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Divided Loyalties Can Hurt Your Business

Divided Loyalties Can Hurt Your Business

I once heard someone say that if you invest 10,000 hours in anything, you become an expert in that area. Apparently that is how universities base their Master degree programs - on the number of hours of study.

Think of what might happen if you decided to invest 10,000 hours into learning another language. Soon you would be fluent. What if you studied art or music for 10,000 hours? Do you think that you would become a master after that period of time? Suppose you took that much time to renovate your house. Would you learn a lot from the experience?

Well, it doesn't matter what thing or skill you decide to take as your focus, you will make great progress. You might not describe yourself as a "master" but there is no doubt that you would be far better off than when you started.

Well, the same thing happens in business. In fact, certain skills would not take nearly as long to master.

Think about how you might invest a couple of hours into watching the training videos for a piece of software. Do you think that you would have some proficiency as a result? What if you took a day-long workshop to learn about a specific topic. Would you have more information at the end of the day than at the beginning? Of course.

Well, running a business is more than learning a few fragmented skills any more than learning a musical scale makes you a concert pianist. There is a great deal to learn in order to build a strong and successful business and even when you have the knowledge, it doesn't necessarily mean that you will apply it in a way that will bring you the success you have dreamed about.

That is why it is very important that you focus on learning how to build a business - not just one or two skills. Do not divide your loyalties between your business responsibilities and other things. If you are stealing focus from your business to deal with family or personal problems or even social activities, the business will suffer.

We are not always as objective about our own situation as others so the first thing to consider is having a mentor who will help you to realize the places where you might be weak or stuck and help you to become strong and unstuck. That is why having a coach or mentor is a very good investment.

When you divide your time, money and energy into a number of projects you lose the impact and results that you would enjoy by having one specific goal and focus.

It's time to focus on your business in a manner that will help you and it to grow. You see it takes far longer (if ever) to become a business master when you have divided loyalties.

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About the Author

Dr. Hancock has written a regular weekly column entitled “All Psyched Up” for newspapers in two Canadian provinces for more than a dozen years...