Distraction or opportunity? How can you tell?

Squirrels! They’re so cute…except when they keep you from reaching your business goals.

A big part of my job as a biz coach is to keep my clients focused and moving towards their desired end result.

The biggest barrier to this is the never-ending barrage of things that look like opportunities.

One of the most important skills for success in this day and age is the ability to discern true opportunities from distractions – coupled with the ability to say NO.

Here are 3 questions that can help:

1. Is this the NEXT thing you need to do? Or is it something that “you might need later”?

Example: a course/program/webinar you could take to help your business.

Another way to ask: is the urgency coming from within YOU? (Facebook Advertising is the next thing on my list – and wow! Look! A course that will help me do Facebook Ads!)

Or is it coming from THEM? (Only 3 seats left! Register by 3:00 this afternoon or miss out!)

As one of my very wise clients once said: “the bus always comes around again.”

Pursuing “nice-to-haves” or “this-might-be-good” or “I-will-need-this-later” is a distraction. Keep your focus on YOUR next step.

(Not sure what your next step is? Figuring that out is your next step!)

2. Are you READY to capitalize on this opportunity?

Example: a speaking engagement, advertising opportunity or a networking event.

Are all the bits and pieces of your sales and marketing process in place in order to make it pay off? (Website, sales process, offer, handouts, etc.)

One of the easiest ways to frustrate yourself is to invest a lot of time in lead generation activities (getting your name out there) when you’re not ready to follow through with everything else you need to do to make the sale. (Ask me how I know this!)

Speaking, networking, advertising, social media – these are the first part of a four part marketing & sales process. Without the other 3 parts in place, you’re trying to collect water in a sieve. Lots of activity – no results.

3. Is it the right FIT for you?

  • Does the speaking engagement get you in front of your right people?
  • Does the MLM “passive income opportunity” align with your values, your market and your style of interaction? Or is it a shiny distraction that benefits the seller of the opportunity more than you?
  • Is an “internet marketing magic funnel programreally the best way to market YOUR business?
  • Is the coffee meeting with that new acquaintance who is clearly trying to sell you something worth your time?

It’s waaaay too easy to fritter away bits of time and money on things that seem sorta kinda like they might be good.

A free webinar here, a few minutes hours mucking about with a new social media platform there, a meeting with someone who doesn’t appear to be a good fit but might know other people – these are the things that pull you off course and keep you from succeeding.

When you’re clear about the foundation of your business, you’ll have a pretty good idea about whether or not something is a good fit/good use of your time.

If you have lots of free time and a steady flow of clients, then, sure – take a few hours and try something new.

But if you’re putting aside the important things you need to do (or you’re not sure what to do next and you’re hoping that this next “opportunity” will be the magic key that unlocks the door to wild success) – you’re wasting your time and money.