Being an entrepreneur requires two primary skills that, if you develop, nothing can stop you. One is grit, i.e., being able to treat challenges as a regular part of the journey, learn from the failures, and keep going. The second one is staying focused on your goals.
We live in a world where distractions are always all around us: e-mails, chats, messages, social media. Those who can tune them out and focus are the ones who succeed.
The challenge here is that it’s tough to do that. You have probably heard of Shiny Object Syndrome and fell pray to at least a couple of the five main entrepreneurial distractions you’ll read about below. That’s why I’d like to help you with that today with tips on how to deal with them and stop self-sabotaging your business results.
1. Confusing busyness with effectiveness
Working long hours “doing” things all day doesn’t always mean you’re getting closer to achieving your goals or maximizing the time you’re spending in your business.
Because if a lot of this time is spending scrolling on social media from one irrelevant post to another or starting a new project every day, all you’re doing is wasting time.
I’m sure that if you’ve experienced this, you felt terrible at the end of the day, knowing that you just worked so much and merely accomplished anything. One of the main reasons why it happens is that you might not have clarity as to what your business is all about, what do you stand for, what is your mission. It’s hard for a plane to take a specific course and fly to a destination if it doesn’t know where to go.
If busyness is your challenge, then you need my free Clarity & Focus training. It will walk you step by step how to establish Mission, Vision, and Values for your business. Once you have such North Star, focusing on what’s truly important will come easier. Click here and start today!
2. Listening to too many opinions
There are A LOT of resources out there for entrepreneurs. Some of it for free and some paid. Some of it is amazing, and some so so. Blogs (like this one 😉), podcasts, webinars, and on-line courses sometimes offering advice that contradict each other. That’s why listening to too many different people can be confusing and cause you to switch directions too soon and too often.
If you’re a parent, you probably remember when you had your first baby. Everyone under the sun had an onion on how to raise it from the day the baby was born. A lot of it was good but not necessarily applicable to the times, your baby, and your family situation.
Don’t get me wrong, though; having mentors, coaches, and improving your skills is crucial to your business growth. However, the key is to make is strategic, listen to your intuition, and focus on what you need right this moment to be successful. If you want to know how strategically invest in your self-development, then click here and read this blog.
3. Saying “YES” to everything
Trying to please all the people that enter your business world is the quickest way to self-sabotaging your success. Not every client is the right client for you. Not every collaboration is mutually beneficial. Not every service or product you want to provide will be profitable. And not every idea presented to you will help you get better results.
My advice – don’t run your business on other people’s agenda. Take ownership of everything in it. You’re the leader.
First, learn how to say “NO.” If you’re not sure how this guide will get you started, then prune regularly. Just like a fruit tree to grow beautiful and juicy fruit needs to be pruned every year, you need to take time to review what’s going on in your business and be able to stop doing some things.
Unnecessary tasks tend to creep into our lives. If you have too many, eliminating some will limit the daily distractions and help you focus just on the key priorities.
4. Poorly planning your goals
Procrastination and the overwhelm lead to avoidance of working on your priories. This distraction most often comes from poor planning. Here are a few ideas on what this means:
- You gave yourself too many goals to achieve and too little time which is paralyzing;
- Individual goals are too large to work on and feel too scary to start;
- You only have Big Hairy Audacious Goals but don’t have a monthly and weekly plan on how to achieve them. You feel stuck, not knowing where to start.
Hot to fix that? Simple – do the opposite 😊. But if you don’t know-how, reach out. I can help you do that as pat my free brainstorming session offering. Click here to schedule one.
Let’s come back to my parenting example. The small kids usually are impatient and need things that they want NOW. But as they grow, with our parental help, they develop the patience and understanding that rewards don’t come right away, that in most cases, it takes time and effort to see them.
Somehow, some adults become kids when it comes to expecting results in business in no time and with minimal effort. I think it’s one of the downsides of modern technology (which overall is fantastic!). Social media are conditioning us. All the likes, followers, hearts, etc. are teaching us to expect instant gratification for whatever we do. On top of that internet doesn’t lack “experts” who are telling you that your business can make millions in a few months by you working in it 15-60 mins a day.
Don’t fall prey to such false promises. Be patient. Only because what you’re doing right now in your business doesn’t generate the results you expect immediately, doesn’t mean it’s the wrong thing to do. If you switch course too fast, you’ll lose the momentum you have been working on and squander good things coming your way only to start all over again. When you launch a rocket into space, it burns most of the fuel to get off the ground. Once it does, it’s a minimal fuel and effort for it to fly in the space. So imagine now that rocket was stopped before taking off because someone thought it’s taking for it too long to launch …. Exactly.
The good news is that Shiny Object Syndrome is not a diagnosable condition. It’s all about how you think about your business and how you chose to act in it. That’s why once you realize you tend to get distracted; you can start doing something about it. Diagnose first, then think of how you can correct the course and finally put the plan to action. The more you do it, the more focused and consistent you’ll become. And with that, the business results you expect will come.