Updated: Nov 30, 2019
As an entrepreneur and business owner, your success depends on your ability to create real value for your clients and customers. The heart of your work is centered in solving problems and creating new possibilities. Naturally this is work that matters to you! It’s why you’re in business running your own show.
However the reality for most entrepreneurs is they are trapped in meeting after meeting, wasting time dealing with trivialities of the day-to-day. Many business owners struggle to find enough time to devote to distraction-free concentration necessary for creating their best work and realizing their best results.
Frankly, I am no expert on productivity and time management. I have my own struggles doing what’s important while dealing with the urgent. However, I have been in the game long enough to know a thing or two about focusing my energy and creating results.
Recently I had a conversation with a successful, highly talented entrepreneur who shared with me her frustration over not having enough time to get everything done. She was working long hours, she was bone-tired with little time to tend to her own needs. Her ability to think strategically and creativity for her clients was critically impaired, and not surprisingly, she no longer felt any joy and passion for running her own firm.
At wits end she asked me “ how to I focus on the work that truly matters to me?” If you’re an entrepreneur in similar circumstances, allow me to share with you the advice I suggested to her.
Step away from your business often.
Develop the habit of stepping away from every aspect of your business for one day a week. (Weekend days don’t count.) Stay away from your office, turn off your phone. Your mind needs a period of rest. You need to clear your mind of all the things that have you plugged like a clogged drain. Consider it a free day. Better yet, consider it an investment in your bigger future.
Raise your prices.
Most entrepreneurs can’t say no. They take on customer’s and clients who drain them of all their creative energy–squeezing them tighter on price and delivery then making them wait 90 days to be paid. The best way to get back to doing your important work is to raise your prices. Immediately these low value customers will evaporate from your scene. Typically it’s 30% of your current book of business. This leaves room for you to invite higher value clients who seek you out because your important work is valuable to them and not in abundant supply elsewhere– and they are willing to pay a premium for its benefits.
Build a team then delegate.
The lone-wolf, self-made, rugged entrepreneur is a myth. You can’t do it all. You’ve heard this a million times, but if you happen to be one of those who micro manage every aspect of your business, letting go will be a challenge. Let go anyway. Build a team of experts around you who will deliver the results customers and clients desire. You need to be free to focus your creative energy on the important work of creating new value for customers rather than the urgent work of managing process and deliverables.
Follow the Muse.
The muse speaks to you through your higher mental faculties of intuition and imagination–which leads to creative thinking and better ideas. If you’re constantly distracted , confused and tired, the muse will go elsewhere. Innovation is the process of creating new value in the marketplace rather than compete for the value already created by others. Trust your intuition, follow your gut, play with your ideas.
Doing the work that matters to you is a disciplined practice. There will never be a right time to get down to doing what truly matters to you. The most successful, satisfied and fulfilled entrepreneurs I have worked are constantly in a state of disciplined practice of spending their energies focused on the work that matters! They are focused on the creative plane not the competitive plane.
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