Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Book Report -- Power Of Focus
When I was at the library looking for The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, I found The Power of Focus by Jack Canfield, Mark Hansen, and Les Hewitt, as well as The Eighth Habit by Covey.  I recognized Jack Canfield's name from The Secret - the book and the documentary.

In short it's a self-help book that is supposed to lead you down the path to financial success and freedom.  That is what it says.  I didn't find magic spells or quick, get-rich schemes in there. I wasn't expecting to. 

I assumed it was a self-book on the order of the Covey books - tools to help you achieve success.

I was not disappointed.

Like many self-help for entrepreneurs, this is geared towards people who have a more traditional business or at least less artsy.  There are plenty of businesses that probably aren't defined as traditional - think of all the businesses on Etsy or that make the rounds of craft shows and bazaars.  But, when compared to writing, they are more likely to fit a traditional business plan.  I'm not an artist, actor, or singer, so I have no idea how or if any of the principles I read about could be applied.

The book covers topics such as strategy, habits, focus, the big picture, goals, creating balance, building relationships, developing confidence, asking for what you want, consistent persistence, decisive action, and living on purpose. 

Each chapter covers a topic and there is at least one action step to be completed in every chapter.  Sometimes the action steps are things like - identify your good and bad habits then create a three-step plan to change a bad habit.  The questions ask you to look hard at yourself, to be completely honest with where you are and where you want to be.  They challenge you to develop specific, measurable, manageable goals, but also remind you to balance work and play, and that developing good personal relationships or fixing the relationship with your spouse/family is as important as developing good business relationships.

I did the exercises as I read the book, which helped identify habits I need to change and who my 'core clients' are, but also helped with goal-setting.  For me, specifically, it was how I set goals.  Some of my goals weren't specific or measurable, so there was no real way to check it off as complete. Others are better long-term than short-term.  And some are slightly loftier than my pocketbook can pay for.  I'm okay with that.  Some of my favorite quotes include:

"Everything you want is on the other side of fear."

"Quality is not an act, it's a habit."

"Consistent persistance and a proactive game plan build unstoppable momentum."

"You will never achieve big results in your life without consistent and persistent action."

This wasn't a writing book.  It wasn't about either the craft of writing or the career of a writer.  Still, there were aspects that I can apply to my career.  Writing is half art and half business. The exercises and activities in this book, along with the stories and advice work for pretty much any one.  As I get ready to sit down and make plans for the rest of this year and next year, I look forward to incorporating the ideas into my own existing Strategic Plan and the goals/business plan I need to create for 2017.


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