Episode 111

How to Stay Focused: Why You Need Constraint in Your Business

What are your intentions for 2024? Entrepreneurs like us are wired to be creative. We have many interests and our brains create amazing ideas. But we also get distracted by our own creativity. I’ve realized that in order for us to expand upward in our businesses, we need solid foundations, focus, and constraint. 

James Clear said, “You are not focused enough unless you are mourning some of the things you are saying no to.” So, where in your business could you focus your genius more in 2024? Listen in this week to find out because I’m showing you how to make constraint a priority in your business this year.

Tune in today to discover how to create constraint and focus in your business. I’m showing you the kinds of distractions you need to abandon in 2024, and you’ll learn how to say no to the things that aren’t serving your business, giving you more time to focus on the things that are.

Interested in joining Wired for Wealth? Click here to learn more!

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why I’ve chosen constraint as my word of the year for 2024 in my business.
  • What real focus in your business looks like.
  • Why the things you say no to are just as impactful as the things you say yes to.
  • What I’m focusing on in my business in 2024.
  • How to overcome distractions in your business and stay focused on what matters most.


Read the full transcript now

You’re listening to The Jewish Entrepreneur Podcast with Debbie Sassen, Episode 111.

Welcome to The Jewish Entrepreneur Podcast. I’m your host, Debbie Sassen. I went from being a financial adviser, author and chronic underearner to building my business to six figures as a financial planner and money mindset coach. And then, on to multiple six figures as a full-time money and business coach.

I help entrepreneurs create money making businesses and build wealth, using sales and money mindset strategies in alignment with authentic Jewish values. Now, let’s dive in to today’s show.

Hello, my friends, and welcome back to the podcast. You don’t know this, but it is actually been a month, nearly a month, since I have recorded a podcast. My podcast production team took a long winter break, long holiday break, which is lovely for them. I didn’t, because this isn’t the time in the Jewish year that I take off.

I recorded three or four episodes of the podcast ahead of time. I think I said this last year also, that I batched content in December and January, in 2023. My husband and I actually went away in January. We went to the wedding of our cousin’s son in New York, and then we took a 10-day holiday together in Puerto Rico.

It was really such a pleasure to have this big bulk of work done and out of the way, and I’m pretty sure that I said that I would try to do it in 2023; it never happened. As we talk in this podcast about the topics on my mind for 2024, I think I’m going to try again. Not in the beginning of the year, because I have other items on my agenda in 2024.

But it really gives me such breathing room to know that I have accomplished one large task, put it on the sideboard, and then I can come back to it. Rather than having this recurring theme over and over again every week. I mean, I do have ideas that come to me, but I think I could be more strategic if I would batch my podcast content ahead of time. Anyway, stay with me in 2024, because you and I are going to see how things develop.

Now, at the beginning of the year, I always recommend to my clients, and I do this myself, is to do a review of the year before. If you have not yet done a review of 2023, I highly encourage you to do it. I’m not going to go into how I recommend you do a year-end review. Last year, I recorded a podcast on how to do a really useful year-end review.

The short summary of what I covered is, don’t just look at the money. Today, I actually finished doing all of my bookkeeping for 2023. It is a huge moment. So exciting to be able to look at the income, look at my profits, really see how much my business has grown in the last year through everything that I’ve done. But there are so many more numbers and metrics that are important for you and your business.

When I look back at 2023, I actually get breathless. 2023 was a year of so much creation in my business. I started the year and I launched a new program; I only launched it once, Money Healing Circles. It was an eight-week program. I love the deep healing work that I do with my clients around money.

But as the year progressed, I was putting so much focus into my group program Wired for Wealth and I saw that Money Healing could be something that I would incorporate into this larger group program, rather than launching two different programs during the year.

Then, I went on to launch Wired for Wealth, my group program, four times during 2023. There was a launch in March, to start in May. Then a launch again, to start in May. There was a live event that I did in Jerusalem. Then another launch in September, and a launch in in November.

It was a very packed year, and in between that I created a new lead magnet for my business called The Art of Ethical Selling. I was in such a creative mode in my business, in 2023, that I have all of these assets and they are not coordinated and organized in my business.

In 2024, for my word for the year, in my business… I’ve never picked a word for the year… Do you pick a word for the year for your business? I’ve kind of thought very fuzzy, fluffy words: Expansive, limitless, and all sorts of interesting words that I’ve picked in the past. But they have never been a north star for me in my business. But this year, “constraint” is my word for the year.

Because this year I’m going to take everything that I have created… Really, I’ve been in my business for well, 16 years. But in the form that it is now, as a coach, I have narrowed my focus to money coaching and business coaching exclusively over the last four to five years.

I’m going to be taking the assets that I created and working on funnels, my emails, creating email sequences and things like that. I have some help; I’ve hired people to help me in that realm. Because in order to grow up and expand up in my business, I need to make sure that my foundations are solid.

But also, it’s very important that after I’ve done many different things in my business. I don’t want my business to ooze all over the place. You know those little toys that you give to kids with plastic garbage cans and they have that slime inside? You take the slime out of the garbage can and it kind of oozes all over the place. My business doesn’t do that.

