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Self Development

Regain Your Focus for a Prosperous 2013

You’re already one month into the new year and aren’t quite meeting the new year goals you set for yourself. Here are seven ways to regain your focus.

Jane Porter




As an SME owner, you are no doubt familiar with spending entire workdays jumping from one task to the next. To help you cope, try these seven ways to regain your focus in as little as 60 seconds.

1. Refresh your business goals

You may lose focus if you fixate on negative thoughts about your work – email is overwhelming; there’s not enough time; no end is in sight. If you’re unfocused because of such distracting feelings, take a minute to redirect your mind by reminding yourself what made you get into business in the first place.

You might think of three work-related things you’re grateful for or read a client testimonial to motivate you.

2. List your top priorities

Sometimes, you may have trouble focusing because it’s hard to decide what you ought to do first. In such instances, take a minute to write down your top priorities or tasks for the day. You can always look at that to-do list, and it will get you back on track. It shows you concretely what you need to do.

3. Synchronise breath and body

When you close your eyes for a minute and concentrate on the sound and feeling of your breath, you re-energise the body with oxygen. Take a minute to coordinate your breath with a word or movement. For example, you can mentally say the word ‘here’ with each inhale and ‘now’ with each exhale.

You can also lift your arms overhead with each inhale and lower them with each exhale. When you match your breath with a word or movement, you are synchronising the frontal lobes of the brain that help you focus, the motor cortex that controls movement, and the speech centres of the brain.

4. Drink a glass of water

It may sound simple, but if you’re having difficulty staying on task, pause and drink a glass of water. While your impulse might be to grab a cup of coffee, too much caffeine can leave you frazzled. Try water instead. Not only will getting up to pour yourself a glass force you to change your thought process, it also will keep you hydrated, which makes you more alert.

5. Download an awareness chime

Some smartphone apps can help you refocus by sounding an awareness chime at random times throughout the day. Some examples include Insight Timer for $2 and ZenChimes, which is free. As an alternative, try snapping your fingers as a mental trigger. Just to have those little auditory pings throughout the day will remind you to get into focus.

6. Clear your desk – and mind

When your desk is cluttered, your mind can be cluttered, too. If you’re feeling unfocused, take a look around your workspace to see if papers are piled up everywhere. If so, place everything on your desk in a box and put it out of sight.

When we see a pile of papers and other things, we immediately go into anxiety. If it’s out of sight, it’s out of mind. At the end of the day, spend half an hour organising what’s in your box so you know what your next priority will be.

7. Use distinctive objects

While it’s important to keep your workspace free of distracting clutter, it can be useful to place an object on your desk that triggers you to refocus. It could be something as simple as a flower, a candle or even a can of beans. By associating the object with the need to stay on task, you will be reminded to get back to work each time you look at it.

Hot tips

Improve your time management

Don’t be stuck doing what you’ve always done. You know there are better solutions than those you have already implemented for getting things done better, faster and smarter, but you’re just not finding the time, or the inclination, to make a change.

Organisational guru and GetOrganised founder, Tracey Foulkes offers these five simple tips you can start on today.

  • Wake up earlier. Instead of rolling over and hitting ‘snooze’ use this ‘quiet’ time to take care of a critical high value task, reading in your area of expertise, doing something towards reaching your goals and/or exercising.
  • Do the most important things first. Critical and high focus tasks are often left for later in the day when you are tired and less productive. To enhance team productivity, get your group on board to tackle the most important, highest value task on their list first thing in the day before diving into email or attending meetings.
  • Don’t check email first thing in the morning. Email has that uncanny ability to suck you in and chew you up for the day. Schedule three or four half-hour pockets of time throughout your day to read, respond, schedule, file or delete your mail.
  • Say “No” more often. Easier for some than others but saying yes when you should say no really saps time and energy.
  • Spend the last five minutes of your work day prioritising. Choosing today what needs to be done tomorrow takes away the guesswork and lets you dive in to productivity from the get go.

