Entrepreneurial (ADD) Attention Deficit Disorder

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I have had to coach myself this week! I’ve had to apply the advice I give my clients about focus and chasing too many big goals.

I have more projects than clients at the moment. Like many business owners out there, projects are the things that really excite me. They are the new, challenging ideas that keep me stimulated and motivated to work late at night. If they come off, they will catapult the business onto the next level.

As important as they are to the growth of my business, they have the potential to distract me from the day to day income-generating activities. When you chase too many big opportunities, you struggle to get traction. As a result, none of the projects materialise, and if you don’t nip it in the bud, another quarter will go by and you will have nothing to show for it.

The problem is that a lack of focus leads to scattered resources. Devoting time, energy and money to multiple strategies at the same time leads to none of them being executed well. On a daily level, a lack of focus leads to wasted time. All of this in turn leads to frustration and ultimately a lack of progress for the business.

So, here’s the advice I would give myself, and anyone else who is wondering why they are battling to tick the box and complete the big projects and opportunities that have been identified.


Back to basics

Big projects and goals are only possible when the basic fundamentals of the business are in place. It’s like trying to build a double storey house without the first floor foundations. Too many business owners focus on growth and big projects without getting the everyday tasks settled and running smoothly without their day to day intervention.

Align to vision and purpose

First things first. Your vision and long term goal needs to be clearly defined, understood and internalised. A project shouldn’t be on the table unless it is aligned to your goal and vision.

Low Hanging Fruit

Once the basics of the business are in place, and your vision is clearly defined, you can take the time to work on your business, starting with the proverbial low hanging fruit – projects that will have high impact, but are realistic, achievable and easy to implement with the current infrastructure and resources. When you achieve the first goal, you have a sense of accomplishment, and importantly, the time to tackle the next one with the same focus, determination and a tried and tested process.

Big Shiny Objects

The really big opportunities need more of your time, energy and focus. Understand they will drain you emotionally, take you out of your comfort zone, and be a little more demanding of your resources. Yes, this is what will make your business great – but rather than putting too many lines in the water, focus on putting the right bait on the right hook, in the right location at the right time, and you are more likely to catch the big fish!

Big Hairy Audacious Goals

Your big hairy audacious goals (BHAG) are there to motivate and inspire your vision. When you are preparing your 90-day plans, your quarterly goal cannot possibly be your ultimate business goal and dream. BHAGs are achieved when the basics are in place, by picking the low hanging fruit and slowly but consistently collecting the big shiny objects over a sustained period of time.

So how do we go about choosing what to focus on?


Make a list of all the things you want or need to accomplish. Place them in the following Priority Matrix, mapping the strategies and projects against the level of urgency, and the level of importance.













Your first area of focus has to be on the items that have high importance (that bring you closer to achieving your long term vision and goals) and high urgency. These are the things that need to be done sooner rather than later, in order for your business basics to be maintained. The next area to focus on is strategies of high importance (the ones that will impact your business positively) but low urgency. Here, you need a realistic and achievable plan with milestones, responsibilities and a deadline.

If, like me you are struggling with Entrepreneurial ADD, stop! Take stock, delete your to do list, pick one strategy or project to focus on and prepare a plan of action to make it happen.

The world is full of opportunities and ideas are cheap. You need focus to achieve and sustain real momentum.

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