September 1, 2014

Read “The Focused Business” and Become a Small Business Superhero

focused businessThe slow but steady turning of the leaves from bright green to golden yellow and fiery red is a trigger for small businesses to start thinking about next year.  In a lot of ways, “Back to School” for kids triggers that same fresh look and fresh start feeling for the rest of us.

You know you’re doing it, too.  In the midst of finding and serving customers, there is a little voice inside your head whispering for you to think about next year. What do you need to do to grow your business?  Should you take on new projects and new opportunities?

If that sounds like you – then you’ll want to pay attention to this review.  Why?  Because the book I’m about to share with you is going to end up on your doorstep before you finish reading this article.

ADHD Inspired a Dedication to Focus

Now you might think that our fearless author, David Crenshaw (@DaveCrenshaw) is some kind of Superman (more on the hero reference later) to take on the challenge of helping entrepreneurs overcome the inevitable chaos that eventually creeps into their business.

Instead, he’s just a regular guy who actually suffers from ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and has transformed his challenge into a real strength and learning opportunity for the rest of us.

Dave’s first book, The Myth of Multitasking: How “Doing It All” Gets Nothing Done, is a time management bestseller available in many languages worldwide. His most recent book, The Focused Business: How Entrepreneurs Can Triumph Over Chaos, is also a small business bestseller.

Dave’s courses on websites such as Lynda.com are also among the world’s most widely-viewed online training.

The Focused Business Helps You Identify Your Super Powers

David Crenshaw sees business owners as superheroes and uses this theme as a foundational structure for the book, with all of the elements of chaos being represented as villains.

Let’s do a quick review of the villains of chaos and see who and what is probably getting in your way.  As you’re reading this, take a moment to note or write down which of these is at play in your business today:

  • The Con: This person is the leader of the chaos group in your business.  This is the villain that got you into your business in the first place—but it’s also the villain that is at play that gets you to sacrifice yourself at the “altar” of your business.
  • The Jack-of-all-Trades:  Jack wants you to multi-task and do it all.  He’s the one that tells you that no one can do it better than you.
  • The Gorilla:  This is the employee who has a lot of strengths but he/she uses this strength to divert attention from all the messes he/she creates.
  • Ms. Opportunity: This is the villain that is responsible for all the distractions that take you away from what really matters in your business.
  • Siphon: This villain is the one responsible for being that “pain in the neck” customer.  They are the ones who want what your system simply doesn’t deliver very well.
  • The Jumbler: This is often your marketing employee or resource.  They operate under the “throw stuff against the wall hoping some of it sticks.”  This is the person looking for the home run or the silver bullet.
  • Overload: This is the last villain and perhaps the most insidious one because it masks itself as data, but what it really does is paralyze you in your business and it keeps you in a perpetual state of inaction and confusion.

Read The Focused Business with a Notebook in Your Hand

This is a very practical and pragmatic book.  As you read this book, you will get ideas and want to take actions.  To help you with that, each section and chapter has an action section where you can take notes right in the book.  Of course, if you’re one of those people who has been browbeaten into thinking that writing in books is bad, bad, bad, you had better go and grab a notebook – or better yet, download the worksheets from the book’s website.

The great thing about this book is that it is very short and to the point. There are a total of ten chapters plus a bonus mini-book in just under 200 pages.

Since there are seven villains, Crenshaw includes a chapter on how to “battle” each villain.  Just to let you in on a secret, I turned straight to the chapter on “The Jumbler” just to see if I (as a professional marketer) have any of these bad habits that I throw at my clients or that get in the way of my own business.  Turns out – I do.

Here are just a few snippets of Crenshaw’s powerful take on how your ego gets in the way of your business success:

“Your customers are somebody – not anybody. . . .  The way to speak to your MVCs (Most Valuable Customers) is to give them your… Most Valuable Message.”

He goes on to say that the job of The Jumbler is to make you feel like you have to be all things to all people:

“Your ego is not your amigo.”

I love this one.  It speaks directly to the soul of the entrepreneur.  We fall in love with ideas, especially our own.  In this section, Crenshaw bares his soul on the lackluster success of one of his books and how his falling in love with a title, actually hurt sales.

Are You Ready to Be a HEROpreneur?

If your business isn’t at the level that you’d like it to be, then chances are that you are being hijacked by one of Crenshaw’s villains (i.e., chaos).  Rather than hide out or stick your head in the sand, Crenshaw urges you to be a Heropreneur.

While you’re at it, why not use The Focused Business as your super power to not only protect and serve your business, but vanquish the villains who are working against it?

6 Comments ▼
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Ivana Taylor - Book Editor


Ivana Taylor Ivana Taylor is Book Editor for Small Business Trends and publisher of DIYMarketers , where she shares daily do-it-yourself marketing tips, and is the President of Third Force, Inc., a marketing firm that specializes in getting your ideal customer to choose you. Ivana is the book editor for Small Business Trends and co-author of the book "Excel for Marketing Managers."

6 Reactions

  1. Businesses used to be focused on expansion. For them, a business should always grow bigger. They don’t know that the narrower their focus becomes, the more profit they make. At least, that’s how the world today works. Focus is the lacking element in most business and this is where the money is.

  2. Any business needs to have a focus and target customer list to succeed. This is even more true for small businesses, who have limited resources and can get stretch thin very easily. I always say that what you decide NOT to do is more important than what you Do do.

  3. Ivana: I love the ring of the wird, HEROpreneur! :) Entrepreneurs, inventors and business owners, are the heroes of the free market place!

  4. I’m going to check Amazon today and see if it’s available for download. This book sounds very interesting.

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