The Difference Between Clarity and Focus, and Why You Need Both to Become a Successful Entrepreneur
Without clarity and focus, you're just spinning your wheels.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Entrepreneurship by definition takes risk. The process of starting a business, building infrastructure, marketing and servicing to customers requires a combination of time, money and expertise. The more you have of either time, money or expertise, the less you need of the other two. Still, your business venture will not succeed without both clarity and focus. With clarity and focus, you can move mountains. Without clarity and focus, you're just spinning your wheels.
Related: Follow These 8 Steps to Stay Focused and Reach Your Goals
What exactly are clarity and focus?
Clarity is knowing exactly what you want to achieve. For me, clarity was a certain dollar figure. At 16 years old, I knew I wanted to get my mother out of debt and reduce her burden of working two jobs. Knowing how much money my mother owed gave me absolute clarity on what I needed to achieve.
Focus is knowing which actions to take every single day to get there.
When you get into your car, you have a starting place and a destination. The map or GPS gets you from where you are to where you want to be. Clarity is where you want to be. Focus is doing what you need to do to get the car to its destination. Every choice you make behind the wheel will either get you closer to your destination, or further away.
To further the analogy, the GPS or map is your mentor or guide who will shorten the learning curve, so you're not driving around in circles. And the fuel is your why. Your why is the energy behind every action you take. My why was to get my mother out of debt. It's what kept me motivated every day I was trying to grow my business, and championed me through the inevitable setbacks.
Related: A Good Way to Get More Things Off Your To-Do List Is Adding More to Your Not-to-Do List
How can clarity and focus get you to your goal?
I suggest that you start with a yearly goal; this is your clarity. Break down that yearly goal into what you need to achieve each month to reach it. Then, break down each monthly goal into what you need to accomplish each week, and further, what you need to accomplish each day.
Let's say you want to make $120,000 this year, for example. Breaking that down into monthly targets, you need to bring in $10,000 a month to reach $120,000 a year. Each month contains approximately four weeks, which means you need to bring in $2,500 per week. And, if you work five days a week, that works out to $500 a day. You need to earn $500 each weekday to make $120,000 this year.
Knowing that you need to bring in $500 today is clarity. Focus refers to the actions you must take to achieve this goal. Then, do the same thing tomorrow, and every day, to hit your year's goal of $120,000.
Related: Tools and Strategies for Effortlessly Improving Your Focus
But, how do I do It?
Again, the "how" is where your focus needs to be. There are basically two ways to build a business. The first is to build a business around your passion, strengths and expertise. You will need a website, a product or service, customer support and you will need to go out and find your customers. Though there are many benefits to building a business along your passions and interests, this is arguably the slower way to generate revenue.
I started my business the second way, as an affiliate marketer, meaning I made a commission from promoting other people's products. To be successful as an affiliate marketer, find a product to promote that sells well, offers good commissions and solves a problem for an audience you can target. If you can reach the product's perfect audience, you can sell the product.
After that, it's a numbers game. You must focus on your analytics. If you make 10 YouTube videos that drive 50 people to the product and five purchase the product, then you know that you need two YouTube videos to drive one sale. If you need to make 25 sales to make $500, then you need to make 50 YouTube videos. Or, you can invest in Facebook ads and tweak them until you're basically earning $2 for every $1 you invest. Whatever your method of driving traffic, stick with it until it becomes profitable.
Focus on your analytics to reach your daily goal, and focus on your daily goal to reach your yearly goal.
Related: How to Stay Focused When You Feel Like Giving Up
Why doesn't everyone do this?
It seems so simple, but most people lack the clarity and focus they need to turn their business into a success. They don't know what they want, and they're unwilling to stick with a plan long enough to achieve it. Too often, when something doesn't work the first time, we give up and chase after another shiny object. Rather than give up, commit to working your plan. Whether it's YouTube, Facebook, Instagram or other platforms, commit to focusing on that platform for three to six months. Commit to making it work before trying something else.
When you have the clarity of knowing what you want and the focus to do what you need to do each and every day to get what you want, success is bound to follow.
Related Video: What's the Most Important Thing to Focus on When Building Your Business?