Yes, it’s true. Lack of focus is sabotaging your business growth. If you’re running a small business or nonprofit, you are no doubt running, seemingly always. You try lots of new things and work on new ideas. Unfortunately, FOMO (fear of missing out) is taking over, and you don’t know what to stop doing. You are getting revenue and making things happen, but profit margin is declining, you are overwhelmed, and tasks are getting dropped.
You’re running, but aren’t sure where you’re going. You lack focus, and it’s sabotaging your business.
Focus Brings Business Growth: The Lighthouse Example
Lighthouses had one primary purpose: to keep ships safe. Before the early 19th century, their light would travel less than 10 feet, so they were helpful only very close to shore. The invention in 1822 of the Fresnel lens (named for its inventor) allowed light to travel more than 20 miles, all the way to the horizon. This greatly improved the safety and navigation of shipping, the primary method of transporting goods and people great distances prior to the advent of cars and planes. So, how did Fresnel lenses make lighthouses so much more effective?
In short, focus. More specifically, magnified focus. The prisms at the top and bottom of the lens pictured above bend the light back to the center. With the light focused back to the center, the magnifying lens in the middle shines the light 20+ miles out to sea. Ships then knew exactly where they were, day or night, revolutionizing navigation at a similar level to GPS in the early 21st century.
Without focus, the light was useful but not nearly as effective at reaching its goal. To quote Reilly Sharp in this video by Vox, they were “better than nothing” but that was about it. Getting focus and then magnifying it made lighthouses more important to business and society. The number of lighthouses grew from 24 in 1800 to 850 by the turn of the 20th century, saving countless lives.
How to Fix Your Lack of Focus and Grow Your Business or Nonprofit
How do you get a Fresnel lens for your business? One of the best ways to improve focus is to take time to really think about what you want your business to accomplish in the next year, three years, and five years, then create a strategy and plan to get there.
To get started, download the free 3 Steps to Growth Strategy Guide for a step-by-step process to think about what you want your business to accomplish and create a strategy to get there. I also highly recommend reading #1 Wall Street Journal bestseller, The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller, which you can purchase from Amazon in audio, digital, or print (affiliate link). This article by Neil Patel in Inc. Magazine also has a few great tips.
For more on how lack of focus sabotages your business growth
6 Ways That Lack of Focus Can Kill Your Business (Forbes Magazine)
CEO Growth Series Challenge #1 – Lack of Focus (Chief Outsiders)
Fresnel Lens image courtesy of Pensacola Lighthouse & Maritime Museum. Visit them!
To really nerd out on lighthouses and Fresnel lenses, visit the US Lighthouse Society website.
I can also help you one-on-one. Set up a free consultation with me to find out how I can help you create a strategic plan for your business.