A few weeks ago, we talked about developing the entrepreneurial spirit. This post is about focusing and giving direction to it. Remember: it is just as important to be able to dismiss opportunities as it is to seize them.
There was once an entrepreneur full of vigor, passion, and motivation, however he lacked the ability to concentrate on one task at a time. He went about life seizing every opportunity that he could, often putting incomplete works on the wayside in order to grasp at each exciting new challenges on his horizon. He remained occupied and dedicated to his business, but his lack of direction left him running on a hamster wheel, going nowhere.
Running a small business requires more than brilliant ideas and a zealous spirit – it demands focus.
Entrepreneurial Attention Deficit Disorder (EADD) is extremely common, especially amongst inexperienced business owners. Their vibrant, enterprising personalities are practically bred for EADD. The ambition and can-do attitudes that have served them well throughout school and in jobs working below a guiding boss, can sometimes be detrimental to them when presiding over their own company. According to Entrepreneur magazine, successful small business owners are curious, future focused, self-fulfilled, and action oriented. When each of these traits are fully developed, they comprise an outstanding leader. When these characteristics remain elemental, however, they generate a wandering mind that is over-ambitious and too independent, accepting and actively seeking out excessive responsibilities. This not only leaves the leader dabbling and exhausted, but also negatively impacts employees.
When the leader is distracted from the company vision, employees are sure to follow suit.
To those with EADD, spontaneity appears as an invitation to move outside of their boxes. Easily bored, these leaders often forgo creating a long-term vision, opting for newness and short periods of thrill. These leaders feel accomplished when exerting effort into assorted tasks, entertained by the promise of each different venture. To be productive, however, is not only about keeping busy. Accomplishing daily tasks is insignificant if the assignments don’t propel a business towards its sweeping long-term goal.
EADD is not an incurable diagnosis, however. Entrepreneurs simply need to formulate a plan.
It is important to stop every so often and consider a business’s path. Through recording and organizing thoughts, avoiding multi-tasking, and maintaining a to-do list with allocated tasks pertinent to achieving comprehensive company objectives, those with EADD can funnel their business enthusiasm into one endeavor at a time. Mapping out daily, weekly, and yearly ambitions does not make a company stiff, rather it defines a general direction for all employees and management to move in.
EADD can be a blessing or a curse. If harnessed, it can be the fire that ignites one’s business and a fountain of innovative ideas. If undirected, it can steer leaders away from their aspirations. American author, Napoleon Hill eloquently stated, “Your big opportunity might be right where you are now.” If entrepreneurs continuously seek out new opportunities, they may overlook the budding potential right in front of them.