The #1 Secret to Becoming a Successful Entrepreneur: FOCUS!

06/09/2015 05:36 pm ET | Updated Jun 08, 2016

Location, location, location . . . yep, that's the success motto in real estate! Most people have heard that location is the #1 factor in real estate investing. Being an entrepreneur is similar where the most important element to success is focus, focus, focus!

I worked in real estate for 15 years and the "location" element was always first on the list. When people got this out of order, #2 or #3 it was without fail a bad experience. Same goes for entrepreneurs and focus! We have been sold a bag of garbage on this multi-tasking concept.

We know focus is important when starting a business, but entrepreneurs get overwhelmed. As entrepreneurs we wear many hats and can quickly become scattered and distracted. Strategy and execution suffer because we are moving in many directions. Lack of focus catches up with you fast, lack of growth and profit for the business will lead to serious problems.

Time, energy and money are going to strategies, marketing ideas and products at the same time, leading to none of them being executed well. Multi-tasking is a business killer. Lack of focus equals burning time, frustration and a general feeling of being on a hamster wheel constantly! Frustration!

Have you heard of SOS - Shiny Object Syndrome or Entrepreneurial ADD? Yes, let me describe how this insanity plays out - You sign up for one or five "Online Business Success" programs, then download 25 ebooks, join countless Facebook groups, download free videos, MP3s and you are feeling good. In control for the moment. Then you never complete the program or read one ebook because you have signed up for more of the same! You know you will find the magic key one day soon.

I know this program very well because I did it all for a long time. It is an endless cycle of never getting anything accomplished but feeling like I had worked hard. It is hard chaotic work, it keeps you scattered and confused.


The reality of this behavior is failure. When you can't focus effectively, you can't think effectively, therefore you can't produce quality work. This is why focus is the #1 skill to success.

Steve Jobs perhaps gave us the best definition for FOCUS:

People think focus means saying yes to the thing you've got to focus on. But that's not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I'm actually as proud of the things we haven't done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.

Having a single focus helps you reach your goal faster because all of your energies are directed on one task. Clear your mind, prioritize and delegate or simple don't do it. Create a clear space to work. Cluttered work area equals distractions. And last, get your technology under control. Turn off the pings, rings and vibration on all your devices. The best thing you can do to focus, turn off your technology and focus on the task at hand without distractions or interruptions.

If you are trying to create a particular business, there are others out there who have done it. A coach is important because you get feedback immediately. Constructive criticism is invaluable when it comes to your business. You need people to tell you when you are getting off track. Support from family and friends is wonderful, however they may not provide constructive feedback. They want you to be happy, so they will say what they think you want to hear. If you are never off track, then you are speaking to the wrong people. Finding a good coach is a great way of helping to stretch your ideas, and explore new options.

I created a list of 11 simple focus tools to keep me on track. I use them everyday with shocking results. I get more work done in less time. Gradually, everyday gets better, more focused and you notice projects are actually getting completed. If you find one or two tools that work for you, I know you will experience great results!

It doesn't have to be all work and no play. Acknowledge and embrace how exciting it is to be pouring your heart into a business you're passionate about and be proud you are following your dreams.

Again, multi-tasking is a business killer!

Debbie Frank is a Business Strategist, who works with entrepreneurs to bring their vision to the marketplace. She assists with "Business Discovery & Development." She enjoys the concept of making & breaking the rules of business possibilities together by exploring new models. Debbie believes excellence is never an accident: it is the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution.