Can’t Win Them All: Focus is the New Black

focusTime and time again we are tested. If feels a little like the sound of a moral at the end of a fairy tale. Character meets challenge. Is tested. Good prevails. Maybe I have been watching way too much Once Upon A Time, but I think today’s ultimate test is Focus.

Yes, I have written about it before and will probably write about it again.

In this hyper distracted, super connected, uber messaged era, FOCUS is the new black. Forget orange. Time is the only finite resource we have. Use it wisely.

Cliche alert: Don’t try to do everything. It is true you can’t win them all.  The instant access to everything is diluting it all.

Here is an example of how a little focus goes a long way…

My tale begins in a lovely coffee shop with an amazing business owner this past week. She says what we all have said at some point, a litany of actions. It was like an AK 47 went off. (OK, maybe I have been watching way too much Sons of Anarchy.) She says, I have to do this and that and Facebook and website and flyers…the list of to-dos were endless. First thing I said was, “Well I can give you some advice on all those things, but first I ask you. Who is your most profitable customer?”

The light went off. She had those at the ready. I said, well of all those things you listed that had to be done, which of those are going to get you closer to those two customer types? More lights went off – like a fireworks display. Focus saved the day. She quickly whittled her list.

Because the endless demands and never-ending to do lists, we get wrapped up in this: shouda-woulda-coulda-haveto cycle that makes even the most obvious connections not-so-obvious. I didn’t tell her anything she didn’t know…I just listened and asked a question. That’s hard to do for yourself. It’s hard to stop yourself and ask those questions, but I would challenge you to block your calendar 2x a month to ask yourself – “Are the things I am spending my time on getting me closer to my goals?” If not, it’s time to re-evaluate.

For this tale, the moral of this story is that just because it is there and “people” say you need to do it all, you don’t have to. Call BS. The reward for your focus and discipline – more time, the only finite resource we have. Now that’s wealth! See what I mean, Focus is definitely the NEW black.

About the author

Melissa Kennedy

I am an innovative, practical problem-solver with an MBA. Pioneered one of the first social media strategic plans for a Fortune 100 company, including monthly online TV program viewed by 120,000 customers. Created a scalable channel marketing service model and established a new customer communication channel through partner web syndication. Developed marketing plan for start-up technology firm. Launched first comprehensive marketing campaign for major science and technology university's $1 Billion fund-raising effort. Award-winning performance for 15 years across functions, industries and organizations.

My passion for results goes beyond professional pursuits. I am a global facilitator and co-organizer of Startup Weekends and serve as an advocate and volunteer for many local charities including Food Bank of Central/Eastern NC, North Carolina International Affairs Council and Connected Women of North Carolina. Plus, I have served as the President for the Triangle Interactive Marketing Association,

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