If you stop to think about most pieces of advice you have heard over the years about losing your focus and your success, what is one common thread? Usually, it sounds something like, “Keep your eye on the ball”, “Just bury your head, nose to the grindstone . . .”, and “. . . eliminate all distractions by putting your blinders on.”
Is Losing Your Focus a Good Success Trait?
While there is validity in those statements, there also lies a danger. Their message they are implying is in order for you to be successful you must have a laser-sharp focus on your goal and ignore everything else.
Blocking out everything in your life and focusing on one specific task or goal works for certain items. Working hard to get a raise or the corner office, or maybe you’re an accountant and in the middle of tax season. The hard work and elimination of distractions will enable you to get your job done effectively and professionally. The problem though when you apply this to entrepreneurship, you could actually be hindering your success as you are missing growth opportunities.
Remember the sayings we have been taught since we were kids mostly come from the traditional employee mindset. Follow the step by step procedure for completing this task and the more focused you are on the task the more efficient you will become on completing it. However very seldom if ever in the world of entrepreneurship does your success follow a linear path. Some of the most successful entrepreneurs of our time have actually not only lost their focus, but they also harnessed it to generate massive results. So don’t be so hard on yourself for losing your focus from time to time.
Profitable Cross-Pollination Stems from Distraction
In the business world, many of us have been part of cross-functional teams. The purpose of these teams is to bring together individuals with different backgrounds, training and most importantly perceptions to tackle and solve problems. As an entrepreneur there is a high probability of being an army of one, so your cross-functional team has to come in a different form.
For entrepreneurs, this comes in the form of curiosity. Curiosity to explore and investigate new ideas outside their realm of expertise or even their industry are followed for learning purposes and potential business reasons. These new offers have such a strong allure, the entrepreneur literally finds them impossible to resist.
Instead of looking to refocus their attention and follow what they have heard their whole life, the ultra-successful follow their fascinations and their main businesses thrive.
One of the greatest examples of this is Apple founder Steve Jobs. We all know how super successful as an entrepreneur he was and look at what he did. As a college dropout, Jobs stated he finally had the time and freedom to take courses that interested him. One such interest, for no apparent reason, was calligraphy. At the time it served no practical purpose other than to fulfill a personal interest. In retrospect, this detour Jobs took is the reason why word processors now produce fonts as beautifully as any traditional typeset book of the past.
Grabbing Hold of the Opportunity of a Lifetime
While losing focus can have fantastic benefits for your core business, there’s another reason that being too disciplined in your thinking can be a curse.
They say love is blind, and that’s particularly true for small business owners. After investing so much time and money into an idea, it is difficult to recognize a better opportunity somewhere else. However, it’s often those opportunities at the margins that end up holding the key to real fame and fortune: the side effect of your new pharmaceutical, the fun media project that uses the new technology you’ve spent years developing, the frivolous use for that oh-so-serious chemical compound. Finding these esoteric opportunities requires taking your eye off the ball.
There’s no doubt persistence is an essential ingredient to effective entrepreneurship. Just make sure you let your focus keep you from noticing and acting on the opportunity of a lifetime. If you find yourself losing your focus, accept it, let your perspective widen and use it to your advantage.
Are you ready for your chance to step into the entrepreneurial world but lack a business idea? Let us help. Engineered Lifestyles has been helping people make the transition from employee to entrepreneur since 2006, contact us directly.