Concern, Influence, Focus

As small business owners, how much time do you spend focusing on the things that you can directly control? How much time do you spend worrying about things that you have little or no control over?

For you to be your most productive and to add the most value to your clients and your business, I would argue that you need to be spending the majority of your time on those things that you can have the most impact on and that are going to move your business forward.

There are many things that will impact your business that are external to it, for example the global economy, the natural disasters that have recently hit many areas of the globe, raw material pricing. However, these are not within your direct control and many you can have little or no influence over; so to spend your energy on them is a waste. What you can do is look at your response to them, what you can do within your business or by working with suppliers/customers/stakeholders (things where you can have a good level of influence) to address the impact. Therefore, taking a level of control and pro-activity.

As I was contemplating these things, the model from First Things First by Covey, Merrill & Merrill came to mind. If you’re not familiar with it here is a quick precis:

  • Circle of concern: all of the things that we have some concern or interest in. However, many of which we have no direct control or influence over.
  • Circle of influence: these are things that concern or interest us that we have some ability to influence or make a difference about, but we still do not have direct control of.
  • Circle of focus: those things over which we have the most direct control and influence. By focussing here we maximise the use of our energy and time

Perhaps you could ask yourself a few questions to see where the thing that is concerning you really sits and how you might best respond to it.

What is it about this thing or situation that concerns me?

How might I affect the situation?

How can I change it by actions that I can take?

Who might possibly be able to help me change this?

How might they possibly help me change it?

How might I possibly get their help and support to change it?

Sometimes when you are faced with big issues, it is difficult to see the wood for the trees; to determine where to focus and spend your time and effort.

That is where a coach, such as I, can help you to test assumptions, looks for alternatives and create action plans to take control of the issue. Visit the Ignition Coaching website to find out more.

Written by Rob Cameron

Rob Cameron

Rob Cameron is a Business Coach, passionate about helping business owners to grow and develop their businesses to achieve the lifestyle they desire. Founder & owner of Ignition Coaching.

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