For many years, I would cringe when mentors asked me this one simple question about my business: “What is your focus?”
I would respond, “What do you mean, ‘what’s my focus’? I am an entrepreneur. I do many things! I service everyone who is willing to buy my products and services. I come up with ideas, market other businesses, plan events and execute. I have the ability to create or build on an idea, and if that idea does not take off, I move on to the next thing that makes me money. I do not want to have a focus because if I do, I might lose out on money. I'm keeping my options open.”
At this point, my personal and professional life was in chaos. I felt under appreciated, and overcommitted to doing things I did not like to do for the sake of maintaining and surviving. At times, I’ve ended up mentally exhausted, spreading myself thin and chasing contracts that are not aligned with my goals.
This mentality is how I survived, and I know many others are remarkably familiar with it. In some cases, I would get these funny looks when I told people that I do not have a focus.
As an entrepreneur, I always want to have the freedom to create my own income and control my schedule, but most of all, I don’t want to work for anyone else. While this remains true, at the time I needed a better strategy to get here. Through the years, I grew to understand that if I do not have a primary focus, I will end up repeating the same mistakes.
It was time to ask the deep questions and start saying NO to the things that did not align with my business. I needed to refine my message to better speak to the audience that I was intending to service. I found that the more specific I am about who I service, the better quality of work is delivered.
Now, I am in a much better headspace and position to provide my clients with the best version of myself that I can deliver. Do not get me wrong, I have my moments when I take on projects for fun that are outside my scope, which can be good. That is the avid learner in me, and I love it! But having that focus always pulls me back into order.
Here are some tips that helped me get to my focus.
Whether big or small, we all have successes. I needed to redefine what is successful for me versus the “social definition” that we’ve all come to know. Success is a very personal thing; for me, it’s me finding my joy and the moments that make me happy. One of my biggest accomplishments is finishing writing my book. It took 5 years to write and it’s based on my higher vision for my life. I can’t wait for people to read it. Your nuggets of success can be as big as you want. They all count in the end and no one can discredit them. Quick note: When I talk about accomplishments, I am talking about reflecting on your whole life. List them ALL!
In my journey of nailing down my focus, I started to reflect on the things that people come to me for professionally. I took a step back and got specific about the different types of projects that I was attracting. Through carefully observing my conversations with friends, family and colleagues along the way, the one thing that stood out is that people come to me for clarity, direction, and awareness. In the professional world that becomes strategy, planning and logistics. You see, what I noticed is that the conversations were consistent across the board. Observe your environment and the conversations that you are having externally, and find a pattern you can work with.
Even though your interests will evolve, your vision does not change. It comes from what you deeply desire from within. This is one of the most important steps that I have taken to bring direction to my life. I went through years of consistently chasing contracts and asking myself yearning questions like, “what am I doing with my life” and “how am I making an impact?” I was distracted with servicing all types of clients, rather than pursuing the type of work that brings me joy. Nailing down what you truly want to do with your life can help you narrow down your vision and mission.
Now that you have done all the steps above, you’ll want to clearly identify your strengths and weaknesses. This is the hardest part of the process. As entrepreneurs we love to do it all! You need to be honest with yourself about the aspects of your business you are good at, and the ones you need to outsource. Once you have your list of your pros and cons, this is the beginning of crafting your message to your dream clients.
When you reflect on all the steps above, you should then have a clear focus on what you really want to do. I know that my practices help me stay grounded in my work and moving forward in being of service to my clients. One of the biggest things that I tell my clients is that: “The most effective way to be of service is through self-mastery”.
Want to work with me and dive deeper into the goodies that come along with focus? Visit www.mirrorink360.com or connect with me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your appointment if you need additional help.
Join our growing community and Stay updated on all the conversations we are having!