The Five-letter word. Focus.
Two decades ago, I interviewed with AGK, short for Sri.AG Krishnamurthy, an advertising doyen. He was the founder of Mudra advertising that heralded many firsts in the media & entertainment and MICA (Mudra Institute of Creative Arts). The role I was pitching for was that of a digital brand consultant for Byrraju Foundation, the brainchild of Ramalingam Raju. Within minutes of our conversation, he asked me, “Who are you, basically?” I tried to answer that I am a mechanical engineer, software guy, entrepreneur…He cut me off and said “What do you like to do”. I said, ‘many things ‘and tried to support it with some examples from my experience, as if it were meant to be a great thing. That is when he uttered the most important word we should hear during our careers—‘Focus’. He said that everyone has multiple talents, and it is no big deal to have some success around them…one has to pick one and work around it to do something meaningful.
It took me almost a decade to absorb what he said and realize the importance of the word ‘Focus’. Adding my two cents worth here.
- Focus helps us look at the details that are involved in the job and most importantly, the effort that is needed and the sacrifices one has to make. This is impossible when you attempt multiple things, as you lose objectivity. (“Always remember, your focus determines your reality— George Lucas”)
- Focus helps us to realize the importance of practice. (“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times— Bruce lee.)
- Focus helps in time management.(The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities—Stephen Covey)
- Focus helps in simplifying your personal brand statement, which is the first thing you want people to think of you. Examples, Amitabh Bachchan-Actor, Warren Buffet-Wealth Management, Chiranjeevi-Megastar, Stephen King- Writer etc
- Subsequently I met AGK a few times as an entrepreneur developing the website for the foundation. He was at his courteous best at his home and offered some invaluable feedback on the designs, mostly around ‘keeping it simple’. I suffered another rejection at his hand, when I offered my writing services 🙂
- It is not that one should not aspire to be many in the course of their career or personal life. One at a time, is a good way to approach it. Here is a good book to help you work around your many talents/dreams/wishes—‘What do I do when I want to do everything?’ by Barbara Sher.