…is to be focused.
This week, we are totally in love and inspired by Seth Godin’s advice in this post.
Do what you’re good at, or get really good about what you do. Seth Godin.
The advice is simple, yet effective. And it immediately shakes up your busy brain, even if for a second.
I, for once, started to wonder if what I’m currently doing is that one thing I’m the ultimately best at. Or, on the other hand, if, maybe this is not my number one skill, can I make it so? What happened here is quite magical, actually. Instead of worrying about what I might be good at, I’m just going to worry about doing what I’m doing right now 10x better. Problem solved. I don’t have to open another website, change all my social media handles, and reprint business cards.
What did Seth Godin do for me? He delivered FOCUS. Focus, in this time and age of serial entrepreneurship, has become quite the commodity.
Often you hear about fear of failure or worrying about the future as two of the most basic hurdles to launch a business or successfully sustain one. However, sometimes, we might not even know what exactly we should be pursuing, or what challenges to address first. We might even confuse “passion” with focus and even with business. Passion is an amazing thing, but it is not enough to make a business successful. I, for one, was very passionate about baking gluten-free cupcakes, but for my life, I couldn’t figure out how to make a six-figure salary out of them. Others had! Just go to New York and I guarantee you will run into a “Baked By Melissa” cupcake store-front. She might not be baking gluten-free cupcakes but she’s figured out the million-dollar secret to selling tiny mini cupcakes to millions of commuters and tourists. We’re sure she was very passionate about it, but there’s a great deal more to it…
Do what you’re good at
“Doing what you’re good at” is one of the three pillars of the system we use to help our clients find the focus for their businesses. In the case of “Baked by Melissa,” I’m sure she’s always known how to bake cupcakes, or at least she was interested enough to figure it out. You want to focus on a business that comes to you with a little bit more ease than for most people. That, in itself, will be a crucial differentiator when you are facing your competition. If anyone can make the mini-cupcakes Melissa bakes (meaning that she has no true advantage over the rest of the people baking cupcakes), she will soon be out of business, or even worse, she’ll be distracted to find what she could be better at.
And do what you love
It’s very important, in this phase of your life, that you do love what you do as a “work,” and that you have a great passion for it.
In my example above, Melissa actually really loves baking cupcakes. You can say she “lucked out,” in the sense that she loves and has passion for the exact same thing she’s really good at.
Finding what you love tends to be harder and harder nowadays, as we have a lot more options than what our parents ever had. In fact, before, loving our job was not considered important. We had “jobs” not “careers.” A “job” by definition is typically used to describe a responsibility or duty, not a dream nor a passion.
So, think about it. Out of the things you know, then, what things you love? Or, vice versa, can you really turn what you love into what you know?
And also do what people need
Focusing on what people need is very important. If you set up a business to sell something they don’t need, then, why would they buy it? And, a business with no sales, regardless of how passionate you might be for it, is the opposite of a recipe for happiness at your work.
Going back to “Baked by Melissa,” I know people don’t really “need” mini-cupcakes, but the whole country, at the time she started the company, was pretty freaking crazy about cupcakes. There were several cupcake shows on TV and new cupcake stores popped up on every corner. She set her first store-front in Soho, in New York, on one of the busiest corners – where thousands of people walked by every hour, hungry, tired, and, yes, craving cupcakes. So yes, people needed cupcakes!
But if you’re not doing what you love or know, can you at least get good at it?
Seth Godin writes: “… if a particular task, project or career is important to you, you can do the hard work to get good at it.” This is key – the task or project (or job or business) has to be important to you. Maybe you can see it as instrumental in providing the income you need to fund your dream idea or it just buys you enough time till you’re ready to do so.
There are many other ways you can work on finding, and sustaining your focus, and I hope you get excited about doing so!
If everything else fails, or inspiration is yet to strike you, the good news is that it’s 5pm somewhere right now, and the weekend is about to start….
Lazy Girl Hack to Focusing: Add the “Strict Workflow” extension on your browser to help you stay focused while working online. If you are like me, if you aren’t extremely passionate about something, you are quickly tempted to open that Facebook tab and start scrolling. Using 25min work/5min break intervals, this browser extension with block any new pages or tabs from being opened during your “work” interval…and replace it with a lovely tomato to remind you to get back to work and FOCUS! Get the app here.
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