Jane Porter is a freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn, NY. Her work has appeared in publications including BusinessWeek Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Men's Health and The Chronicle of Higher Education. She has a bachelor's degree in English from Brown University as well as a masters of fine arts in creative writing from Warren Wilson College in Asheville, N.C.


Self Development

21 Inspiring Quotes About Success, Persistence And What It Means To Be An Entrepreneur

Leaders of companies big and small share the mindset it takes to achieve your dreams in the face of all obstacles.




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True, being an entrepreneur can be exhausting, lonely, frustrating and terrifying. But it’s worth every drop of blood, sweat and tears when you are pursuing your passion, turning your dream into a reality.

In an ongoing series called Real Entrepreneurs, we pick the brains of founders and leaders about what it is like to have every decision big and small rest on their shoulders and have compiled their thoughts on what it takes to succeed on the long, sometimes crazy journey of an entrepreneur.

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Self Development

The Mindset Strategy From The “Rock Star” Coach Can Turn Your Beliefs Into Results

William Badenhorst, a Director of Global Strengths shares his mindset secret to ongoing entrepreneurial success.

Dirk Coetsee




William Badenhorst, a Director of Global Strengths, is a coach to the coaches. His “Rock Star” attitude along with the deep driving desire to help others find their true selves formed the fabric of a highly interesting and entertaining interview.

The rolling thunder of his voice brought forth quote after quote, quip after quip and wisdom after wisdom. As a “peak performance coach” to professional athletes, celebrities,  entrepreneurs and corporate career orientated individuals, William believes that knowing who you truly are as an individual is the catalyst for lasting growth and useful change in business and in life in general.

His intense eyes and energetic hand gestures emphasized one of his core beliefs and that is that we all are nothing but our very own beliefs.

“Everyone is focused on Results”

Everyone is always focusing on the outcome – the results they want. But what creates results? Let’s do some reverse engineering. In order to achieve RESULTS we need to take ACTION. And in order to take ACTION we need to make a DECISION. To make a DECISION, we need to think about it – THOUGHTS.

The interesting thing about humans is that we do not create our thoughts, we can only control them. So what does create your thoughts? Your BELIEFS creates your THOUGHTS. So ultimately your BELIEFS creates your RESULTS.

“You don’t attract what you want, you attract what you are.”


It is our very own limiting beliefs, such as for example that “I am not good enough” and “I am not deserving” and “I’m not worthy ” that creates barriers to our own success in entrepreneurial ventures and in our lives. In order to reach our limitless potential we must find and remove the self-created barriers that hold us back.

Although he loves the interaction and benefits of social media he is quick to point out that it also has created a fantasy of who and what we should be. He advises to not to adopt such fantasy as your desired reality but to instead be who you really are as an individual and goes on to quote the famous Greek philosopher Socrates:

“Know thyself, Be thyself and Love thyself”

You always end up falling back on your beliefs -whether they are empowering or disempowering. The challenge with that is that a large number of your beliefs are unconscious especially when you have not put in the work to find out what your belief system truly is.

Related: Osteostrong: An Exploding Global Movement Of Positive Change

Through his vast experience as a coach he realized that a large number of people veer away from self-awareness as they are afraid of being judged for whom they truly are.

Have Faith

The conversation naturally evolved into the exploration of the true meaning of the concept of faith and William’s mind grasped at a Quote from the apostle Paul:

“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”

He went on to explain that faith is evidence of true-self which creates certainty which in turn is equal to confidence. Confidence brings a certain state where everything flows. He calls it “Peak State”. He further advises to search for evidence of who you really are and gain belief in yourself.

Advice to young entrepreneurs

William’s thoughts on self-development for entrepreneurs are to get a Coach. If you are already in business and don’t have a Coach – get one!  Begin with taking extreme ownership and responsibility of everything in your life. And when you do that you win.

