What is the one word that Bill Gates and Warren Buffett used to describe their success?  The answer is focus.  While watching the recent HBO documentary Becoming Warren Buffett, it became clear that the man is completely fixed on his Core Focus.  Specifically, it seems he has a particular recipe that he follows for every investment he makes.  Mr. Buffet is continuously in the in act of focusing.

A Core Focus Keeps You From Distractions

During the development of The Vision/Traction Organizer™, we teach our clients to discover their Core Focus™.  It has two hemispheres, your purpose, your cause, or your passion and your niche.  When I think about purpose/cause/passion I’m looking at what will stay the same.  What are you passionate about?  What gets you out of bed in the morning? Your purpose/cause/passion is your “why”.  Like Simon Sinek said in his famous TED Talk, it’s not what you do, it’s why you do it.  It comes from the core of who you are as people that drives your why.  This becomes a filtering mechanism for all the opportunities that come into your world.  Ask yourself, “can I live out my why if I take this deal?”  If you can’t, run away.

What Will Change, What Will Stay The Same

The second hemisphere is your niche.  This is the what you do.  What can you potentially do better than anyone else?  I always coach my clients to get very specific.  This is not a marketing tag line.  Don’t get cute here because it will be the source of debate and confusion later.  For example, in Good to Great, Jim Collins explains Walgreens has a Core Focus of “Most Convenient Drugstores”.  From 1970 to 2000 this was their niche and they went to great lengths to maintain that focus. Another great example of the Core Focus or Hedgehog Concept, is Jeff Bezos at Amazon.  Amazon’s niche is simply “Shopping”.  Bezos’ discovered his niche by thinking about what will stay the same in the world.  He created his niche by thinking that from now until the end of time people will want to shop.  Imagine if Kodak had that type of niche. I always let my clients know that their niche can and will change over time.  This is a way to make sure they don’t end up going the way of Kodak.  They didn’t pivot when the world was changing.  If they had the benefit of Jeff Bezos advice their niche could have been “making memories” and as a result embraced digital technologies.

Where Did The Economic Engine Go?

When teaching Core Focus, I have my client prepare by reading the first five chapters of Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Lead And Others Don’t by Jim Collins.  Inevitably, I am asked “where did the economic engine go in my Core Focus?” The answer is in your Marketing Strategy.  Your Core Values are who you are, your Core Focus is what you do and why you do it, your marketing strategy is how you will get there.

Staying Focused Is Time Management

If you stay true to your Core Focus, you will save loads of time.  I have spent countless hours experimenting with completely non-core activities.  Having your Core Focus intact will allow you to sift through opportunity quick and make better decisions.  It will make a huge difference in your business and your life.

What is Your Core Focus?