Before Nintendo became one of the most profitable and recognized video game companies in history, they managed “love hotel” chains and taxi enterprises.

Before they sold millions of phones, Nokia managed paper mills and sold paper products. Toymaker conglomerate Hasbro started by selling textile materials. Samsung used to chiefly focus on exporting noodles and dried fish!

Without gaining deeper clarity in their business, countless companies wouldn’t exist today. (If they did, who knows what they’d be selling, or if they’d even exist.) Some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs started doing something completely different, pivoting along the way until they found their true calling.

If you want to be a world-class entrepreneur, you need to have world-class clarity on your business and where your focus needs to lie. The world’s top performers know exactly what they should be focusing on at all times and spend countless hours gaining clarity on their business.

As best-selling author and entrepreneur Darren Hardy puts it, “Most people drift through life without devoting much conscious energy to figuring out specifically what they want and what they need to do to take themselves there.”

Here are five journaling exercises that will help you gain world-class focus on your business and gain more clarity than almost any other entrepreneur.

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1. To Gain Clarity On Your Identity

  • What kind of entrepreneur do you want to be?
  • What’s the number-one thing you want to be known for?
  • Who is your ideal customer (age bracket, interests, problems, and personality)? Why do you want to help that group in particular?
  • What makes you uniquely qualified to help this group?

2. To Gain Clarity On Your Mindset

  • Why are you an entrepreneur? Is it the money, fame, or something else?
  • Why do you want this so bad? What will happen if you succeed? What will happen if you fail?
  • Who are your entrepreneur role models? What about them makes you want to follow in their footsteps?

3. To Gain Clarity On Your Focus

  • What are your three main power activities?
  • What activities need to be delegated? 
  • What are your biggest time-wasters? How will you cut these out of your life?
  • What does a hyper-productive day look like to you? 
  • What are some good ways to spend your time and what are some great ways?

4. To Gain Clarity On Your Future

  • What kind of entrepreneur do you want to be in 12 months? Five years? Ten years?
  • How much money do you need to make to feel satisfied? Why that amount?
  • How many people do you need to help to feel satisfied? Why that amount?
  • What will the rest of your life look like in ten years? 
  • What skills do you need to master to achieve that lifestyle?

5. To Gain Clarity On Your Message

  • What is the number-one thing your customers need to know about you?
  • What type of Attractive Character are you?
  • What is the number-one goal you want your customers to achieve?
  • What tone do you want to use with your message, brand, and products? 
  • What adjectives do you want people to use to describe you?

The best entrepreneurs can answer these questions in a moment. They’ve spent lots of time figuring out who they are, what they want, and what they need to do to get there.

These questions aren’t always easy to answer. Your answers will probably even change over time as you grow and evolve into a better, more focused entrepreneur.

I’ve spent countless hours jotting down messy answers to questions like these:

It’s hard. I spent days trying to answer a simple question like, “What type of writer do you want to be?” 

If you want world-class clarity, you’ll have to wrestle with these questions to really figure them out. It’s not easy work, but then again, most people aren’t successful entrepreneurs who wake up every day with clarity and focus.

Stop wasting time and energy working so hard. Take time to answer these questions first, and your work will be much more rewarding, focused, and precise. 

As Abraham Lincoln famously quoted,

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” 

This is the difference between average and world-class entrepreneurs: average entrepreneurs spend all day working on projects that might not be necessary.

World-class entrepreneurs spend enormous time determining exactly what they need to be working on, and then work with more clarity than almost anyone else.

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