Be Like Bill

Be Like Bill


As an entrepreneur and business owner looking to take their business to the next level, you can feel overwhelmed by an avalanche of tasks and responsibility. To improve, you can learn from those who have mastered the art of being highly effective and successful. People like Warren Buffet or Bill Gates.

Do you know what they see as their biggest strength? Both Buffet and Gates have famously stated that without doubt the number one underlying factor in achieving their business goals was focus.

The trouble is that as an entrepreneur, staying focused isn’t easy. So why is this?

Too many distractions

Most entrepreneurs know that they’re finely attuned to business ideas and can spot them when others can’t. These ideas often appear in the most unlikely of places, such as talking to business colleagues, engaging through social media channels, or simply by reading through trade magazines.

The trouble is that although it’s in your nature as an entrepreneur to be ferociously determined to succeed, being subjected to a constant barrage of business ideas can be seriously distracting. In fact it can in many instances detract from the main goal of focusing on taking your core business to the next level.

Ideas are easy

For an entrepreneur, there’s nothing more exciting than the buzz of a new business idea and bringing that idea to life. In this respect, it’s often far easier to channel energies into them rather than focusing on refining and honing existing business ideas.

Making the choice to focus is extremely hard

Many entrepreneurs will come to a crossroads where they have a choice between diversification and sticking to their existing business model. This can often be a tough call for an entrepreneur because as already discussed, they tend to thrive off new challenges.

More often than not the entrepreneur will feel the ‘what if’ scenario occur if they let the opportunity pass them by and for this reason, ignoring it could be a really tough call. This can often create uncertainty around the fact that the decision to focus on the existing business is indeed the right call.

Your clients expect consistency

If you’re ready to expand your business, chances are that you’ve already built up a good client base and these clients have come to expect the very best. This could be through high end products or top quality services that you offer. Either way, the only way to constantly deliver these high standards is to focus on what your business does best. For these reasons, diversification at this time is simply not an option.

Take a world class sprinter for example; he might also be a pretty good cyclist. Does this mean that he should diversify? NO WAY!

Using the same analogy, if a sprinter is to constantly be at the top of their game, they have to be totally focused on what they do best.

Warren Buffet became truly successful because he put all of his attention into finding great businesses on the stock market and investing in those. If he diversified from what he was good at, do you think he would have been so successful?

So how then do you move to become a focused leader?

1. Make the decision

Firstly, the decision to focus, however difficult it may be, needs to come from you. Decide what you’re going to focus on, map out specific goals and be prepared to stay on track.

2. Set a time frame

Give your new-found focus a definitive time frame. It may be six months, it may be a year, it may be five years… whatever works for you.

Every new business idea coming up during this time should be side-lined, so remain focused on your goals. This is not to say that they need to be forgotten about but instead simply shelved until after your self-imposed timeframe has expired. By setting a time frame, you should also define a checkpoint, maybe after ¼ of the time, to revisit your plan.

3. Take massive action

It’s no good focusing on one core aspect of your business if you do it with one eye on something else. Instead, you need to channel all your energies into focusing on your one key objective and throw yourself and your team into this. Remember, massive action leads to massive results! Eventually, this will make you the go-to specialist in your field – and specialists always get the highest fees!

4. Re-visit your plan

Okay, so now you’re taking massive action, you need to revisit your plan. Re-evaluate your actions and take steps to improve, or simply do more of what’s going well.

5. Take the next steps

When your self-imposed time frame has come to an end, you now need to decide whether you want to re-adjust your focus, continue on the same path, or take a new track, given where your business is now. Look at how far you’ve come and see if it’s anywhere near where you want your business to be.

By and large, the specialists, the gurus, the market leaders are always on top of their game because they are focused on getting better every single day in the area where they see their core expertise. The Jack of all trades will always fight with other like-minded, low-price competitors. Don’t go that devastating route – go to the top and focus on what you are best at!

Your fast-track to focus and growth

As an executive coach I make executives and entrepreneurs focus on the right things. Avoiding the distractions and idea-hopping excitement can be a daunting learning process, but there’s also huge satisfaction that comes with becoming the expert, the guru, the go-to specialist in your niche.

Axel Rittershaus
Axel Rittershaus is an internationally renowned C-Level / Executive Coach & Author who started as an entrepreneur in the IT industry in 1993. He knows that success is the result of hard work and determination even more than innate talent. A master of maintaining focus and follow-through, Axel supports C-Level leaders globally in achieving goals. Axel is dedicated and passionate to see clients succeed beyond their expectations. Axel is also the president of the International Coach Federation South Africa and a multiple Two Oceans and Comrades finisher. You can follow him on twitter.