No focus, no book

Yes, it’s true. A lack of focus is the single biggest factor that is likely to prevent you from publishing your book. Lack of time, money, ideas and clarity can all be solved, but lack of focus will block your book in every way possible. In other words: no focus, no book. 

When it comes to writing and publishing a book, learning to focus is critical to success. Believe me, I know. I’ve done it myself and I’ve seen others do it over and over again.

Doing too much results in very little

The root of the problem is that you are probably trying to work on too many ideas at once. You have too many projects on the go, too many half-written programmes and too many services for too many different markets. The result is confusion. Confusion makes you less focused.

Lack of focus will block your book in every way possible. In other words: no focus, no book. Click To Tweet

Here's the thing: when you try to work on more than a couple of projects at a time, your attention becomes fractured, your energy goes down, you get stressed and you become unproductive. While it is possible to divide your day or week so you focus on different projects at different times, this cannot work if you have five projects on the go at once. If that's the case, your chance of finishing even one project is significantly diminished. Why? Because you lose your momentum, you lose your confidence and you lose your way.

Priorities plus focus equals results

Today, I spoke to someone who is interested in writing a book. I have no doubt that he could write a great book but One word at a timewhen I suggested he needed to narrow his target market, limit his content and concentrate on producing one targetted book, he got angry.

He wanted to work on all his ideas at once. He wasn’t interested in narrowing himself down so he could focus on achieving one potentially business-changing outcome. He couldn’t stomach the idea of concentrating on getting one thing done, one thing working and one thing producing an income; he wanted to do it all, and do it all now!

But this fractured way of working does not lead to success. If you read about how successful business owners have got their results you quickly learn that their key to success was focus. At any one time, they targetted completing one key product, finishing one major project and finalising one significant piece of work. They learned how to set aside their other ideas, passions, goals and desires to get a result that was capable of having an impact. This is how they managed to produce a book quickly, create a focused marketing strategy and achieve an outstanding launch.

How do you learn to focus?

I know how hard it is to set aside your ideas, and settle your excitement so you can concentrate on one thing. But it is possible and the rewards are worth the effort. The key is planning and starting to believe in your ability to deliver.

  1. Write down all your project ideas. Get some detail in place for each one. Give it a folder on your computer or a place in your ideas file. Explore the idea and work out what you need to do to get each one done.
  2. Choose which of your key projects you want to do first, second, third, etc. Then put them into your calendar for the next year (or longer). Allow sufficient time to do each one well. Imagine doing each to a high standard and getting a brilliant result.
  3. Trust that when you focus you will follow your plan and that you will deliver your projects. All your products, services and other ideas will get done when you prioritise and focus. Start to build evidence of this for yourself.

As soon as you plan the month and year you are going to work on each of your projects, you will find it easier to focus without feeling anxious or stressed. When you start to experience what it feels like to complete your projects in a focused way, you will begin to trust that you will be able to finish all of your projects, not just the current one.

When you finish, you grow

Here’s the thing: focus allows you to FINISH! It allows you to get a result; a result you can learn from and build upon. Sitting on the side lines with lots of ideas that never get tested is not going to get your business moving.

Put it out there to the best of your ability. Focus on this one project (creating marketing for it and selling it) for at least a month. At the end of the promotion, figure out what went well and what didn’t. Get feedback, and be brutally honest with yourself.

Not a speaker? Hate doing workshops? Loathe ‘discovery calls’? Nobody responded, or everyone had the same confusion or objection? What did you find out and how can you change things? Don’t moan about how ‘everyone wants x and I do y’. No, if they want x work out how you can give it to them, even if it means educating them first. Remember, it is your job to inspire, lead and enable your target market because that way you each get more of what you want.

Focus, act, learn

So focus first, act second, learn third. Then start again. This way, you’ll grow, learn and develop so you will serve your market better, produce better products and services and get better results for you, your clients and your business.

And all this practice, expertise, feedback and wisdom from creating one thing that works would make a perfect book for your business, don’t you think?

I think it would.

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