, “Being too full of your own successes can lead you to a path of too rapid expansion that is not sustainable in the long run. Bad marketing and vocal investors can have a negative impact on your brand and once your brand is tarnished, it can be hard to get back on track.”
As an antidote to this, she suggests drawing up a written mission statement for your business, clearly defining its purpose and core values. This will serve as a reminder of why you are actually doing what you’re doing, and help you to focus on goals that are compatible with this purpose.
Stop Doing Too Much
Women are culturally expected to be able to multitask, so many of us spend our working lives attempting to prove to ourselves and others just how well we can do this. However, you may actually be harming your business by doing so. David Rock, co-founder of the NeuroLeadership Institute, warns of the dangers of trying to do too many things at once. “We make mistakes, miss subtle cues, fly off the handle when we shouldn’t, or spell things wrong.”
Rock suggests keeping certain times of the day free from all distractions, and prioritising your workload according to when your energy levels are at their peak. Starting the day with simple, boring tasks can actually reduce your focus by draining your energy. Instead, if possible, begin with the tasks that need the most creativity and concentration so you can approach them fresh and energised.
In addition, if you do your best thinking outside of office hours, make sure you capitalise on that. If an idea hits you late at night, write it down so you don’t lose it. If you know you’re in the mood for doing some work at home at the end of the day, do it as long as no aspect of your life, especially personal, suffers. This will help keep your focus on your business goals.
Focus on the Task at Hand
Some women tend to be naturally critical of themselves, but you’re not doing your business any favours by focusing on failures or mistakes. The hugely successful business leader Sir Richard Branson believes that “You have to get into the right frame of mind to perform your best, and need to be able to put setbacks behind you instantly.” This way you can free your mind to focus on the next task.
Don’t Be Afraid to Reach Out
It’s hard to stay focused on your business goals without input from others. Mentoring and networking is a vital part of growing your business, as it can put you in touch with people who have the skills and experience to help drive your business forward. However, while men view networking as an integral part of their careers, women often see it as something they don’t really have time for, as they often have to juggle a heavy workload with the responsibilities of family life. Women must invest time in establishing networks. It should be a KPI in every job description.
Top businesswomen stress that this attitude needs to change. In order to grow their businesses it’s vital that women begin to prioritise networking and integrate it into their business schedules and activities. Keeping your business goals in mind will allow you to focus on reaching out to the right people and make the right connections, which in turn will help you achieve what you’re aiming for.
As we’ve pointed out, networking is an important step for entrepreneurs to get their business to the next level. As such, gaining the confidence needed to meet people and make professional connections is a must. Connecting with the people you meet on social networks, such as LinkedIn, or following and attending networking events can be a great way of building relationships with potential partners, clients, and even mentors—people who can provide invaluable support when it comes to keeping your focus on what’s important for your business and attaining your goals. The most important thing is to approach your possible new connections with confidence, and being prepared, such as by having a ready elevator speech, will certainly help you out.
If you’re looking for advice, consider getting in touch with an organisation which emphasises the value of mentoring and networking for female entrepreneurs. Behind Closed Doors can provide you with the right kind of mentorship that helps you maximise networking and keep your focus goal-oriented for the success of your business.
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