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Monday, December 5, 2022

Why You Should Stop Focusing On Too Many Priorities

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Every company, founder and leader has a hierarchy of core values ​​that are typically universal, usually predictable, but always required. You don’t need to hear another rendition of why a focus on culture is so crucial or why a brand mission integrated into all layers of a company is the key to success. We get it, and we know – these are all good things.


Jessica Peterson | Getty Images

But I want to take this one step further. I want to explain why hyperfocus is so game-changing that without, just to focus has little to no value. When I hyperfocus, I feel so mission-oriented to achieve, unlock, or optimize what I’m aiming for. But without hyperfocus, I’ve come to realize that just focusing on something too wide, too macro, and too opaque that I’m not impressed. A sense of direction comes from focusing, but results only come from hyperfocus.

There are many areas of a P&L, strategy, mission, etc. that require a state of hyperfocus. Below are a few examples:

Related: 18 Proven Ways to Stay Focused That Boost Productivity

Stop focusing on channel, competitor, and retail consumption data for anything beyond trends. Start hyperfocusing on store-level data to create trends.

Most consumer brands have access to packages of consumption data to drive important decision-making and insights. This data has no competitive advantage because it is too macro and too accessible to generate meaningful insights that underpin tactical decision-making. Instead of focusing on channel and retailer consumption, your data approach takes you one level deeper into store-level consumption. Create hyper-focused markets with store-level numbers to test, learn, and create a playbook for success that can be lifted and shifted to other markets. This is how you create trends versus report on trends.

Have a tunnel vision focused only on your business

In the consumer industry, there is a high risk of being distracted by what is happening in the industry in general. This is due to the sheer number of sales shows, supply shows, industry events, industry PR, industry Slacks, etc. When you focus on weekly rating headlines or daily LinkedIn brand highlights, you inevitably feel the urge to catch up and grab your share of the buzz at the expense of more meaningful use of time. Only have tunnel vision on your business. A well-thought-out strategy is not influenced by what others in the industry are doing. Stay hyper-focused on your business at all costs.

Hyperfocus on your core products before adding more

Too often I see consumer brands expand their ranges before the brand has even cracked any meaningful household penetration on its core product line. 100MM of net revenue from five SKUs makes infinitely more sense than 100MM of net revenue from 20 SKUs. When it comes to value creation, it is often more valuable not to do than to do. History is against you. Out of the tens of thousands of brands launched in the past few decades, arguably fewer than five have innovated across multiple categories and created brand value equally associated with each. Shoppers are people and people are predictable. You’ll never go wrong with hyperfocusing on the core. But the odds are against you when you lose your hyperfocus to go beyond the core.

Related: 7 Ways to Refocus on What Really Matters

These are just some of the areas where I believe entrepreneurs should be hyperfocused to maximize productivity and impact. Even beyond consumer products, founders are generally limited by their two scarcest resources: their own time and attention. The more diffused your focus is across different tasks, the less you will thrive and succeed in your priority areas.

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