One of the key principles of successful companies and individuals is focus. Focus is concerted effort in one area, aspect, thing or region. To be successful, you need to learn to focus your efforts or success will be elusive. This does not mean you cannot later diversify it simply means to make that step in the right direction all your being has to be focused in that one area.
So how do you know what to focus on? There are 3 key areas to look at in the area of focus that will result in success. Now this does not mean overnight success but it means you will see lasting and long term results as long as you continue to focus.
1.Passion: It is important to be passionate about what you are choosing to be focused on. It may not be the thing you are doing but the impact it has on others. For example, there may be a need for employment and at the moment, you are concerned about the high unemployment rate. The opportunity presenting itself may be a consultancy to role about a government programme; you may not be passionate about government officials and dealing with politicians but you are passionate about the impact of what your work results in and so you can do that consultancy despite the people you have to deal with.
Choosing your passion is beyond doing what you like to do but your reason for being. The reason you were born in your community and with the skills you have.
2. What you Excellent at: Choose a focus area that you can be the best at. If you are not the best at what you do chances are that eventually whatever you do will trickle down to price wars between you and your competitors or if you are dealing with personalities, name calling (Kenyans should be able to understand the perfect example in Kenyan politics).
It may not be an area you are already excellent in but if you make a few adjustments you could be the very best. This may require you giving up a lot and shedding off areas of your life or business that will not support this success. For example, it may mean spending more time perfecting your speaking, cutting out training in areas that are not focused on the area of speaking you are interested in, shedding off friends who at the moment are not supporting the direction you are going and actively want to lead you in another direction. Studying, researching the topic till you know it upside down inside out. Excellence is hard work because you have to be an authority in the area.
3. Has Economic returns: The greatest measure of success in work and business is financial returns. There are many different ways to measure profitability but it is important to choose what the most important measure in your business will be. Is it income per region, is it sales per customer or re-order volume?
You may be very profitable but if customers do not come back then maybe this is going to be for just a few years? Economic return that continues to improve, from re-orders and in a period shows returns that are higher than the average, are a good sign that you got your strategic focus right. If this is not the case then you are average, not successful and that means anything affecting the industry is prone to affect you.
Understandably initially, the economic returns may not be obvious however in a few months and normally in a few years in the case of business you should be able to see a difference as you will have spent time marketing and creating awareness of your service or product. If it is a winner and you are excellent it is natural that you will create a client base and get referrals. If it is average you are not likely to move users from their current providers to yourself. This applies to all industries.
In the case of an individual your network and income in your area of focus should grow. If you are to measure this it could be through followers and conversions for your social media pages and referrals you get that either need your service or are in the industry. I also find that as an individual you also get more youth asking for mentorship.
The three areas are equally important. None comes before and the other. You should not base this on how big an aspect of your business is when you are starting off but on raw facts on your strengths, weaknesses and what is really required to be the very best. Analyse the area you want to focus on based on facts not ego. Humility will be very important when making the analysis and sometimes you may find that the area of your core business is not actually what you need to be focusing on as you cannot be the very best at it in the market you are operating in, and risk going out of business in a few years
Some people do not mind average returns but if success and is your goal, it is in your interest to start re-evaluating and analysing hard what your area of focus should be. This is a continuous process and the more you go through the analysis the better you get in fine tuning your business to be the very best in the long haul.