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4 Ways to Keep Focus While Starting Up

It doesn't take magic to find success--just find your purpose, and stay on track.

Sarah grew up around dogs and cats, and she dreamed of starting a convenient, reasonably priced pet-grooming business. In her research, she discovered that potential customers wanted additional services from groomers, including pet CPR training, discount treats and day care. Soon, she became overwhelmed by the enormous task of turning her dream into a reality.

I asked her to focus her energy by developing an "actionable purpose"--a specific, achievable goal coupled with the intention to support it. She quickly responded, "I want to create an economical way to bathe pets with natural shampoos that keep their skin
irritation-free and their coats healthy." Armed with this new vision, she knew where to begin.

The enormity of the efforts necessary for success can overwhelm budding entrepreneurs. Use the following steps to help you focus on your goal:

1. State a current, achievable goal and the purpose connected to it. To gain focus, you need a clear direction and intention. Your intention doesn't have to be a revelation; it can be as simple as determining the right services to offer your customers. Focus on a specific purpose that matches your business objectives, meets the needs of your customers and can be implemented immediately.

2. Set realistic expectations. Define the results you hope to accomplish, and establish incremental milestones. This definition acts as your guide to initiate, evaluate and refine the activities you must undertake daily. Be realistic when allocating your time and resources to your goals.

3. Take time to take stock. Our busy lives often afford us little time to reflect upon what we've learned. Schedule time to ask yourself, "Is my current path steering my business toward my true goal?" Don't become frustrated by trying to create a path with pinpoint accuracy--simply evaluate your current course in terms of where you want to be.

4. Seek clarity. As an entrepreneur, you'll find yourself inundated with other people's perspectives, viewpoints and creative strategies. However, it is your personal revelations that will point you in the right direction and provide a secure foundation for you to move toward your goal. Continually review what you've learned, and redefine the next deliberate action you must take to develop your thriving business.

Speaker and consultant Romanus Wolter, aka "The Kick Start Guy," is author of Kick Start Your Dream Business.

Like this article? Get this issue right now on iPad, Nook or Kindle Fire.

This article was originally published in the March 2006 print edition of Entrepreneur's StartUps with the headline: Focus Pocus.

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