Claudia Harvey

Claudia Harvey

Focus Versus Flexibility – An Entrepreneur’s Challenge

Admit it, as new business owners, we’ve all been distracted by the beautiful sunny day outside the office window and think, “It’s just one afternoon…I can get away” and, “It’s my own business, no one will know…After all, I became an entrepreneur for flexibility in my life” to, “I will work extra hard tomorrow and make it up.” Many use these excuses to justify our absence from the work that needs to get done to be successful, or as a way to escape the tasks that we find new and difficult. It’s a slippery slope from “It’s just one day…it’s only a few hours…” to, “Why isn’t my business succeeding? Where are my clients? Why is my revenue down this quarter? I can’t pay my bills!”

The fine balance between the “freedom” of working for yourself and using your flexibility as a business perk to staying focussed on sometimes difficult tasks that drive our business forward is a thin tightrope many business owners face. Being physically absent from the office does not mean you are free of your responsibilities and goals. Newly minted business owners can still fall into the well-worn habit of acting like they have the luxury of a steady paycheck, benefits, paid vacation …and work like they have a corporate safety net under them. It’s a hard reality check when the revenue that was expected to pay the bills and grow the business doesn’t come in the door.

Here are 7 key strategies to keep in mind to focus and grow a sustainable business:

• Goals – Reverse engineer your goals so you know exactly what milestones you need to meet that day, that month and that quarter and beyond. Use these goals to drive you forward and focus on necessary tasks. Write them down for accountability and measurability.

• Surround yourself with those that can lift you up – On those days that you hear the limiting beliefs creeping in, surround yourself with positive, supportive people that can encourage you to keep the faith and stay true to your dreams. Have one or 2 on speed dial, talk to them, re-energize and then get back to work. This is not a whine session, it’s a “pump-me-up” session and get back to it! And when needed, you supply the air for their balloon. Find a community of like-minded people that support each other.

• Stay positive – you will attract much more business when you project positivity and confidence and that business will become an upward spiral to revenue…and before you know it you’ve created that sustainable business!

• Move it! Change your physical space when you hit the wall. This isn’t an entire afternoon break if you have pending tasks, but a 30 minute exercise break that will re-energize and enable you to move ahead with a fresh perspective.

• Acknowledge – Feel satisfaction and acknowledge the accomplishment when you’ve finished your task…congratulate yourself on a job well done, another check in the to-do box!

• Enjoy what you do – it’s a lot easier to stay focused when you perform tasks you enjoy. If you don’t enjoy it, is there a way to outsource the task so you can focus on things that you like to do that will keep you positive and bring in the revenue?

• Reflect – look back at the goals you’ve met and see how much you’ve learned and how far you’ve grown. And if you are not satisfied with your results, what can you do to change this in the future? Learn from them.

Claudia Harvey is a Motivational Speaker, Entrepreneur, Business Owner and CEO of On The Verge where your possibilities become reality. Find out more about her other businesses and Dig It Apparel Inc. and contact here

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Claudia Harvey is a contributing author with todays’ other influencers including Melinda Gates, Mary Barra and Oprah Winfrey.