September 15, 2018
By Jacki Hart CLM
Prosperity Partners Program Manager

Jacki HartA skilled business owner is focused on what’s important. This may not take place on a daily or even a weekly basis, but at the very least, they check in and focus on what’s happening and needs to happen every month. This check-in requires focus — the next in our list of top skills for great entrepreneurs.

Any business owner can easily become focussed on the day-to-day activities of the business: dealing with staff, customer service, managing inventory, marketing, and paying invoices. It’s easy to spend your time and your focus putting out the fires right in front of you, but this limited focus means you may be losing sight of the big picture and that’s where your focus needs to be in order to succeed.

Successful businesses are driven by this big picture (or big horizon) focus. It drives your business strategy. And mastering this important discipline takes practice. Think about it. How many visionaries do you know that didn’t think long-term, or about the big picture?

Entrepreneurial focus requires the ability to maintain a bird’s eye view, constantly checking that action matches three crucial factors in your business: vision, strategy and targets.


Where is your business going? What’s the destination? What will be happening (or not happening) when it is successful? What are you aiming at? What does the team understand as the end-game of why they come to work every day? If you haven’t already articulated a vision statement to your team and customers, you should. A vision statement (ONE sentence only), drives the efforts and focus of the entire team. It also keeps the core leadership team on track.

In the Millennial era of business teams, knowing where the company is going, and how each person will contribute to the greater success, is crucial. In one simple sentence, skilled entrepreneurs can make their single most effective impact on the forward momentum of the company.

If you’re aiming at nothing, you’ll hit it with huge accuracy — and so will your business. Everyone in your business needs focus. If you’ve ever had staff in your midst who just don’t ‘get it,’ and your business operates without a vision statement, then you know exactly what I mean.

If you don’t give clear direction, who will? Ask yourself these two crucial leadership questions if you don’t have a clearly stated vision statement: If not me, then who? If not now, then when? You need a razor-sharp vision statement in order to have focus.


The infamous strategic plan leaves many business owners rolling their eyes, muttering something under their breath about “not enough time.” The truly successful, effective business owners are the exception. They understand the importance of having a detailed road map.

By now, most of us have experienced a bad piece of advice from an in-car GPS unit — something we somewhat follow blindly, and with deep trust. What the GPS unit is missing is the understanding of the context of your preferences for the journey. It usually gets you to where you want to go eventually, but often in an inefficient, wasteful way (time, distance, traffic patterns, etc., despite setting your preferences for the journey). It is helpful when traffic is moving along smoothly (just like your business), and typically becomes increasingly inefficient as unplanned things get in the way (just like your business). Journeys started with the greatest plan rarely end with adaptability and focus on what’s important.

Think of your business in this way: without all of the information laid out (the strategy), you have no ideas to what you need to apply resources to, how much or when. How can you engage your team (or attract them) if you’re unclear as to what contribution they will need to make (and the return on investment they will bring)? The strategy is the road map from which you focus the what, when and how. And for this, you need one.

Targets and goals

Whether daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly or annual, targets are an important part of business success. They are the milestones on which your team and your marketing and business results depend on. They bring clarity and create important metrics, driving what gets measured and when. They provide focus.

Everyone needs to be focused on results. Targets and goals help to create the ability to measure performance. This is what drives accountability. It’s what rallies the team and drives focus.

“If you’re aiming at nothing, you’ll hit it with huge accuracy.” Remember that previous statement? When there is an absence of clarity, there is also an absence of focus. If you don’t set targets and spur on all efforts to meet or exceed them, then who will?

The focused entrepreneur will maintain a bird’s eye view, constantly checking that action matches strategy, vision and targets. This can help you to sort through the intense pace of your business, gain crystal clear focus, and launch your results to break through to your next level of success.

Jacki Hart may be reached at