Focus and the LDRBRND
Am I the only one with issues here?
I’ve been reading recently a lot about focus. This is a word that gets used frequently enough in the personal growth and development space. And from a high level, I definitely agree with the concept. We get better, more impactful stuff done when we focus our efforts on the few.
It’s funny the timing of all this. I don’t believe in coincidences but three different things seemed to have converged recently to bring this to the forefront of my mind. First, I recently received a gift of the book Free to Focus by Michael Hyatt. I think I am 100 pages into it and so far I like the premise: productivity isn’t about being more efficient at everything but only at the things that really matter.
This concept certainly resonates with me at a deep level as I am certainly prone to take on more and more things in my daily life. Whether that is from a professional standpoint or personal. On the business side, I’ve seen the result first hand of taking on too many things. Lack of direction, clarity, and burnout as I attempt to be everywhere and everything to everybody.
I think it happens to us all but especially to first time entrepreneurs and business owners. We want to help the world with our gifts but we don’t have the experience to narrow down where to apply that. So for me that has lead to being across all social channels, trying to manage a website, email newsletter/blog, and trying to to be engaged with the people I am seeking to serve.
And that just doesn’t work. It’s all scattered and ineffective. It’s not the highest use of my time, talents, or treasure. That’s why I have been quieter in my efforts. I am trying to focus on the one best thing I do – which is writing. But even then a specific type of writing – writing from the heart and from a stream of consciousness perspective. It’s a deeply personal and fulfilling journey as I sit in solitude banging away at my keyboard. I pour my heart and soul into my writing and I definitely have a unique voice that shines through.
But I don’t want to get stuck in the weeds of editing it, polishing it, structuring it, and making it SEO ready. That’s why I have been looking into potential editors to do all those steps for me. It’s going to cost something but it will give me peace of mind and the ability to focus on what I do best. The same goes for marketing and keeping the website up to date, and keeping an email going.
But even further, I think I will be resolving myself as to what inputs I have from an intellectual pursuit. What podcasts am I listening to for instance? Which ones bring the most value and new ideas? Which ones are simply the same authors making the tours of podcasts to pitch their newest books? (Nothing personal against these authors for wanting to get the word out but I don’t have to listen to the same interview a dozen times)?
What books am I reading? Are they really inviting to think more deeply or in a new and innovative way? Or are the simply regurgitating things I already know? Instead of buying a new book, is there an old book that covers this material? I find myself preferring books of the past that teach about timeless ideals? Then I can extrapolate those ideas forward into a new age and environment (from a faith perspective, The Bible has so much wisdom that is equally relevant as the day it was written).
What courses am I taking? I am taking one online course presently. It’s a mental models course by Michael Simmons. And funny enough, this most recent section was about focus. The model was called addition by subtraction. Very neat perspective about cutting away the non essentials so we can get to that one big thing we need to be putting our energy behind. Lots of good stuff there (including ideas from the fabulous book Essentialism by Greg McKeown).
What I found so neat there was that Michael summed up my process pretty well. I went into the business and I had a lot to learn. So I was in this information/knowledge gathering stage for awhile. But I’ve hit an inflection point where I need to focus my energies here on LDRBRND. This is my gift to the world. The intersection of leadership and marketing. Helping other see that leadership is the highest and most effective form of marketing. But I have to overcome my own resistance to be everywhere and o everything for everybody. I simply can’t. I need to put my energy where the highest yield is produced.
What events am I attending? Focus is important here too. I need to focus on a couple of high yield events per year. And those events need to be able to get me closer to the people I want to help with my expertise around leadership. That means smaller is better. The big marketing events are too chaotic. It’s too much sizzle and not enough substance. How could it be? The only way for those events to be profitable is to be huge.
But I want to be in closer connection to people. That doesn’t mean I won’t go to any industry events at all but I will probably be attending them differently. With a renewed focus on the networking aspect. The learning is okay. Sometimes I can pick up a new trick here or there but really for my purposes, who I am and what I do, I need only focus on some of the higher level concepts that are affecting the industry.
Striving to be a concentrated laser beam is going to be the name of the game for me here and now and well into the future.
Everything I do should revolve around how I can help brands become leaders in their unique spaces.
If it doesn’t fit into that category then it’s got to go. Even some of my beloved weekly Twitter chats may have to go. They have been a great way to connect with people, but not always the right people. I think the best path is to be more strategic and spend time building the relationships out of the public eye and through direct messages (DMs). This can be applied to the other platforms. But again, I have to make sure the efforts are viewed through the lens of the paragraph prior.
The other neat thing about focus: it goes great with consistency. Having focus helps me to have consistency. When I shut all the noise around me (and believe me it gets really noisy), I am able to create consistent content via writing. I am able to better sort out my own thoughts and views. Then I can use those to better establish my own expertise, leadership, and ability to help others lead. I am fully invested in this idea of leadership. I see it’s incredible power and value.
If I have not seen any real results in my “business” (I use the term loosely because it’s been more a side hobby while being a stay at home dad too), it’s because I have not had the clarity in my own mind. How can I possibly communicate to others the help I want to bring if it is unclear in my own mind? But things are beginning to cement in my own mind. And with a little help from my friends, I can be focused on being and bringing my best to others.
This obviously extends to my family as well. When I have clarity, I know exactly what I have to do, when to do it, where, and how much time I need. Then I can be able to serve my family with the best of me. Spend time with my wife and kids. Being in the moment – enjoying the antics of my triplets. Cherishing the memories we make as they grow up and hopefully preparing them to be adults in this crazy world.
My focus is definitely family first. I am blessed to be in the position I am in where my wife works outside the home and provides a stable income for all of us. There are going to be times when I need to take a break from the business in order to be with my family full time. Summer break is the big one. The kids are off from school and I am on dad duty all day.
When I have focus as a dad, I send a message to my kids that they are valuable, worthy, loved, and appreciated. I definitely want them to receive that message (especially because it’s true). So I need time to focus on my family during the summer. If I have done focus right in my business, then I should be able to do it in my family life as well. If I haven’t done that right then, I can be distracted from the time my kids need me. Then they receive a message I don’t want to send. One that says they are not as important as work. Nothing could be further from the truth. But it definitely happens.
So focus ends up helping me to keep my priority straight. Family first but then I want to use the time I have away from the kids to build something meaningful and long lasting. And how can I do that? By focusing more on the important part – why Ieven started this business and why it matters to me. I need to focus on my own story more. Even though I get tired of explaining it, it’s too important not to focus on it.
If I could say it this way:
I am a LDRBRND in the foster care and adoption space
It’s a unique angle and it is a heroic journey. There are not many people who are out there who can handle fostering 5 year old triplets. But my wife and I knew we were called to something unique and life changing (for them and for us). There’s not many people who then adopt triples. So we have a thing or two to say about this area. And we are leaders who can leverage our own experience to inspire others to help in this area (an area that has many more kids in need than people who can provide the help).
Leadership is not only professional to me, it is deeply personal. I lead to help other brands Become more. And in that process I develop a larger platform to help kids. I think it’s a great trade off. But I have to have that monomaniacal obsession with what I am doing. Some people may not like it. But ultimately I have to do what I think is best for this business, my family, and my cause over the long term. I can’t do that with my efforts spread so thin.
The time is now for my own focus. A LDRBRND can’t afford to be undisciplined and unconcentrated.
Important relationships that form with focus (math equations)
Focus directly increases competency
Focus inversely proportional to guilt
I’ve been helping leaders become better marketers for over 21 years and would love to help you take the next step in your spiritual leadership journey.