Archive for September, 2008|Monthly archive page

Focus: quote

by Margaret Lukens, New Leaf + Company LLC

A quote for the day:

If you chase two rabbits, both will escape.
— Chinese proverb

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What is focus?

by Margaret Lukens, New Leaf + Company LLC

What does it mean to have focus?

Focus!

Focus!


Simply, it means to do one thing at a time, while thinking about that thing.

Focus is one of the most potent organizing techniques available. Few things equal the power of focus for helping us perform at a higher level.

If an elite athlete is running one race, but his mind is on the next one, what happens to his performance in this event? It can’t reach its very highest level, because the athlete’s attention is not focused on the task at hand.

What do you do to maintain focus? What interferes with your focus? Let us know by leaving a comment here.

Best time to start a business? Now!

by Margaret Lukens, New Leaf + Company LLC

Do you dream of tossing over your corporate job for an entrepreneurial life?

The advice from Noam Wasserman, associate professor at Harvard Business School, is don’t wait too long. His study of entrepreneurs suggests that those who stay in large corporations are learning corporate habits, not the skills demanded by a nimble start-up.

While entrepreneurs benefit from some maturity and self-knowledge that come with time and experience, Wasserman’s research with founders of high-potential start-ups shows that over three-quarters of them made the leap from employee to entrepreneur by the time they were in their early 40s. Wasserman’s advice, once you have the compelling idea, is to seize the day.

If your business is not the next Google, Wasserman’s research still may apply. There is no perfect time to start a business. (And the only terrible time to start a business is when you don’t yet have a plan.)

To help you begin your plan, I’ve written a four-page checklist, Essential Guide to Starting Your Business. To get your copy visit the Resources page at my website, http://www.newleafandcompany.com. There is no charge for this guide. Here’s to your great success in all your ventures!

Goals: Whose Agenda Is This Anyway?

by Margaret Lukens, New Leaf + Company LLC

I’ll begin by assuming that your goals have all the essential ingredients that separate a goal from a wish, that is, they are specific, measurable, achievable, and time-limited. Before you adopt them, there’s another important test they need to pass.

Whatever goals you choose, make sure they really are your goals.

By all means set a goal to finish a half-completed degree, double your client base, buy a new Mercedes, or learn to fly a Cessna, provided it speaks to your passion and your purpose in some way.

No matter how irresistibly cool it would be to view the earth at 9,500 feet from inside the Cessna, if you don’t really like flying, it’s not the goal for you. Ask yourself, what about the image is irresistible? Perhaps it speaks to you of freedom, mastery, an elevated point of view, adventure, or another value. Shape that into a goal of your own by asking, how could I express more of that value in my life? Leave the pilot’s license to those who get a kick from manipulating machines, and find ways to make the freedom your own.

Achieving someone else’s goals requires an act of will. While willpower has its uses, it is essentially ego-driven and will never bring the kind of deep satisfaction that gives meaning to life. Your boss, your family, and your friends may praise certain achievements, but if those aren’t really your goals, they will never be energizing and satisfying for you.

Here are a couple of quick tests to indicate whose goal it is: ask yourself, If no one saw me or ever knew what I had done, would I still want to do it? If I knew I had only six months to live and could only do a few things, would I still want to do it?

How do you test your goals? Leave a comment here.

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