The burden of focus, as an entrepreneur

A beautiful „side effect“ of my work as a consultant and being my own „boss“ is that I can fairly freely decide what it is I would like to work on. Focus is one of the key elements of any entrepreneur’s success. As my consultancy has started to grow in the last few years, I believe the only thing that is keeping me “sane” is a relentless focus on my long term vision.

There are so many relevant things I could do. There are so many things I need to work on. There is so much that I need to learn.

Focus on the prize (Remco Livain)
Focus on the prize (Remco Livain)

I want to be the best partner to my clients, a great chef to my employees and a reputable professional in my field of work. In all honesty, to keep my focus on an intangible prize can be quite a burden. However, as much as I would like to complain about it, it is also what has been the key to success.

Why focus is important

If there is one thing that I have learned from my time working at Westwing Home & Living as the head of online marketing (Rocket Internet), it is that growing a business is not only about having a great idea.

Excellent execution is key.

It helps to have a strategy, come up with a plan before you start with anything. When I started GANDT Ventures, I knew that I wanted to create a platform for digital marketeers to develop their skills and work with the best in the business. That vision and idea has not changed, much. However, the execution part has. The way we work as a team today and the services we offer, are very different from the ones we started out with.

However, I personally do not really care about the type of services we offer. My focus is and has always been on the long term vision and goal. I need to make sure that I focus my attention on the development of talent and create a safe haven for digital professionals to join suit.

Whenever I feel that I am getting lost in a project, whether it be internally or with a client, I have to get back to my initial vision and goal. I need to focus on the long term game. It is the only thing that counts. How I get there, is a totally different story.

New projects are always more exciting

  1. As an entrepreneur, I am constantly on the look out for new ideas and approaches that solve my problems – as well as those of our clients. There are so many great ideas out there that are worth investing time on. I can only spend my time once. At the end of the day it is the most precious thing I have.

    I am not always all that great at saying NO. Thus, I have learned to set a suitable price for my time. When I don’t do that, I get sucked into projects too quickly.

The hardest thing for me is to guard my time wisely.

  1. When I get started on one thing, I have to say no to new things. It is as simple as that. There is nothing in the world that I would rather do than create a strong team of digital professionals. So that is the only thing I can and want to focus my attention on right now.

    The thing is, the team has become awfully strong and we are able to execute on many ideas we have. It is increasingly difficult not to start on new side projects that deviate from the long term vision.
  2. The market changes, product ideas develop and new opportunities arise. However, new is not always better. It might be more profitable to work on new things, easier to raise capital for trending topics, and “more exciting”.

    Yet, I have to continue to tell myself that new things will always be more exciting. When you are a building like me, you will always seek out the opportunity to start something new.

I have to focus on the long term game. My pay day will come when I continue to do just that. It is not about making a quick buck, but I want to create and foster meaningful relationships with my colleagues and clients. That is far more valuable to me in the long run, than anything else.

Fear of missing out

I know that not every person is driven by the same intrinsic values. Some value money over anything else, other prestige. I personally strive to become a reputable name in the business, a brand that is well respected for its values and working principles. Hence, I do not feel that I am missing out on much. I have my own set of values and plan that I am executing upon. This is the right thing to do, for me.

Yet, the fear of missing out is real.

FOMO is the single biggest problem for entrepreneurs, who cannot appreciate the success of others. If you are someone who cannot celebrate others for their success, then I think you might struggle to appreciate entrepreneurship to the fullest. At least, that is my view on things. FOMO is just a fancy term that describes envy.

Make your own plan, focus on your long term goal and live life to the fullest doing so. I am sure that way you will be most successful, and happy.

Have a great day,

Remco

Remco Livain
I’m a digital entrepreneur, online performance marketeer, founder and CEO of the digital innovation consultancy GANDT Ventures (based in Switzerland). We support organizations (SMBs, corporates and later stage ventures) in their digital efforts. I learned the trades of the (online) business at Venture Stars (MIFLORA), Rocket Internet (Westwing Home and Living) and Insparx (C-Date and be2).

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