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As 2016 winds down, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to what my toffee business, Dr. Ray’s Toffee (www.drraystoffee.com) needs to do to increase sales, reduce expenses, and become more profitable.

Admittedly, I have been skating by for the first three years of the business since I have the luxury of a day job to pay the bills.  That luxury has undoubtedly held me back from really treating the business like a business.  It’s been a hobby that has the potential to become a real business!  My business goal for 2017 is to become more disciplined.  More disciplined in how I look at ways to reduce costs.  More disciplined in systematically targeting new wholesale customers.  And especially more disciplined in not agreeing to participate in every show that sounds like I’ll make a fortune!

One of my favorite publications, Fast Company Magazine, highlights 10 CEOs and their leadership goals for 2017.  It’s a great read at http://bit.ly/2hK7Dbs.

 

 

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A little of this.

A little of that.

Dabbling.

Too often businesses, school districts, and other organizations are guilty of dabbling. They try to accomplish a broad array of goals and objectives.

But excelling at none.

GE is focused. With 300,000 employees worldwide, every employee is focused on one objective: Driving Revenue.

As the Education Solutions Manager at GE Security, I knew what I had to do every day. Drive revenue. Every day. Every hour. Every minute. And if I didn’t, I heard about it!

Even with business segments as diverse as healthcare, finance, infrastructure, media, energy, and others, every GE employee from CEO Jeff Immelt on down was focused on driving revenue. This kind of focus requires great discipline—the kind of discipline that is rare in business, education, other professions, and even in our personal lives! That kind of discipline is why GE has been so successful for over 100 years since the day that Thomas Edison founded the company.

Rory Vaden, http://roryvaden.com/, the immensely talented speaker, says that successful people and organizations are successful because they are willing to do what others will not do. It requires discipline. That’s what focused organizations so. They are willing to say “no” to many tempting distractions, and they have the discipline to focus on what matters most to the organization. Each organization will define its own focus, the priorities that matter the most and that will be responsible for its success.

Focus is not an obscenity, but we oftentimes treat it as if it was the “F word.” Focus is not obscene. But it is difficult, requires great discipline, and is a prerequisite to success.

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