Historical records show that typically only one third of all businesses will ever make a profit.
Another third barely break even.
And the rest never even get close.
According the U.S. Small Business Association, only two thirds of businesses make it past the first 2 years and fewer than half make it to 4.
In fact, it’s highly likely that even with the a hot product and a massive market your dreams just won’t turn out to be the huge success that you imagine them to be.
But here’s what’s exciting.
On top of all the historical facts and figures of doom, your single biggest enemy is something you probably haven’t even considered – being distracted.
And if you can solve this problem, your odds for success just got a whole lot better.
Kanye West posted on Twitter in April of 2017 that “You have to protect your ability to create at all cost.”
Keep in mind that activity doesn’t always equal progress.
A lot of effort doesn’t mean that at the end of the day you’ve done anything other than run frantically in circles. Distraction only amplifies that.
When you are really, really busy, it’s easy to imagine that everything you are doing will somehow make you successful.
Doing things that don’t matter usually get you the exact same results – results that don’t really make a difference.
Too much cake is just as bad as not enough vitamins
Just like job search, focus on solving a problem for an employer (customer) and they will call you asking for help. Be brutally honest with yourself.
You can argue away your distractions. And for a moment you may even convince yourself that your actions are helping. But you’re just leaving yourself less prepared than ever to actually realize your dreams coming true.
So, don’t get distracted from reaching your goals.
Apply a relentless focus on the key issues that get you to the future you want for yourself. Get serious about it. Be prepared for your biggest enemy ahead of time and the success you achieve may surprise you.
When I was younger, I found myself bouncing from one idea to the next, trying to get the desired results and failing. I felt like I was banging my head against a wall. My vision was clear, so why wasn’t I able to make it happen?
I finally realized distraction was the cause, so I began focusing on a concept I found in several business books.
Play to Your Strength: The 70-25-5 Principle
- Give 70 % of your time to your areas of strength.
- Give 25 % of your time to the areas you want to improve.
- Give 5 % of your time to the areas of your weakness.
Distraction can happen to anyone, but only when you fail to set goals does it win. A goal must be written down; otherwise, it’s just a dream.
Studies have shown that “individuals with clear, written goals are significantly more likely to succeed than those without clearly defined goals.”
The truth is that if you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.
When dedicating 70% of your time working in areas of strength, you’re likely to make progress toward your daily goals.
Focusing 25% of your time working on areas that need improvement will ensure you do not remain stagnant.
Finally, if you spend 5% of your time working on weaknesses, you will become very well-rounded, giving you more clarity to handle future challenges you may face.
Mike Krieger, the co-founder Instagram acquired by Facebook in 2012 for $1 billion, took a novel pro-focus approach to avoid being distracted.
When he and Kevin Systrom launched the company in 2010, he had a blanket “no meetings” policy. He turned down every request from outsiders.
A no-meeting policy simplified life, like Steve Jobs wearing the same black turtleneck each day, to save time by not having to decide about what to wear each day.
Two things, Krieger says, really helped him.
- Schedule intentional free time marked out on your calendar.
- Make sure to schedule a follow-up on what it is you need to focus on.
In every success story, the longest chapter is the one about determination.
Don’t let distraction stop you from what you want.