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Business Information by Gladys Edmunds

Business Information by Gladys Edmunds
At age 15 Gladys developed a travel service that would prosper for more than 30 years. She is a national award winning entrepreneur, keynote speaker, author and columnist. Visit her at www.gladysedmunds.com

Concentration Is Key, Entrepreneurs

Concentration Is Key, Entrepreneurs

Dear Gladys,

I own a lawn care and landscaping company that is 17 years old this coming September. My wife used to do all of the billing and management of the company before her sudden death six months ago. Since then I have been doing the work my wife did as well as helping my employees with the landscaping and yard work. I have made quite a few billing mistakes and have had a few customers complain. But more importantly, I have lost nearly $5,000 during this period. Any suggestions for me?

Thanks - S.P.

The sickness and death of a loved one can wreak havoc on our ability to concentrate on many of the basic day-to-day things in life. It can certainly impact our ability to focus and concentrate on important business activities.

A $5,000 loss can be tough for a small business to recover from and especially in a seasonal business. Consider calling a temp agency to send in someone to handle the office work while you continue through the healing process. You can't continue to push yourself past your limits. And if you are losing money you have pushed too far.

Your situation is about getting back your ability to concentrate in order to continue running a profitable company. Think of focusing as walking on a balance beam – take things slow and steady, while concentrating all of your energy on staying balanced while moving ahead.

There is value to being able to pay attention without distraction. When I was about 6 or 7, I watched an older kid on our block hold a magnifying glass over a pile of newspapers and start a fire. Of course, my play pals were fascinated by this stunt. I had to try it! I worked endlessly trying to duplicate this feat and yet nothing happened.

One day my grandfather noticed my frustration and walked over and knelt down beside me on the sidewalk. He explained that the fire wasn't igniting because I wasn't focusing the lens of the magnifying glass steadily over the newspaper in line with the sunlight.

Grandpa placed his hand over mine, and we held the magnifying glass near the edge of the papers. He taught me not only to aim the lens correctly but to focus mentally on getting the desired result. Thanks to his help, I was finally able to set the newspaper on fire. And thanks to Grandpa my popularity with my friends soared and I learned a lesson about concentration that would stay with me for the rest of my life.

We need laser-like concentration and attention when doing many tasks but especially when running a business. All of your energies must be concentrated on that one specific thing for you to do your best thinking, best creating, and your best decision-making.

Do yourself a favor and turn the job of billing and price quoting over to someone else until you are able to give it the attention that is needed.


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