The Power of Focus
It was December 2003, I was getting ready for my youngest son Adam’s first real Christmas, Craig was running around with a bottle, and Kaylee had just discovered pop music (my future American Idol). This month was bitter sweet. It had been one year since I left the United States Navy. I expected to get out of the military, and for life to be so much easier. But boy was I ever in for a surprise.
Up to this point in my life, I had struggled and struggled to make something happen. I was living paycheck to paycheck, and was absolutely miserable. I was on my third job, and my third business opportunity. I left the Navy with big goals to start a real estate investment company called Illinois Home Solutions, Inc., more on this later.
I have always had big dreams, big ambitions. But for some reason time and time again I was left feeling like a failure.
My goal was simple. Make enough money to quit my crappy J.O.B.
I wanted to see my kids grow up, have time to travel, time to relax, and time to enjoy life. I would research opportunity after opportunity, from no money down real estate to MLM. Either I would discover some new way to make money that seemed to be the answer to all my problems, or I simply lost faith and money, then moved on.
But this time was different. It was almost as if the rest of the world no longer existed. I was in the zone, focused. This time I made a critical decision to give every ounce of my being to make this one idea reality.
Not only was this one idea all consuming, but everyone in my life told me I was crazy.
If you can relate to this, then you need to read every word of this post. Because this one idea, is what I attribute to any success that I have ever had online or otherwise. I call it The Power of Focus, and you can boil it down to this simple formula:
FOCUS + ACTION = SUCCESS
We live in an amazing time. I believe there is more opportunity now than any time in history for the little guy to create wealth. The barriers to entry have been removed; the playing field has been leveled. You just have to Focus, and take Action while the opportunities are still here.
But at the same time this is also the problem. There is just too much opportunity, “How can I choose what to focus on, when I see ten ways to make a million dollars?”
I struggle with this every single day. This is probably one of my biggest problems; I see so much opportunity that I sometimes lose sleep because I don’t have enough hours in the day to seize it. If you are like I was, you may be thinking “If I can get 3 of these project up and running and each makes me $3,000 per month. That will be $9,000 per month, which is over six figures a year.”
I don’t know if it’s one of the laws of the universe, but it simply will not work out like you expected. Because you have divided your focus by three, your likelihood of succeeding with any of the projects has just went down to slim.
I want you to imagine for a moment the difference between a fist and a knife. Ball your hand up and look at it, you have four knuckles along the top making four points of impact. If you push your fist against the wall with normal pressure, not much will happen. Now imagine a knife, when you push the tip of a knife against the wall, with the same amount of pressure, you can penetrate into the wall with little trouble.
Why is this? FOCUS
The energy is all being focused into the point of the knife, and this focus is what makes a knife so much more dangerous than a fist. You want to be the knife in your marketplace.
Think about it for a moment. What is the commonality between successful businesses? Is it their products? The trends? The brands? The employees?
What makes great companies great is FOCUS. They focus all their energy on one idea, one market, or one type of customer. And they use all their resources to saturate that marketplace with products, services, and buzz to control that space.
So let’s look at your business for a moment, or what you are working on day to day. Do you have tons of projects you are working on? If you do then I want you to do one thing for me. Prioritize them based on one idea.
“What will make me the most money the fastest?”
Let’s break this down a bit. Say you have three projects, and for the sake of this example each of these projects would take the same amount of time to complete, about three weeks.
Here is what people typically do when working on multiple projects:
You work on project A for a week, and then you get bored or just can’t wait to get started on this new marketing method. So you start working on project B for a week. But wait a new ebook just came out so you now start project C for a week. You then bounce back to project A for a little bit, so on and so forth.
As you will see project A, a 3 week project ends up taking 7 weeks to get to the point it could make money. In this example we only make money off project A for two weeks, and project B for one week.
Now let’s look at what happens when we focus on one project at a time:
If we just focus on completing project A, and then project B, then project C. Look at what happens. You will make money off project A for 6 weeks and project B for 3 weeks; Three times the money-making opportunity, just from focusing.
Remember the first step to making a million dollars, or a thousand dollars, is making dollar one. So we want to get to dollar one as fast as possible. Here’s the greatest part of getting to dollar one. In order to make one dollar, you have created most of the systems to make much more.
But the other essential part of this formula is ACTION. Without this you can focus on one project for years and still not get anything done. I know because I have done this.
I wrote this post not only for you to read, but to remind myself to stay focused. You see I have so many ideas, that I don’t have enough years in my life to create them all. It’s maddening at times.
So my plan is to focus, and be the knife in one marketplace at a time. When I have an idea, but don’t have the time to work on it right at that moment I will do the following:
- Register the domain (ALWAYS get the domain as soon as you have an idea for a name)
- Sketch a logo if I can already see it in my mind’s eye (Send it off to be created: For me this makes the idea real, and means I will get back to it someday)
- Create a Someday/Maybe folder and then add this project to that folder. Overtime I will collect things that will be useful for this project. For example: features, benefits, competitors, keywords, etc.
Recently, I have decided to setup “coming soon” landing pages as placeholders for the future projects I am committed to. This way I can age the domain, and build interest over time. Even if it’s planned for months or even years in the future.
I hope this post will help you towards your own success. I promise you if you do this one thing, focus. You will see results.
Focusing on that one project that you believe in and will make you money online the fastest. Then take it all the way to making dollar one, and exploit every opportunity for traffic and optimization. This is the path to greatness.
Let me know your thoughts below.