The Importance (and Difficulty) of Focusing

I’ve been thinking a lot about focus. How difficult it is for individuals to maintain it. How difficult it is for companies to maintain it too. Employers lacking focus is how a lot of people came to be freelancers. Pivoting to video. Putting too much faith into Facebook. Chasing a new market. Laying off the workers when it didn’t work.

My business is content and publishing, so I always try to read profiles and Q&As with the CEOs of publishing companies. And while it’s safe to say only a few publishers get where the market is going, it’s abundantly clear these days that they’re treading water by labeling everything tests and projects while their main source of income atrophies. The reality is the market is going anywhere sustainable. Few may survive. The past rewarded experimentation, but the near future will require a focus on what works.

It’s tempting for freelancers and the self-employed to do the same. When I started out, I was inclined to chase everything. It’s good to have confidence that you can take on any task. However, it’s unlikely that you’ll get that assignment let alone excel at it if your experience doesn’t match up to the requirements.

And you are likely spreading yourself too thin if you chase a lot of projects outside of your core strengths. It’s easy to fall into the trap of treating each assignment as its own thing, but you should always try to prioritize assignments that help you build your overall skill set as well.

How do you focus? If you have any tips or bad ideas, reply to the email or fill out the form here.

Hope you were able to take some time this weekend to focus on what you want to achieve and how you get there.