Posts Tagged ‘focus’

Half-Time

January 30, 2010

Whether a team is winning or losing…it’s inevitable…half-time WILL come. It’s a time when sports announcersĀ  banter with each other and aggressively give their take on what’s happened in the first half. It’s a time when advertisers unashamedly flaunt their wares with multi-million dollar ideas. It’s also a time that coaches have to lay groundwork for the second half of the game.

Coaches are well aware that they have only 15 minutes at half-time to:

  • Analyze the competition and make necessary adjustments
  • Refresh, rest, and rehydrate the team
  • Motivate and focus on team strength’s
  • Keep their game face on while players offer feedback

Half-time often comes to businesses too. You’ve gone through the opening kick of start-up, you’ve toiled through the downs of marketing attempts and client interaction, and have more than likely reached the goal line of an increased client base and referrals.

Now, half-time comes and you find yourself needing to do all the above bullet points. I’ll break them down so you can go into your second half, revived and ready to give your all.

  • Analyze the competition and make necessary adjustments. Have you looked at your competitors’ websites lately?

Their call to action? Special offers?

Are there any adjustments you can make to keep yourself ahead of your competition?

Perhaps a website copy analysis? A press release to announce your latest product/service offering? A revised auto-responder to draw in a greater number of respondents and increase sales?

  • Refresh, rest, and rehydrate. How many hours a day/week do you work? I’ve consistently worked more hours than I ever have since I’ve been an entrepreneur. I attend a 6:00 a.m. resistance/strength training class to energize me for the first part of the day. I take an afternoon break during my body clock’s dip time, then it’s back to work until around 7:30 or 8:00 p.m.

The more I move up the field as a self-bosser, the more I realize I need to aggressively take time to relax and refresh myself. I have to make a conscious decision to get up at least once an hour and stretch, I need to re-fuel with food every 3-4 hours, and drink plenty of water.

I’m talking to myself when I tell you to take a break and read for 30 minutes. Go for a short walk. Eat a little chocolate (I don’t have any problem with that one). I’ll often take Friday afternoon off to pick up my 6-year old granddaughter for a sleepover. Of course, the piggyback rides and chasing games serve to exhaust me to new heights.

  • Motivate and focus on your strength’s. You’ll find plenty of ways to motivate yourself, you just have to look around. A simple Google search will produce millions of results of motivational content to uplift and inspire you. Also, make a list of your strengths.

It took those strengths to start your business and it takes your strength and talent to manage it. After all, what do football players think about…how inadequate they are? That they have no talent? Huh, I don’t THINK so or they’d have a one-way ticket out of the NFL.

  • Keep your game face on while others offer feedback. If you want to improve your business, you’re going to have to ask for feedback from your clients, your peers, and your mentors. How do you react to feedback when it’s less than what you expected? What if the feedback comes from a trusted source and is still not what you wanted to hear?

Do you keep your game face on or fall apart?

Do you get mad and hurl negative comments back?

Do you wince and glare with nonacceptance of critical comments, even when they’re meant to improve your game?

You can do whatever you want to with your game face in private but keeping your game face on in public is essential to show that you’re a professional – teachable and humble.

Half-time can be a time of commiserating, re-hashing mistakes, mishaps, or a symphony of woe-is-me’s, or it can serve as time well spent. How will you spend your next half-time?

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Focus…man…Focus

October 9, 2009

Without focus, football players miss passes, field goals, and audibles at the line of scrimmage. Without focus they can also miss correct formations, called penalties, and kick-off returns.

With the power of focus, players make Hail Mary receptions and speed through the line with force and fury. Blitz’s work. Nickel and dimeĀ  packages make defensive strategies look like child’s play.

No doubt, focus makes and breaks games. It creates great players. Legendary coaches are made by laser focusing on how to best utilize the team’s talent.

We may be a team of one but nonetheless, focus is just as important if we want to score success in our personal and business lives.

You cannot focus if you don’t know where you’re heading. John Maxwell, in his meaty book, “Talent Is Never Enough” quotes Bill Copeland, private investigator and author. “You’ve removed most of the roadblocks to success when you know the difference between motion and direction.”

John elaborates by saying, “Have you asked yourself what you really want to do? And have you determined that you will pursue it against the odds, despite the obstacles, and regardless of the circumstances? Being intentional is about focusing on doing the right things, moment by moment, day to day, and then following through with them in a consistent way. As President John F. Kennedy asserted, ‘efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.'”

Running backs don’t focus on tackling, they focus on running. The center doesn’t focus on graceful catches, he focuses on getting the ball to the quarterback. As entrepreneurs, we should be focusing on activities that increase our sales and productivity, not on time-wasting rabbit trails that simply lead to busyness.

Focus on your strengths. Focus on your talents. Focus on your goals. Focus on the positive results you will achieve.

Write down five things you will dedicate yourself to focus on this week. Tape it to your monitor or bathroom mirror. I keep a list taped to my bathroom mirror of the weekly, monthly, and yearly goals I want to accomplish. Do I hit every single one every single week? No. Does it help me stay on track? Certainly.

Now, go for it. The goal line is waiting…

Cocky vs Confidence

July 30, 2009

There is a big difference between being cocky and having confidence.

Cocky is bold, brash, and brazen along with sassy and saucy. There is self-confidence well hidden under the behavior but it manifests itself rudely most of the time.

Self-confidence is confidence in oneself and in one’s powers and abilities. It’s being secure and having assurance in oneself. Self-confidence is sexy. Self-confidence is classy.

When we look at many athletes, we only see their cocky side; their swagger, the sly smirks on their faces, revealing arrogance and pride. What we often don’t understand is, that’s just a misguided mask of “real” self-confidence without a place to rest.

What’s more important for an athlete is possessing true confidence; when he knows for certain his abilities and strengths and how to fully utilize them. Every athlete needs an abundance of confidence to rise to the top in his sport.

As entrepreneurs and business people, confidence is absolutely essential to our business success. We need to know who we are, what we are capable of and what talents we have to successfully execute our tasks. Take a few minutes to complete the following exercise:

  • List your three top character traits.
  • Complete the sentence: I never shy away from _________.
  • List your three most valuable strengths.
  • List five life-talents you have (what you’re naturally gifted at).

See…you’re pretty terrific, huh? Stand tall in who you are and what you do best. Focus on those things and more abundance of every kind will flood into your life.

We should still also seek to improve our weak points and develop into a better, more balanced, enriched person. Focusing on our weaknesses though will stall our game and cause us to lose yardage. There I go with football analogies again, but you know what I mean.

Being cocky turns people off. Being confident attracts people to us.

Give confidence a permanent home in your heart and mind today.