What are you trying to accomplish with your business?

Making money is every business’s objective so that doesn’t count.

What are you creating that will create value for others such that they are willing to give you money? How are you going to make a difference in the world, or at least a part of it? What is your vision? What are your short and long-term goals to achieve that vision?

Everything that you do that does not take you closer to your vision is a distraction.

Don’t try to fluff up a distraction to look like you are achieving your goals in a roundabout way. Sure there are some things that just need to get done (but don’t move you towards the big vision). Be honest with yourself, is it a tool or a toy?

Focus the majority of your time, money and energy on achieving your big picture vision. The short-term goals and work may need to change (be adaptive), but the vision needs to be clear or how will you ever know if you are heading the right way.

Someone recently mentioned (reiterated) to me that there are two ways of increasing profit. Increase revenue or decrease expenses. Both are valid. However, the best is increasing revenue while decreasing or keeping steady (assuming profits are sufficient) the cost per unit of revenue. Focusing on one without working on the other can be dangerous. But ultimately as a small business, not growing revenue will lead to stagnation and risk, especially if you have not diversified enough. Something will eventually change in your market and you need some diversity to buy you the time to adopt.

Ultimately you need to create enough value so that others would be willing to buy your business. You don’t have to sell, but you could. Don’t achieve this and you will just have a job, maybe a high paying one, but a job nonetheless.

The secret: have a compelling vision and align your focus everyday towards achieving it.