“I’m focused man. Tell Stoute to holla at me man!” –Jay Z, “Best of Me” Remix w/Mya
I love that line. Any true hip hop fan knows that after Jay-Z utters those lines, one of the hottest beats of all time drops (a sample from “Make the Music” from Biz Markie) and the party really gets started.
Interestingly enough, the “Stoute” Jay-Z is referring to is Steve “The Commissioner” Stoute (record executive and entertainment marketing guru). It’s only after Jay-Z realizes that he’s truly in the zone, truly focused on his mission in hip-hop, that he’s ready to enlist the assistance of Steve Stoute to take him to the next level. At the time, Stoute’s forte was to take hip hop/pop artists and pair them with major corporations for record setting advertising deals. At this point in his career, Jay-Z realizes that he is in a place where he is able to fully articulate his vision and mission for his career and is ready for all that comes with rising to the next level. He also realizes he needs help to get there. (Sidenote: Steve Stoute was also the person who introduced Jay-Z to the Carol’s Daughter company into which Jay-Z subsequently invested millions of dollars.)
As employees looking to build businesses on the side, many new entrepreneurs tend to lose the focus needed to take their businesses where they want them to go. Often, they suffer from “Bright Shiny Object Syndrome”. This occurs when new, enticing, interesting options come along that appear to be the answer to all of their business woes. They can come in the form of a new tool you’ve discovered, a new class/certification, a new method for conducting business, or even a new “guru” that has hit the scene and appears to have a hot following. These objects gain attention very easily and are almost hypnotic in the way that appear to be “the exact thing” that we need to bring our business to the next level. Suddenly, you are filled with so many ideas that your head is spinning!
But at the end of the day, these are not panaceas, they are DISTRACTIONS!! As you chase these objects in an effort to make your business more lucrative, you actually pile on more tasks to take on and ultimately your original plan becomes distorted and even unrecognizable.
The cure for Bright Shiny Object Syndrome is FOCUS.
(1) Be clear about your mission and intentions for your business.
(2) Think about what your original goals were and re-visit your plan to achieve those goals in the time-frame you set for yourself.
(3) Make a commitment to yourself to not take on any additional tasks until you complete your original set unless you’ve decided that your business must evolve.
If you must consider new options, ask yourself the following questions (originally designed by Karyn Graystreet – www.passionforbusiness.com):
• Is this new option right for my me and my business?
• Do I have the time, resources, energy, and money to put into this to make it successful?
• Do I have too many open projects sitting on my desk that need to be finished before I begin something new?
• Do I have the ability to finish this new project, plus implement and maintain it?
• What has to drop off my radar in order for me to start something new?
Above all else, try not to fall into the temptation to take on EVERY opportunity that comes your way. With clarity of intention and purpose, you will be able to easily distinguish the moves that are necessary to fuel your new business.