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What happens to the business when we get distracted?

I can tell you, as I’m writing this post at 3:28am on Sunday morning when I should be sleeping, that distractions are not a good thing. They keep you from doing the things you’re supposed to be doing.

This holds true for business, as well. Distractions are toxic to your business. Your focal point is your purpose. Your purpose is your why. It’s your reason for being. It’s your reason for doing what you’re doing. It points you in the right direction when competing ideas are spreading you too thin. It guides you if you get lost or distracted.

So what happens when we get distracted? This list ought to help encourage you to figure out how to remove those things that distract you daily.

  • You lose focus, of course.
  • You make mistakes. 
  • You don’t finish what you started.
  • You don’t do what you should be doing. 
  • You forget what you’re doing or lose your place.
  • You forget why you’re doing what you’re doing.
  • You do things you shouldn’t be doing.
  • Your purpose becomes diluted.
  • Your performance becomes inconsistent.
  • You don’t hear what others are saying.
  • You miss what’s right in front of you, the obvious.
  • You don’t sleep well.
  • You repeat yourself.
  • You lose focus.

Don’t get distracted by shiny objects. Know your purpose, communicate it to the organization, and let that be your guiding light. Shiny objects might be sexy, but they aren’t worthy of your immediate attention. They suck resources into doing things that detract from your purpose.

Everything you do, from hiring to designing your customer experience, will be aligned with this purpose. If you stray from your purpose, the business pays the price: your customers know it and typically walk away. Customers align with your purpose; when your purpose shifts or becomes fickle, customers lose interest and shift to another brand with which they better align.

In a nutshell, in business, if you become distracted, lose your focus, and/or try to be everything to everyone, you’ll flounder; you’ll lose your footing and your following. The business falters and fails. 

You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks. -Winston Churchill