If you want a successful business, you need to say no to all the distractions

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by Tom Watson on December 14, 2014

Life is full of distractions. Some are created by others but the vast majority we create for ourselves. It all starts in our own head. We start with one idea, but then others sprout up.

We want to start a business. We want to go to the party on Friday night. We want to watch our favorite TV shows. We want to go shopping. We want to learn Spanish. The list is endless.

When your head is full of a bunch of different ideas you tend to feel paralyzed. You do a little of this. Then you do a little of that. Then you go on to another idea. You are not really getting anything constructive done. You are just spinning your wheels.

How do we break that cycle of endless distractions?

Think for a moment about someone who desires to start a cleaning business. That’s a great idea. But that person also wants to start a carpet cleaning business too. They also want to have a full service property management firm. The one idea was great, but all three together at the same time is not.

In a sense all these great ideas cancel each other out when you want to do them all at the same time. The fact is you can’t do them all. There is an old saying that states “the more you pull yourself in different directions, the less likely you’ll arrive at your destination”.

Breaking that cycle of distractions boils down to picking one big idea to run with then spending all your time making that idea come true. This is important because the more ideas you try to make happen, the more you sabotage your effort on the one big idea that matters the most.

Conquering your goals is within your reach

Most people fail at reaching their goals not because they lack the talent, but because they spread their talent around too thin. To reach goals – especially big ones – you need all your talent in one place, focused on one thing at a time. The better you are at this, the more success you’ll have at reaching your goals.

Pretend for a moment that you had a goal you wanted to achieve. It was very special to you. But now pretend that your very existence depended on reaching that goal. If you didn’t reach it you would be six feet under. Take it a step further and pretend that everyone you love also depended on you achieving that goal.

If that were the case the odds would be high that you would drop everything to make that goal come true. You would work day and night and do everything in your power to make your dream a reality because you knew how much depended on it. If you can imagine that, then it’s likely you can reach any goal you set!

It’s also a good idea to aim high because the bigger the goal the bigger the reward generally is. As a result this bigger reward makes all those sacrifices you need to endure worthwhile. If you think about it for a moment it makes perfect sense. Small goals aren’t worth making big sacrifices for, but big goals are.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Terry Clark December 14, 2014 at 3:07 pm

Motivating! Thanks Tom!

2 Tom Watson December 14, 2014 at 3:28 pm

Hi Terry! Thanks!

3 Tangyunn Veals December 14, 2014 at 11:07 pm

Thank you for all the resourceful information that you provide….

4 Tom Watson December 14, 2014 at 11:23 pm

I’m happy to help Tangyunn!

5 Brandi Siggal December 15, 2014 at 2:46 pm

Thanks Tom, very motivating. I needed this!!!!

6 Tom Watson December 15, 2014 at 3:08 pm

Happy to help Brandi! Good luck.

7 Calvin December 15, 2014 at 6:10 pm

Tom thank you ,so you say it is not good to focus on two thing at a time.i run a janitorial business, we do Carpet care, window cleaning. What we general do when we bid on a job, we offer a complete package.

8 Tom Watson December 15, 2014 at 6:22 pm

Hi Calvin! That’s ok… what I’m talking about is how people just getting started lack focus on the task at hand. They put too much on their plate then they wind up not getting enough traction on any of them, which cause people to fail.

9 Neil Miller December 19, 2014 at 11:21 am

Hi Tom,

Very very true. I think a lot of people who want to start their own business fall into the “shiny object” trap. We start one thing, think of some other “million dollar idea” and never finish the first idea.

This is off the subject a little but I am wondering if you have done a specific blog post on construction clean up. I have been asked to do some model home cleaning but have the opportunity to do residential construction clean up.

This sounds like a different animal altogether and I am aware I would need more/different insurance than what I already have.

If you haven’t already discussed this could you give some insight with a separate blog post or even a podcast?

Thanks Tom!

10 Tom Watson December 22, 2014 at 11:28 am

Hi Neil! Here is a post I did on that… http://www.cleaning-4-profit.com/2014/04/06/how-to-get-construction-cleanup-jobs/

I had a one million dollar policy and that did me just fine. I was once asked for a two million dollar policy in order to do a job, but I declined that one because it wasn’t worth my time.

As far as pricing… that is on a case by case basis. At the end of the day it’s this…. HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE to do what is requested? From there just apply your hourly rate. I was around 30 per hour for that. Sometimes it dipped below if the customer was a regular, but I tended to bid high because I wanted to cover my butt in case I underestimated how long a job would take.

11 Terry Clark January 14, 2015 at 3:09 pm

Yes!! I put aside distractions, set my goals, mailed 70 flyers. I just got my first commercial call. Your course is awesome!

So excited to give this a shot. So fun!

Thanks Tom!

12 Tom Watson January 14, 2015 at 3:49 pm

Hi Terry!

That’s fantastic. I’m so happy for you!

13 Donald McNeilly January 18, 2015 at 11:53 am

Hi Tom, this kind of goes with one of my favorite acronyms. FOCUS. Follow One Course Until Success.

14 Tom Watson January 19, 2015 at 7:57 pm

Hi Donald! WOW.. that’s a great one. I never heard of that.

15 Douglas Martin January 25, 2015 at 4:51 pm

Hey Terry Clark, can you give me an idea as to what the flyer looked like? Or said? I’m just getting started.


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