Lessons from a Laser Beam

David Day

2 min read
When I was a kid, I used to play with my grandpa’s magnifying glass. He used it to read the fine print. I used it to, well, to learn important life lessons.

After looking at every book or photograph in detail, I got bored.  After all, I was only six, so I did what any industrious six-year old boy would do: I took it outside, beneath the clear, cool Kansas sky.

Dry leaves. Sunshine. A magnifying glass: the stuff of adventure!

The fire truck got there in no time. Grandma wasn’t as upset as I thought she would be. In fact, she was kind of enjoying my misery. I hadn’t set anything on fire but a small pile of leaves, but she didn’t waste the teachable moment. It seems my grandparents had friends in the town fire department who were all too willing to help teach a boy how not to play with fire.

Raking the leaves from Grandma’s yard into piles took quite a while, especially when the Kansas breeze had other intentions. But it gave me time to think about what I’d done.

Too bad I tend to forget that lesson. Not the fire one (I don’t play with fire anymore) but the other one- the one that can turn your businesses into an inferno of profit: FOCUS.

The magnifying glass condensed the sunrays into a smaller focal point and caused a combustive reaction: fire. So, what if you were to focus on one thing – just one thing– for a period of time and do that one thing very well? A laser-focus on one aspect of your business can cause a reaction that could set your profits ablaze.

New business? Customer service? Profit margins? Quality?

What will you focus on that can create huge dividends for your business? You can try to keep the plates spinning – and I’m not saying you should drop them – but I am saying this: if you don’t focus on what you want to change, it won’t.

Our problem is aptly displayed in Disney’s “Up” movie.

Dug, the lovable pup, is completely zoned in until he sees a squirrel. Then he just can’t stay focused. What’s your squirrel? What distracts you from having focus and changing the thing that is preventing you from being wildly successful? We’ve all got squirrels, it’s managing them that counts.
“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”
–Stephen Covey

It’s true in business that if you want something to change, you have to focus on it. If you need help determining your focal point, let me know. If you have ideas on how to create or maintain focus and avoid distraction, post them here!

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