You Decide Where You Focus: 3 Reasons You’re NOT Undisciplined KDS: 071April 20, 2021 April 21, 2021 /
I’ve officially been back in California for about a week and a half now.
And I have to admit, it’s lovely to be back. There are a lot of things that need attention in this state, but it’s hard to beat the weather and the beauty. No matter where I am in the world, it will always be home.
The first 4-5 days here were pretty busy with unloading things into storage, taking more to the dumps, and getting set up in my temporary space at my Dad’s. Needless to say, it was a pretty exhausting couple of weeks leading up to the move and then the week of the move itself (the dogs did awesome on the long journey down… it was an 11-hour drive towing my car).
Since California opened the vaccine shots to everyone 50+ on April 1st (think it will be open to all ages by the time this comes out), I jumped in and got the single-dose Johnson & Johnson shot (which was great since I wouldn’t be able to get it in Costa Rica).
The shot was no big deal, but a little less than 24-hours later I had flu-like symptoms and was down for the count for the day.
Even though the side effects were common, I almost think it was my body’s way of saying “STOP! You need a day girl!”
So that’s exactly what I did.
I took a bath (I couldn’t tell you the last time I had a fever and chills) and climbed in bed. I alternated between sleep and watching HOUSE (never watched it before… it’s a nice escape and Hugh Laurie is brilliant).
You might be wondering what my point is… and why am I sharing my oh-so-dull to-do list with you?
During this entire time (we’re talking a solid 3 weeks here), I managed to keep things going in my business and made money in a few different ways.
This is what this episode is ALL about.
And before I start into the whole “focus and discipline thing”… I want to clarify a few things because it might sound like I’m contradicting myself here (I also appreciate the simple approach or essentialist approach).
One thing I haven’t wavered on, EVER… no matter what I’m talking about, is “doing the work.”
Even if you have 3 things you’re doing, love them all, and are excited about each… at some point you have to hit publish, ship it, sell it, tell the world about it.
Being multi-passionate only becomes a problem when you use it as a distraction or way of life as opposed to diversification.
You Decide Where You Focus
This sounds so freaking obvious, but with so much information and opportunity available these days it’s easy to go sideways or get distracted.
You’re focused on one thing, let’s say email marketing, then you see everyone talking about Clubhouse and why you should or shouldn’t jump in (I notice the hype and excitement has really decreased). I had a few people tell me I should get on Clubhouse and have been invited to join rooms to speak.
I knew I didn’t have the time or energy to jump in, so stayed focused.
It wasn’t about whether or not Clubhouse was worth my time or had any value. I simply didn’t want to do it. Might I try another audio platform later? Possibly.
But for now, the only audio content I’m doing is my podcast.
I have a few things that I do consistently so I make sure I have a certain level of attention and focus there, but then I also know what excites me and keeps me moving forward. I LOVE learning new things… I just don’t love learning ALL the new things.
In the last year we’ve seen the world turn upside down. We’ve seen systems and ways of doing things break down before our eyes… most of which is good. Just because something has been done one way for years and years doesn’t mean it’s the way things should always be, right?
The same thing is happening with the internet and online business, which, in many ways, is still in its infancy. It just doesn’t feel like it because technology moves so quickly.
How to decide where to focus:
Let’s go back to childhood for a moment, shall we?
Where do you enjoy spending most of your time?
Now add the most important business question to that answer.
Where do you get the best return on something you enjoy doing?
Do more of that.
There are a handful of caveats to this advice.
All of this of course depends on where you’re at in your business and what you can financially afford to do. If you’re just getting started, you may have to juggle a couple of things at a time. Meaning, maybe you have a day job so the thing you love doing hasn’t started giving you much of a return… that’s O.K.
Or, maybe you have a little bit of a runway to get things going, you don’t have a day job, but you’re not generating revenue from your new business (or newish business).
Here’s a tip.
Online business is much simpler than we make it out to be (lets leave the tech out of it for now). You need an audience (ideally made up of a quality list of email subscribers plus some social following), your audience needs to have a problem, you need to sell them a solution their problem.
Most of the time online businesses aren’t making money because they’re not making enough offers OR… they’re not making the right offers.
All this means is you need to dig a little deeper. You don’t need to throw “the baby out with the bathwater.”
