Deep Focus

How do <I>you</I> spell success?
Magazine Contributor
2 min read

This story appears in the October 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Successful people have many common characteristics. However, one trait-or, rather, combination of traits-seems to stand out. When it comes to success strategies, entrepreneurs have the ability to FOCUS:

"F" is for foresight and faith. Before you can take any effective action, you must have a clear idea of where you want to go and believe you're going to get there. You need to visualize your dreams and believe they can come true. Great entrepreneurs have the combination of foresight and faith that creates a strong vision and a belief that they will make their dreams come true.

"O" is for organization. Foresight and faith can take you a long way, but your dreams will have no foundation in reality unless you set them down as goals and break them down into small, tangible steps you can achieve one at a time.

"C" is for concentrated effort and courage. Once you create a clear vision of where you want to go and the step-by-step goals to get there, the real work begins. Nothing happens until we take each small step and put all of our effort into it. It takes courage to go after dreams, to move forward against obstacles, failures and setbacks. Great entrepreneurs have the courage to do the things that other people won't do, and that's what makes them stand out from the pack.

"U" is for understanding. High achievers have a passion for reading and investing in new ideas. They gather all the information they can about their businesses and their industries. They constantly learn new skills and develop new talents. Understanding builds your confidence, which strengthens your faith. Understanding also tells you where you need to concentrate your efforts and what steps you need to take next to achieve your goals.

"S" is for seeding and service. The most successful people constantly plant seeds for the future. You should always be widening your circle of contacts, because you never know which of the seeds you plant will bear the most fruit. Service is giving back to others. The true key to living a successful life is to turn the focus from "How can I help myself?" to "What can I do for others?" The more you impact others' lives for the better, the greater your success becomes.

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