Stop blaming everything and everyone around you. Stop complaining about circumstances. You are in control and it is up to you to make it happen.  There are no un-resourceful people, there are only un-resourceful states. Go where you are celebrated not tolerated and love yourself unconditionally. Remove the very unrealistic expectations of what and who you should be and authentically be yourself. Believe in yourself and go all in on YOU!

Related: How To Conquer Your Fear Of Becoming an Entrepreneur By Being Disciplined

Become the best form of yourself because as an entrepreneur you are the business. Play to your strengths and manage your weaknesses. You do not need a title to lead, have massive self-belief and others will follow.

Have an attitude of constant learning:

“If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room”

And then yet another quote rolled off his tongue that put me in a self-reflective mood:

“A person that shines from within does not need a spotlight”

William Badenhorst, the father, the coach, the entrepreneur and key note speaker left the author and the reader with a question of mesmerising depth:

“What if you woke up this morning with only the things that you were grateful for last night?”

Gratitude is everything!

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Self Development

How You Can Move From Your Potential To Your Purpose

“Value isn’t in opinion, it’s in perspective” – Wes Boshoff

Wes Boshoff




Let’s face it, we all know that when wanting to achieve something different, you need to do something different. The challenge isn’t in wanting the different, it’s in doing the different!

Mark Twain said, “The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why”.

I love that because it highlights the importance of knowing that you have a purpose, and that you need to find it or design it, then live it, love it and look after it.

You have heard it said or said it yourself…”that person has huge potential, if only they would…”. It’s great to have potential but potential doesn’t equate to purpose. They are like elastics, just sitting there on the desk, and it’s not much good to anyone just sitting there. You see there is a gap between potential and purpose and that gap is called ‘The Stretch’.

Related: Founder of Five-Star Wes Boshoff Weighs In On Becoming An Entrepreneur

For that elastic to move from potential to purpose it needs to be stretched, and only once its stretched and put round a bunch of pens does that elastic really move into its purpose. We are a lot like elastics, we need to be stretched to move from potential to purpose. The stretch isn’t always easy because we tend to get twisted out of shape when we need to do something different. However, the stretch is not designed to change who we are, just change how we are.

Here are a few ideas to help you in The Stretch.

Think about what you think about – it’s all in your perspective

Things are achieved or not achieved depending on how we think about them. Do you focus on the obstacles or the opportunities? It’s easy to see the obstacles, the key is to choose which one you going to focus on. Obstacles will always get in the way of opportunities if you let them. So, remain attentive to the possibilities that opportunity brings.

That means you need to position yourself in the way of opportunity, get in its way – make something happen, don’t just sit there! There’s a catch to this one though, opportunity never travels alone, it always comes with responsibility. Do you have the ability to respond to the opportunity? Are you taking responsibility, often we are given it, but we don’t really take it! You need to take and own the responsibility to maximise the opportunity!

Beware of distraction

‘Dis’ – a prefix meaning reversal, or the absence of action and traction refers to grip. When you get distracted you lose grip and that’s dangerous. Imagine driving, suddenly, you’ve lost traction, you are heading in the wrong direction, you may even end up going backwards.

Make sure you stick to what you need to do, create daily productive habits that will help you achieve in the long term. Grow your capacity and increase your footprint. Gain traction by repeating what works for you, that way your practice becomes repeatable and your brand becomes reputable. Don’t stop moving, its easier to change direction while you are still moving, than it is to start moving.

Related: What Building A Mini Car Taught Me About Leadership

Things don’t always work out

Employ the “What’s Wrong – What’s Next?” philosophy. When things go wrong with people, products or plans, we can get caught up in drama. There’s no time for drama, simply define what went wrong and decide what needs to be done next to fix it. Once fixed, then deal with the doer of the wrong, but deal with them in the right way too…you still don’t need drama!

“Value isn’t in opinion, it’s in perspective” – Wes Boshoff

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