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The Power of Focus and Discipline

It’s tempting for a business owner to chase every shiny object or exciting new fad.

But – as any successful entrepreneur will tell you, the key to sustainable growth lies in maintaining consistent focus and discipline over time.

I can’t overemphasize the importance of staying true to your core business objectives, resisting the temptation of fads, and knowing the difference between passing trends and lasting strategies.

Let’s look at some of the obstacles to focus and discipline – plus how you can move them out of your way.

Shiny Object Syndrome

Shiny Object Syndrome is prolific among entrepreneurs, and it’s lured many a business owner away from their core business strategy.

It’s easy to believe the hype of the Shiny New Thing– that the latest business innovation or tool holds the key to lasting success.

But – more often than not, these distractions simply take attention and resources away from what really matters to your business.

Maintaining a disciplined business strategy means keeping your commitment to core objectives and letting outcomes and data drive your choices. It can also feel incredibly BORING to do the same thing over and over again – a philosophy we encourage here. There are plenty of other constructive ways to go thrill-seeking.

Resist the urge to chase every novel idea that glitters; instead, channel your energy into the habits and strategies that align with your long-term vision.

Think about it like this: if your business is a garden, each idea or project growing there represents a seedling that needs your attention, your care, and your disciplined cultivation.

Every time you get distracted by a shiny new idea, it’s like letting in a weed.

It might look good at first, but over time that weed will steal resources and choke out your core plants.

Before long, you have an unruly and overgrown mess rather than the carefully tended garden you envisioned.

You must constantly weed out distractions so your core strategies can thrive.

Fads and Trends – and Knowing the Difference

Fads and trends can look similar – so it’s important to know the difference.

While a fad is a short-lived burst of popularity, a trend represents a more sustained and enduring shift in consumer behaviour or industry practices.

Fads are like fireworks – they’re beautiful and sparkly, and they make a lot of noise, but they fade quickly, while trends have more staying power.

If you can’t distinguish between the two, it’s easy to get in over your head.

For example, think about the dot-com boom of the late 1990s.

Many businesses rushed to create an online presence– they just KNEW it was the next BIG thing.

But – those who mistook this fad for a long-term trend in consumer behaviour suffered when the bubble burst.

In contrast, companies that identified the more lasting trend of increased digitization were able to adapt in better ways and be more successful in the long run.

Bottom line: investing in a fad can be a waste of resources, while investing in a trend can allow you to make strategic investments that pay off over time.

Why It’s Important to Say, “No”

“No” may be the entrepreneur’s most powerful secret weapon.

Good business leaders understand the value of strategic tradeoffs – what you say, “no” to is just as important as what you choose to pursue.

Not every opportunity aligns with your core business objectives, and not every idea is worth chasing.

Discernment and the ability to say, “no” to distracting projects are crucial for maintaining focus – and ultimately crushing your business goals. It was very hard for me to learn the lesson and power in saying no.

The biggest shift for me was when I realized that for every “Good idea” I said No (or not right now) to, I was able to open myself to the possibility and availability of a “resounding yes!”

Saying, “no” to projects that don’t align with your goals saves crucial resources – like your time, money and energy – for your core purpose.

The ability to say “no” with intention shows your commitment to your organization’s mission.

The Power of Consistency and Predictability

You need consistency and predictability in a couple of important areas of your business.

First is decision-making.

How do you decide what to pursue and what to decline? Having a process for decision-making that’s scalable and replicable leads to the kind of stability and sound decisions that set you up for long-term success.

You also need consistency and predictability in your execution.

How do you actually do the work?

What is the (fill in your business’ name) way?

Systems and processes that help you and your team repeat projects consistently over time help underscore your brand promise and build trust with your customers.

When you establish good habits in both areas, they can help both you and your team resist the urge to chase all the new, shiny distractions that come your way.

If the sparkly new thing fits within your process, or improves your process outcomes, then great, but otherwise, you can let the fad pass you by with no regret.

If you’re pursuing sustainable growth for your business, consistency and focus are key.

You’ll have to resist distractions and fads, while developing the discipline to say, “no” when it’s the best strategic choice.

Ultimately, this helps you build a business that’s resilient and reliable – and that’s positioned to stand the test of time.

If you’d like some support as you eliminate distractions from your business strategy, I encourage you to book a free consultation with me.

Together, we can protect your business from Shiny Object Syndrome.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jean-Eric Plamondon

Founder and Systems Strategist at Growth Strategies.

Serial entrepreneur with direct experience launching, growing, & selling a number of businesses including scaling a scrap metal business from $0 to $5 Million in 6 months.

Certified Management Consultant and Value Builder Advisor. Author of the Boring Business Manifesto.

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