What’s the Cost of Distraction?

By Jane Atkinson

DistractionAfter pulling myself up out of a quagmire of family drama that went on for about a year, I can look back and realize how incredibly distracted I had been.

As grateful as I am for my family, I was 100% lost in the problems of others and my profit and loss statement reflected it.

It began with my stepdaughter and 1-year old grandson moving in with us (which I must say was a blessing). And continued when we moved my brother with cerebral palsy to our town. Then throw in a healthy dose of aging parents (80 and 82) with a history of cancer, heart attacks and broken bones, plus two home renovations, and you’ve got a recipe for some major distraction.

My coach can tell immediately whether or not I am focused on business or family issues. And he was so relieved to see me come back!

With his help, I pulled myself up and out and saw revenue go up 70%. And it’s not that I wasn’t aware of being stuck in the drama, it’s that I didn’t feel willing or able to make a change sooner.

What are your distractions?

Your children?
Your aging parents?
Loss of a loved one?
Financial issues?
Your health, or someone else’s?

Whatever it might be, the key to moving forward – when you are ready – is the following:

1. ACKNOWLEDGE: The first step to getting out of a state of distraction is to realize that you are there. Look around – is your business down? Are you doing good work or just phoning it in? Are you creating new ideas and products?

2. DECIDE: There are times when you just need to do what you need to do! Maybe your child is sick and needs you. But know that your business cannot go on without you forever. At some point you may have to decide to re-claim your focus and your self.

3. SET A DATE: For me it was an entire year. And it was easy to set a date because my step- daughter and grandson were getting their own place. Woo hoo! The timing was so good that I even renovated my office to signify a fresh start. And at that point, I came shooting out of the gate full steam ahead!

4. ALERT THE TEAM: You’ve probably conditioned your family to depend on you. So let them know that you are not leaving, but you are not going to be at their beck and call anymore. I find it easiest when an issue arises to earmark some time (like Friday afternoons) to focus on my family. Come Monday, and I am right back at work.

5. WATCH THE NUMBERS: To know what’s going on in your business check your P & L. Taking your statement from red to black requires a focused effort on your part. Ask yourself good questions like ‘how will I move my business forward today?’ ‘What products or services haven’t I thought of yet?’ Even writing can help you re-engage in your business.

This past summer I managed to take a tough year and turn it into a profitable one in the span of 6 weeks. I hope that these tips will help you, too, move from distraction to action.

Happy booking!

PS: Want a great way to get re-focused on your clients? Check out the teleclass we did with Brian Palmer called Avoid the 3 Things that Will Stunt your Business (and Annoy Your Clients). It was hot!!! https://www.speakerlauncher.com/tools.html