The Art Of Focus

Would you rather be the jack-of-all-trades or the master of a few?

Some of the smartest people I know in the industry are plagued by the “Smart Man’s Complex.”   SMC occurs in people that are literally smarter than just about everyone around them.  Subsequently they take on too many projects at once and try to do everything themselves.  Delegating tasks is hard for people with SMC because they adamently believe they can do-it-all.

Here’s the issue:   Time is a scarce commodity.   With limited time in each day, it is prudent to spend time on the activities that PROVIDE THE GREATEST RETURN ON INVESTMENT.  This is a critical point, and one that is geared at the commenters of my last post:  Several commenters suggested that I go out and build my own computer or install the latest and greatest hard-drive.  Since I’m a direct response marketer and not into building my own computers (even though I’ve gone through the A+ certification training), I’d prefer to pay the extra money to have the professionals build it for me.

Sure, I might save 1-2k by ordering each part separately and then snapping it all together.  But how much time am I going to spend building it?  And what if something goes wrong?  Will anyone support it?

See the thing is that I am 100% focused on 4 projects right now.  New opportunities hit my desk every week, and yes, I leave a lot of dollars on the table when I pass them up.  There’s a good reason why.  The money I leave on the table via passed up opportunities is money that I will make in exponential multiples on the projects I qualify as worthy of focus.

The key is identifying those opportunities from the beginning.  In my last post I noted 2,000 leads a day on a clients account was my goal before purchasing the Dell Precision Workstation.  Someone commented that 2,000 leads a day might mean “10-20k a month profit.”  In fact, 2,000 leads a day means $280k a month in profit.  If it were 20k a month in profit I wouldn’t focus my attention on it.

Again I’m a direct response marketer, NOT a computer manufacturer (even though I used to build computers when I was a broke college kid). I trust Dell and have no qualms paying a premium because:

1. I know what I’m getting is top quality.

2. I don’t have a minute to spare in my day let alone hours to “build a computer.”

3. If something happens to my Alienware, I have top notch support to take care of it for me. Time spent trying to fix-it is time spent away from large revenue campaigns.

FOCUS on projects that have longevity and the highest ROI.  Sure, if you’re stuck in a nickle and dime mentality you’ll always find ways to pinch pennies.  It’s like a coupon shopper at grocery stores.  Couldn’t the hours spent finding the coupons to save $20 get used to generate more revenue than the measly savings?  For some people sadly enough the answer in “NO.”  For the majority of the readers of this blog, the answer is unequivocally YES!

Crunch the number and discover what projects you should devote your full attention to.  Then hone in on them and reject any “distractions” that come your way.

And that’s also key, rejecting distractions.  There’s all types of distractions that come your way.  Quickly identify them and respectfully move on.

I charge $350 for 1 hour initial consultations on projects that people present to our team.  The fee is in place for us to weed out the dead-beats up front.  It also allows me to analyze  important facts about the campaign such as:

– Does the project have a unique value propositions that consumers will buy on a large scale?

– Do the owners of the campaign have the financial wherewithal to scale?

– Who are we competing against?

– Would it make more sense if we owned the campaign internally.

– Are we going to have the ability to work with the owners of the campaign in harmony?  My group is pretty demanding and not the easiest to get along with.  We don’t suffer fools gladly.  After all, direct response marketing isn’t about making friends, it’s about making money.

If it’s a good fit we ink it up and get laser focused on making it succeed.

Even when you find your focus always keep your eyes open for good opportunities.  It doesn’t hurt to entertain notions and queue them up for a later date.

Keep a laser focus on your core projects and avoid time-wasting pitfalls!!

Rich Gorman is an internet entrepreneur. His primary focuses are on direct response offers and SaaS models. When not working Rich enjoys spending time with his family.