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Monthly Archives: January 2012

Out of Focus

Dave Ramsey says I need focus…

Ken Davis says I need focus…

Jeff Goins says I need focus….

Why should I care what THEY think?

Because THEY are my coaches…

And they are my coaches because I have chosen them to be so…

I have chosen them because I believe in them.

I believe in what they teach, the way that they speak, what they write…

I believe in them because of the success they have achieved on their chosen career paths.

I believe in them because what they say works…not just for them, but for countless others as well.

Dave is my entrepreneurial coach…

Ken is my communication coach…

Jeff is my writing coach…

And despite the fact that they are all coaching me in different areas, they all say the same thing…

They say that I need focus.

This is hard for me…I have always felt that I was a little bit ADD…I cannot read a book for more than 15 minutes before I need to take a break and do something else, even for just a moment…

I cannot write a blog post without bouncing off to do something else for a couple of minutes…

If I am grading papers at school, I have developed a format that allows me to take several breaks throughout the grading process without losing the consistency necessary to grade all tests fairly. In other words, I have learned how to accommodate my self-diagnosed ADD in the workplace.

I confessed to Jeff the other day that I was afraid to be focused in my writing. I’m afraid because if I distill my writing down…if I zoom in on one area of passion and pour my writing in that direction…if I work to grow my tribe by focusing on one thing…

I’m afraid that I won’t find anything (or anyone) there.

Imagine a scientist searching all of his life for that one microscopic organism that will make sense of everything in his universe. He finally fills a petri dish with a large enough set of cultures that he believes the answer to his life’s work lies within…

But he is afraid to examine the cultures closely…he is afraid to zoom in…to focus on what he believes he might find under the lens of his microscope…

Because if he does focus…and he can’t find anything…

Then his life’s work will be rendered meaningless.

This is how I have been feeling since Jeff challenged me in my writing.

What if I choose to focus on something and find that I chose wrong?

What if my writing becomes less interesting and fewer people want to read what I have to say?

The reality is that you grow a larger and more appreciative tribe of followers when you focus on something specific that matters to the people in your tribe….

This is counter-intuitive…

It goes against perceived reality…

And therein lies my fear: my perception of reality.

So I am faced with this dilemma:

Follow MY perception of what is real…write about what I want to randomly… entertaining (and occasionally inspiring) a few friends, relatives, and acquaintances…and maybe even make a small difference in the lives of a few people.

Or focus on writing something that matters to me deeply, and through my writing, inspire and influence a tribe of people that I may never meet, with the potential to make a larger difference in the lives of many people.

This is what Dave, Ken, and Jeff have done.

They have all made a difference in my life, and the lives of thousands of others…

I need to listen to what they recommend…even though I am fearful.

Because what they say makes a difference.

And what they say works.

That’s why they are my coaches.

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