One of the biggest challenges entrepreneurs and solo-professionals face is how to stay focused while building their business online. Someone reading this may immediately think of all the ‘shiny objects’ that are available on the Internet, and that is definitely an area of significant distraction. However, the challenges with keeping focused on your business may also come from other areas in your life.
1) Too many ideas
You are responsible for coming up with creative ideas to apply in your business and it’s very easy to have so many great ideas that you lose your focus. In themselves each idea may be very good and can have a positive impact on your business as well as your relationships with your clients and customers. However, because you do not focus on just one idea at a time, the multiple ideas lose their ability to make a difference in your business.
Perhaps you face a particular challenge that keeps you from completing certain projects that you start. For example, in my first year online I did not understand the mechanics of setting up a squeeze page yet I kept writing report after report to give away on these pages. As a result, I recently discovered that I have several reports already created which I can now put to good use.
2) Failure to separate your work time from family time
If you are building your online business from home staying focused can be a huge challenge. It’s very easy to become distracted by the thought of household chores you need to do or errands that you need to run.
This is something that only you can do for yourself, but it’s critical: Decide when you’re going to work on your business and stick to it. If it makes you feel less ‘guilty’ work in time blocks, that is, decide if you’ll work for 60-90 minutes, take a break for a specific period then work another time block. Make sure that you also set limits on the breaks you will take. Once you’ve set up a schedule, make it your aim not to lose focus. Unless it’s a dire emergency, do not let anything or anyone distract you.
If you have family members at home during the times you want to work, include them in your decision and help them to understand why it’s important for you to take this step. Because they have a vested interest in your success and they understand why you need time alone, they are more likely to cooperate with you.
3) Setting Goals to Keep Your Focus
It may be a cliche, but it speaks for itself: You can eat an elephant one bite at a time. If you look at the big picture of what you’d like to accomplish in your online business, you’d probably become so overwhelmed that you give up before you even start. The key for how to stay focused is to break down your overall goals into manageable time-stamped steps. You may need to break those into smaller action steps that will allow you to complete those tasks in a given time.
This takes time, but it’s important to focus on this aspect of goal-setting first. After you’ve broken everything down into actionable steps with dates for completion included, you are now able to focus on each step and bring it to its conclusion before moving to the next step. This will make a huge difference in the overall picture of your business and you’ll find that the success that may have eluded you in your online business now becomes a reality.
My Internet Marketing Mentor stressed this for quite some time and it took me a long time to appreciate the value of focusing on just one thing at a time. Become good at one thing before moving to the next. This principle is true if your business is solely online, that is, internet-based, or if it’s combined with an offline business, like coaching or sales.
So to keep focused on building your business online and enjoy the rewards of being an entrepreneur or solo-professional, it’s important not to try to execute too many ideas at one time, separate your work and family time, and set goals by breaking large tasks into small, actionable steps.