Aim for the target
Here’s the bottom line: What you pay attention to grows. It’s a basic concept that can have big results if you harness the power.
Let’s say you’re out with friends and you stop by a food truck for what turns out to be only o.k. falafels. You think, “My falafels are 10 times better than this. And my special sauce… I should start a food truck.”
The next day at work you’re talking about the mediocre falafels and how yours are so much better and a co-worker mentions that a friend of his sister runs a food truck and sets up and such-and-such street. Someone else mentions her favorite food truck. Later in afternoon, totally unrelated to the earlier conversation, someone mentions his lunch from – you guessed it – a food truck.
The days go by, you’ve casually Googled food truck costs (check out our three-part blog series on that topic), you notice an article about food trucks in the Sunday paper, you tinker with your falafel recipe… and your baba ganoush and your baklava… Pretty soon your internal and external world is all about food trucks.
Whether a product of the metaphysical or the result of extreme focus, what you pay attention to grows. Sometimes it’s called the law of attraction. In the business world it’s called strategic planning.
Results come pretty fast when you push aside the mental and physical clutter and concentrate on one thing. The door to this success swings both ways, though. Focus on activities that lead to personal success and it feels like the whole world is working with you. Focus on how awful your life is and that’s what will be served up.
Maybe your business isn’t operating as profitably or as smoothly as you want it to. You can probably rattle off a list of what’s wrong with very little effort. Sure, you need to know what to fix, but instead of starting with the negative, create a vision of what you want first. Like Yogi Berra said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up someplace else.”
Now that you know where you’re going – don’t waste time with calling it where you want to go; jump in and say it’s where you are going – put all your energy toward the goal. Yes, things will get in the way – pipes freeze, line cooks quit with no notice – handle them and refocus.
Here’s where the magic happens. Maybe part of your grand plan is to renovate your front of house but there’s no way you can afford new. Don’t focus on the can’t, just keep focusing on the goal. Talk about it, share it with your best customers, tell your employees what’s ahead. The next thing you know, the business owner from next door tells you about a pre-demolition sale that includes a fairly new restaurant. Then a customer brings in a magazine article that features eclectic restaurant décor she thinks would be a perfect fit for you. And wonder of wonders, your staff volunteers to paint the front of house when you’re ready to remodel if you’ll spring for food and beer.
The law of attraction requires patience, persistence and perseverance. You have to be strong enough to shove out anything that whispers, “It’s impossible.” But I promise the rewards are worth the effort.