The Importance of Focus for Creative Solopreneurs

horserace start gateBig hugs of gratitude to today’s client who reminded me of the most vital lesson I share with my clients, the importance of focus for creative solopreneurs.

We are all over the shop. We are full of creative ideas. We could do this and this and this and this. And we want to do all of it. We want to chase two rabbits (catch neither). We want to be the jockey on every horse in the race (win none).

We are creators and scanners and ideas people and we love the new, new, new stuff. We are seduced by ideas. We are distracted by the next shiny new thing before we’ve done anything useful with the last. We are convinced we can do everything. And we can. We just can’t make any money doing it that way. The money’s not in the idea but in the implementation. And that’s quite dull because it requires stickability, saying no to one’s natural desires and it can feel a bit restrictive until you realise that it still leaves plenty of room for choice and freedom and endless creativity, provided you bring all of those qualities and energy to the One Thing.

I know this so well because I was one of those people until I learned by lesson and I trained myself out of it. We teach what we most need to learn and since 2002 when I discovered coaching, I’ve been coaching for myself as well as for others and helping to build their coaching businesses. I’ve been building a property portfolio and learning to become an investor. I’ve made websites for every genius idea I’ve ever had and wasted so much time and money on web services and URLs and more. And I’ve also built an entirely separate business in parallel with my coaching.

Je ne regrette rien BUT the net result was that I had to have a gap year in 2011 which went on a bit. And I wouldn’t do it that way again. It’s slower and considerably less profitable and more exhausting in every way. Now I’m all about that coaching and all my creativity is brought to the development of that one central project. It defines me. It’s who I am. It has my focus and my love.

I hate to tell my clients this. I apologise over and over as I try to persuade them that they must pick one idea for a business and focus on that one to the exclusion of all else (for now). That’s where profits lie. That’s what will enable them to look after themselves. I explain kindly but firmly that this is precisely why they hired me, to keep them accountable to their financial and life goals. And that constantly creating new isn’t going to get them there, to where they want to be.

They don’t like it. Neither do I. It’s horrid, in fact. But it’s the truth.

STOP IT IMMEDIATELY. Pick one thing. Work on it until it’s making you the income you need each month to be in financial integrity. Then talk to me again and I may just give you permission to work on the next idea, so long as the first one is creating a largely passive income for you. Meanwhile, pick a race you can win and stack the odds in your own favour.

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