There are a few things that will make a huge difference in growing your business:
- learn to write – content, email, sales copy
- grow your email list
- engage with people
- provide value
- solve problems
- sell solutions
Even if you LOVE video and audio over writing. Learning how to write (or simply getting better at it by doing it often), will help you craft better headlines, descriptions, social content, etc.
Let’s move on.
3 Reasons You’re Not Undisciplined
I have to admit, I feel a bit like a kid in a candy shop ever since I decided to focus on email marketing and newsletters. Newsletters are an old idea made new again – and they’re so much better than they used to be (most of them anyway).
What I’m loving most about the newsletter space are all the new people and content I’m discovering!
One of my favorite newsletters (even though some of it is a bit over my head), is Contrarian Thinking by Codie Sanchez.
She’s friggin’ brilliant, witty, and really good at what she does. I had already been following her for a bit when I came across her interview with Nathan Barry on his podcast (listen to “029: Codie Sanchez – The Key to Becoming a Future Billionaire” here).
I’ll be listening to that episode again, but my “a-ha” moment came when they were talking about the Creator Economy and having more than one business, or revenue stream.
Side note: Having multiple streams of revenue has always been talked about with online business as something we should all have/do (business in general), but then we’re also told to “focus.” Kind of contrary, isn’t it? (no pun intended to Codie’s Newsletter, “Contrarian Thinking.”).
Back to my “a-ha” moment.
Codie reframed this in a way that has BLOWN MY MIND. 🤯
It’s simply diversification.
You mean I’m NOT an undisciplined sloth who can’t stay focused?
No, my young Padawan, you are not (btw, I’m not that much of a Star Wars nut, as much as I enjoy the movies. I had to double-check that I was using that term correctly. I am. A Padawan is a learner or apprentice. You’re welcome).
You’re multi-passionate and are not putting all your eggs in one basket.
And it’s not only O.K., it’s probably exactly what you SHOULD be doing if that’s what lights you up.
Here are the 3 Reasons You’re Not Undisciplined
- You’re producing profits through your passions
I don’t care if it’s $10 or $10,000. You have to start somewhere.
As long as you’re enjoying it, it’s making you a profit (not just money… the purpose is to turn a profit), then keep at it! I wouldn’t be in business if I didn’t have multiple revenue streams. There are a couple of things in my business that I’m taking a hard look at right now regarding whether or not I’m going to continue doing them. You can only keep at something for so long without growth or income before you have to accept that maybe it’s time to move on. Or maybe it’s time to pivot.
I do know that when things aren’t profitable, it’s a whole lot harder to keep going when you’re not making money with something, especially when you could be putting that energy elsewhere.
2. You continue to grow
As important as money is, it’s not the only measuring stick. I am such a different person today than I was 13 years ago when I first started my business. Both personally and professionally. It’s through the ups and the downs that we learn things (if only we could learn everything the easy way).
In addition to income look at the rest of your data. Is your list growing? What about traffic to your site? Social engagement (more important than vanity metrics IMO).
There have been plenty of people I’ve subscribed to and followed through the years that I no longer follow. Their business may have grown, but they’re teaching the same things they taught when I first came across them… which is great for them and the people they serve. That doesn’t get me excited so I move on.
3. Are you enjoying the journey?
This is part of my #FtheHustle movement and mission.
I’m sure I could have arrived at certain goals sooner, but I don’t really care. My priorities in life are freedom, living life on my terms, and enjoying as much as I possibly can. I don’t have limitations or ceilings on goals and dreams. I like keeping things fluid and flexible, it keeps life so much more exciting. I love living from a place of wonder.
Life experience and age have no doubt contributed to this “state of being” for me… and I’m beyond grateful. A year ago at this time, I was still waiting for my furniture to arrive in Boise, Idaho. Now here I am counting the weeks down until I move to Costa Rica.
If the last year has taught us anything, it’s that the old way of doing things isn’t necessarily right.
Expecting all entrepreneurs to run their businesses the same way is no different than expecting children to all succeed by following the exact same set of rules in school. And we all know that type of learning really doesn’t work for everyone.
Do what works for YOU.
If you find yourself unhappy, never finishing what you start, or doing work you don’t enjoy, maybe it’s time to reevaluate. But you don’t owe anyone an explanation for how you choose to run your business – whether it’s focusing on one product and one brand or 5 businesses and 20 offers.
You do you.
Links from this episode: