Focus – the word for 2011

I always struggle a lot with focus. Not only during the day to get my important tasks done while Twitter, Facebook, Skype and email notifications are pinging around – but also on the bigger picture stuff.  The main problem is I have too many ideas. Most of these ideas I think are going to be the next big thing – and so want to start working on them straight away. But before I’ve seen something through to a satisfactory level to call whether the idea is going to take off or not, quite often I am distracted by some other idea that is new and shiny.

This can also be reflected through my years when I was employed by other people doing software development. For 5 years I’d be swapping jobs every 6-9 months. Each new gig felt like the dream job with new projects and challenges but within 6 months it felt like the same old thing and I was ready to move on.

The biggest shame of this looking back is what could have been achieved over the last 3.5 years with Lightning Tools. I feel we’ve done really well growing the company organically and up to a team of 10 people. But if I hadn’t been distracted by a few side projects such as 3 Good Shots and Connect Via Books I’m sure we could have taken a few bigger steps forward.

Do other entrepreneurs act and feel the same way? May be it’s impossible to focus on the same thing 12 months of the year and these little side projects are a good way to free your mind a little and still keep up your development skills. I certainly have made sure I have learned new things with each side project I’ve taken on so it certainly hasn’t all been for nothing.

So this is the year of focus. I’m not going to work on anything other than Lightning Tools this year. Rather than setting goals for the year, I prefer a shorter timespan as it is easier to track and manage progress. Here they are:

1, 4 Marketing Partners signed up for Lightning Tools

2, Trial product download target set for March

3, 2 Press releases a month

4, 6 SharePoint PodShows recorded

5, 1 Office Admin Assistant employed

6, 9 Case Studies on the web site.

If you feel you can help with any of these, drop me an email! I’ll keep you up to date with how things progress.

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