Monday, December 28, 2015

The Power Of Focus

Image result for focus

If I asked you to write down ONE problem getting in the way of your success, could you do it?
It can be hard to narrow the field down to ONE specific problem because different situations present different problems. In business, the ONE problem could show up in a variety of forms: If my prices weren't so high, I’d have more sales. If I had more prospects, I’d be able to exceed my quota. They show up in life too: If only I was thinner, I’m sure I’d be happier. If I had gone to school for just one more year, I could get a better job…. You get the idea.
Trying to solve multiple problems at once is likely to result in a lot of stress and frustration, and very little progress. A better approach is to decide which problem is most urgent and pressing right now. Once identified, you can focus your time and energy on coming up with a plan to resolve the situation.

It sounds like it should be easy enough to do, so why don’t people do it?
·        Sometimes it’s easier to have a good excuse for a problem than it is to take action and do something about it. People expect less out of you when you have a really good excuse. Of course, the down side of excuses is that people probably won’t have as much respect for you—or your work.

·        Really good excuses make it easier for people to ignore thoughts and desires about having or getting more out of their job, or their life. If someone is not where they want to be, they don’t believe it’s because of anything they have or haven’t done. Instead, they blame a list of seemingly valid excuses for not being able to tackle the ONE big problem standing between them and their success.  

·        People don’t take the time to adequately identify the problem. When they don’t, they are not able to come up with an adequate solution. Instead, the problem becomes hidden behind a multitude of excuses that slowly and steadily begin to wrap their way around all of the other problems—even the ones that would have been easy to deal with.

So welcome to 2016. Is there ONE business or life problem you want to work on solving to make this new year your best year ever? Quite simply, it’s your choice. Either you decide to let excuses stand between you and your success, or you come up with a plan for stepping outside old and worn out comfort zones.

Identify your most pressing problem, come up with a plan for solving it, write your plan down RIGHT NOW, and carry it with you. Anytime you realize you’re about to start making excuses, reread your plan, and for goodness sake, follow it!

Alan Luoma is a Sales Coach with extensive experience in industrial sales, sales management, and sales and product training. He holds key accounts with a national sustainable packaging company, is a motivational speaker, and provides sales training to individuals and groups. He is a member of the Hartford Springfield Speakers Network. You can view his profile on LinkedIn, or contact him at


  1. This advice really resonated. You make it sound so simple: Oh, wait a minute: It really is! We simply have to get all the driftwood--excuses--out of the way.

  2. Working on the right problem is really the best thing that we can do. Good article Alan.

  3. Sound advice Alan. I love the simplicity of starting from where you are!