you want to build a successful business, you’re going to do
battle with the demons of distraction. The world’s most
successful people are those who have streamlined their lives to
a seamless flow of productivity and focus.
a matter of focus, and it’s critical to business success. An
entrepreneur is only as successful as the person’s ability to
focus on the most important objective in the solar system:
Building his or her new business.
an astonishing level of focus comes down to simple devotion to a
few ideals, and a few knacks for productivity. Here’s what you
need to know:
every question back to revenue.
do you slay the profit-killing, focus-destroying distractions
that can chew up your business and spit it out? The secret lies
in turning every conversation and issue back to a core
is one lesson that I learned early
on in my startup adventure. I thought that funding was the most
important thing. I learned, by contrast, that it’s never too
early to start making money. Revenue, as it turned out, was one
of the core reasons we started the business. Why didn’t we start
making it sooner?
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you focus on revenue, it brings all the distracting details into
launch a new
product.” Will it
about SEO?” Will
it help revenue?
this scale?” Rather,
will it help revenue?
hire a new
programmer.” Will it
start split testing.” Will it
do a customer
journey map.” Will it
need to start
a blog!” Will it help
isn’t this greedy profiteering? No. Revenue is to a business
what blood is to the body. If you want a business, you have to have
revenue. The issue isn’t about getting rich; the issue is
practical distraction-defeating steps.
be able to concentrate for a considerable time is essential to
difficult achievement,” wrote Bertrand Russell.
business leader will admit that the task of building a company
certainly is a “difficult achievement.”
the hyper-connected era in which responsiveness is prized and
real-time collaboration is essential, how do you
concentrate for any considerable amount of time?
you take a few common sense attack moves at your distractions,
you’ll eliminate at least half of them. It takes some brutality,
but there are ways to do it. Here’s what I suggest.
a swift end to your TV addition: A
Business Insider piece explains
that wealthy people don’t watch much TV. From a survey, Thomas
Coley discovered that 67 percent of “rich people” watch an hour
or less of TV per day, while only 23 percent of “poor people”
watch less than one hour per day.
common variable among the wealthy is how they make productive
use of their time," explains Corley. "The wealthy are not
avoiding watching TV because they have some superior human
discipline or willpower. They just don't think about watching
much TV because they are engaged in some other habitual daily
behavior -- reading."
work early in the day.
everyone is a morning person. I get that. But there’s
something to be said for getting your butt in your chair (or at
a standing desk) before the world wakes up. Get up early, and
you’ll get stuff done.
especially early mornings, are
powerful times. Lisa Evans points out in her Entrepreneur article that “you are less
likely to get distracted in the morning,” not to mention you can
achieve higher degrees of willpower and mental stamina.
a state of flow, you are oblivious to all but your work; you
experience a “high;” you’re in the
his unspellable name, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, pioneered one of
the most earth-shattering phenomena in positive psychology --
the concept of flow. Here’s how he
Gates is a remarkable person, and not everyone possesses his
intellect. But what was it that drove him to an eight-week
creation session with 36-hour spurts of uninterrupted
productivity? It was, at least in part, the phenomenon of flow.
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flow takes practice, awareness, and focus. In order to
achieve flow, there must be three preconditions.
possess clear goals for the work you’re engaging.
gain immediate feedback on the quality of your work.
have the skills and competence to overcome the challenges in
then you go on to experience flow, by
following these steps:
something you really enjoy.
focused duration — the
process of work, not the state of flow.
just one thing each day to grow your business.
York Times bestseller, Essentialism,
Greg McKeown explains the power of essentialism:
is not about how to get more things done; it’s about how to
get the right things done. It doesn’t mean just doing less for
the sake of less either. It is about making the wisest
possible investment of your time and energy in order to
operate at our highest point of contribution by doing only
what is essential.
do you harness the atomic power of essentialism for your
business? Here’s a simple hack: Do one
thing every day that will grow your business.
too many people spend their lives working in their
business, but noton their
business. Don’t look at the daily mess of tasks -- emails,
meetings, phone calls, reports, and all the other crap. Instead,
look at the business from an aerial perspective.
obstacles can you move to the business’s progress?
customer testimonial can you get?
product does the market crave?
client can you close?
revenue stream can you tap?
one thing and do it. Tomorrow morning, wake up, find something
else and do it.
the journey of building businesses, entrepreneurs face aha moments.
Things fall into place, seemingly blessed by some otherworldly
favor. That moment might come when you make the perfect hire,
create brilliant code, or simply invent something new.
times, the eureka moment comes
from defying distractions and slipping into an unstoppable state
of flow. You choose one thing to do, and you dominate it. You
power up. You advance. You grow.