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How to Set Focus and Achieve Career Goals

by Brandon Webb
featured, money & life

An excerpt from Total Focus: Make Better Decisions Under Pressure by former Navy SEAL and New York Times bestselling author, Brandon Webb. To hear more from Brandon and learn more about how to add focus to your own life, RSVP to his class here.

Front sight focus is that state of intense concentration in which all your resources and abilities are brought to bear on a singular intention, when you’re so locked on to the crosshair reticle inside your scope (or, in an iron sights system, the sighting device at the front of your weapon, hence front sight focus) that everything else blurs and disappears.

There may be helicopters overhead, gunfire in the streets, someone inches away screaming at you, but to you, none of that exists. It may be raining or snowing, boiling or freezing. Hell, there may be snakes or scorpions slithering over your leg. Inconsequential. Irrelevant. Everything about your surroundings slips far away into the background, and you are completely calm and relaxed, focused on that solitary objective. What makes this even harder is that you still have to know all that chaos going on around you. Some part of your brain has to stay acutely aware of it all.

You never fully let go of it, not for a millisecond. You’ve just trained yourself to tune it out and stay in total focus. I call that central area of total focus my “red circle”—  hence the title of my first book —  and it’s as critical to business as it is to Spec Ops warfare. I talked recently with a friend who runs a graphic design business. “I have this great business idea,” she told me. “We’d create this virtual concierge service for people visiting New York City who need anything —  a good restaurant reservation, dry cleaning, a manicure, whatever. Start here and take it to other cities. I think the idea’s killer,” she added, “but I can’t do it on my own. I need a partner.”

Learn how to reach your career goals with total focus. RSVP to Brandon Webb to see how.

Total Focus with Brandon Webb

Here we go again, I thought. Probably just what Todd Dakarmen thought that first day we talked. The truth is, hers wasn’t a bad concept. It may even be a good one. I think there’s something there. But is it something she should pursue? And if she does, what happens to the design business? If you can’t pour yourself 100 percent into an idea when you start it, then you’re starting it half-assed, and you’ll never have more than a half-baked plan. When you have a  half-baked plan, you can’t expect any more than a  half-baked outcome. By nature, most entrepreneurs have some form of attention deficit disorder. It can be an asset, that spark-and-shoot creativity, but unchecked, it can also be a serious liability. I run into younger entrepreneurs all the time who tell me, “Yeah, I’ve got three start-ups going,” and I don’t need to hear any more, because I already know how that story ends. You may think you’re going to do three or four things at once and keep that up until one of them shows itself to be the winner—  but you’re kidding yourself. All you’re doing is shortchanging all three or four projects. You need to choose one. Not two. One. Which one? Of all the great projects you could be working on, which one most merits your undivided attention?

There’s no definitive, one-size-fits-all approach here because every person and situation is unique. It may be the one that makes the most sense for your circumstances; the most marketable; the one that taps into your greatest skills; the one that most touches your imagination, quickens your pulse, stirs your soul; the one you’ve been talking about for the last ten years but never let yourself dive into; or even the one you’re most afraid to try. Whatever it is, the best I can tell you is this: once you start asking the question, honestly and earnestly, you’ll know the answer. It’s that one.

If I had to pick a single core principle for success in business, it would be this: choose one thing, focus on that one thing, and execute it to the absolute limit of your abilities. Focus on your career, invest in yourself, and learn how to say no to everything else. Once you reach the point where you have the financial capacity to hire out or partner with the talent and team power to manage a range of different areas, you can start adding additional projects to your portfolio . . . maybe. If you’re Richard Branson or Elon Musk. And I’ve seen business owners who aren’t billionaires do it, too. But it’s a  high- wire act and definitely not something you want to even think about until your own business is performing at the level you want it to, and doing so solidly and reliably.

It’s so easy to lose your focus. This is job 1: Stay on task. Stay on target. Stay focused.

Learn how to reach your career goals with total focus. RSVP to Brandon Webb to see how.

Total Focus with Brandon Webb

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