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One of the things I’ve struggled with most over recent years is distraction.
There is a lot of research showing how the human attention span is shortening but what does this matter for you and me?
When it comes to creating a business one of the key character traits we must have is patience. With our shorter attention span we have decreasing patience. We want things faster and faster.
In my first business it took me about 2 years to reach over 6 figures doing a variety of signs and printing. Then I made a decision to narrow the entire business from tons of products to 1. At the time it was a scary decision but we did it. When I say we I mean me and my 1 employee Dave.
We focused on that 1 product and in about 5 years we reached $1 million in annual sales.
Here’s the thing though think about this:. 1 product. 1 offer. 5 years focused on that. Yes it can be done faster and easier now the point though is that we spend 5 years just narrowing focusing on the same thing day after day.
Since hitting that first million dollar sales year that business has still been focused on that 1 product offered in that 1 way for another 5 years. That’s about 10 years of being focused on 1 thing now and we’re still improving our methods.
Does that make you cringe to imagine perfecting something like that for 10 years. I’m not judging you if it does because I can relate. Imagine McDonalds has been focused on their process of hamburgers for over 60 years!
I believe that’s how a business grows but not necessarily how a human grows.
As a human we often grow through variety, challenge, change, freshness, being creative. Many of you reading this can probably relate to being distracted and having a million ideas. Even taking the time to take this in you’ve probably had thoughts and ideas trying to distract you away.
A few years ago when I was starting my second business I had nowhere near the same amount of patience and dedication. Actually in my first post you can read more about how I struggled to stay focused and almost crashed everything.
So what’s the point here…
What I’m seeing is that we all have shortening attention span and less patience but patience and attention span are key character traits we need to be successful entrepreneurs.
As I tried to start a second business a few years ago I couldn’t stay focused on it at all. I questioned it and then judged myself for not staying focused. I jumped around between ideas, I questioned if it was right. 2 years later that business wasn’t anywhere.
I can see how in 8 years from building my first business to starting a second how much my ability to stay focused has changed…I also had very different motivators driving me. In my first business I was totally broke, sleeping in my car. You can read more about that here.
In that journey of seeing how I wasn’t focusing I became frustrated and started asking why I couldn’t focus and get myself to do the things that I know I need to do.
That took me down a rabbit hole into how our brain operates and has led me to the work I’m focused on now. Check out this article where I talk about studying the mind, becoming a therapist and how we can condition ourselves to overcome mental challenges like focus, doubt, fear that get in the way.
For now just look for ways that perhaps your attention span and focus isn’t serving you. Keep in mind social media has a huge effect on that but also so does constant information in our mind.
Wanting to have the answer immediately to unimportant topics just puts more information in our mind and overloads our ability to focus.
Hope you enjoyed this article. What did you learn? Did you have any ahas on this topic? Love to hear from you.