I am pretty focused in my message, what I talk about; we’re talking about money and sales and growing your business. But now, it’s time for me to make it cohesive, constrained, whole, and focus with everything that I have created.

I will say that entrepreneurs are wired to be creative. So many of us are multi-talented, we have many interests, and our brains just keep creating and ideating and coming up with new ideas. My brain also came up with a different idea in 2023. I sort of got excited about it in the spring, put it on the sideboard during the summer, and then I came back to it in the fall and started speaking with someone about it.

I’m like, “No, no, no, that is not the focus of where my business needs to be.” I don’t even know if I will ever follow through on that idea. 2024 is going to be about constraints. So, I’ve taken that idea… We’re putting that new idea that just popped up into my mind, that seems to be so important and banging on my door, we’re just going to leave it aside.

We are talking about constraint this year. Because my goal is really to grow my program Wired for Wealth, my flagship program. My goal is to invite 80 women into that program in 2024. In order to do that, I need to be focused. In order to serve my people, in order to serve the women who want to build businesses, each one in her own way, bringing her unique gifts to the world, I need to be focused on how I can help them better.

And if I’m all over the place, it’s just not going to work. So, that’s what I’m focusing on this year. Which brings me from constraint to the word “focus.” I read this beautiful quote today from James Clear. I’ve quoted him before on the podcast. I have his book Atomic Habits in PDF, on my computer. Maybe this is the year that I’ll actually look at the PDF and have atomic habits.

But he has this gorgeous quote about focus. It says, “You are not focused enough unless you’re mourning some of the things you’re saying no to.” Isn’t that beautiful? Because we do want to do so many things. We do want to serve so many people and bring so many gifts to the world, right?

But if you’re just letting your attention, you’re letting your focus, you’re letting your genius ooze out like that slime, you’re not going to be able to keep it contained and really grow big and beautiful. We have to say no to things. It is such a hard lesson to learn.

But the people who have served at the highest level, people like Warren Buffett, people like Steve Jobs, have said the things that they say no to are as impactful as the things that they say yes to in their businesses, and I imagine in their life also.

You can just think about someone who is into sports, you can play tennis and you can play soccer… I don’t play either one… But if you want to get really good at one sport, you’re going to focus on only tennis, only tennis, only tennis. And yeah, you could also play soccer. I don’t know if people who play soccer also play tennis. I don’t know, unless one of them is just sort of like a hobby sport. But it’s important to keep yourself focused.

I know you can do more things. I know that you’re multi-talented and you’re gifted in other areas, but if you want to serve your people at the highest level, keep yourself focused. So, that’s kind of a macro way of looking at focus.

Now I want to break it down into focusing on a day-to-day basis versus getting distracted. I talked about this when I did the bonus episode on the podcast, about managing your business during a crisis.

We’re three months into the war against Hamas in Gaza. I think there is an end in sight, but it’s going to be a long war. We still have hostages that are being held in Gaza. We pray for their release and for their safety, for their healing, their emotional and physical healing.

That continues to distract me. I talked about how I put a pause app on my computer so I wouldn’t be going onto different social media sites, and trying to keep my phone in my bedroom… So, that. I’ve been slipping on that. My phone is spending more time in my office, unfortunately.

That is where the importance of focus is going to be in my business, because it’s easy to get distracted. I just want to know what’s going on. I want to know what people are saying. I want to know if there are any new developments. It is heartbreaking, and it’s an emotional situation. I go to get my little dopamine fixes and find out the news.

Again, I need to be in that place of mourning. Not mourning people, God forbid. I hope that we don’t have to do that, but the things that I am saying no to.

It’s going to be hard. It is not something, especially as a mom who has had, for decades, children pulling on me, calling me, even now. Thank God, I have great relationships with my children. They call me on the phone, and if my phone is here, I answer the phone. It’s so easy to be distracted as a mom, someone always wants us.

As I say to my clients, and I have to really internalize this more, “If it’s not blood, and if it’s not fire, I need to be focused on my business during business hours.”

So, here is what I’m going to be practicing in order to overcome distractions in my business and to stay more focused. Number one, I am not looking for perfection. I know I’m going to be distracted. I know I’m going to lose focus. The most important thing though, is to have awareness, as quickly as possible, that I have gone off task.

Imagine you’re driving down the highway and the highway splits into two, and you can go on to route one and route two. All of a sudden, you notice that you’ve gone to route two, and you’re not where you want it to be. As soon as you can find an interchange to take you back to route one, you can get back on the highway going in the direction that you’re supposed to go.

If you let yourself drive down route two for five hours, and then you wake up and you’re like, “Oh, wow, I am really not where I was supposed to go. I thought I was going north and I ended up going east,” you’re going to take a long, long time to get yourself back to where you want to go.

So, I am really helping myself now to learn how to find when I have gone off course, as quickly as possible, not make that a problem, but bring myself back to the things in my business, the activities in my business, the daily tasks in my business, that I want to accomplish. Because I do have big goals for this year, putting those fundamental pieces of my business into place so that I can grow my program Wired for Wealth.

That is really what I want you to take away from this episode today. Number one, look at last year. What did you create? Not just the money, anything creative that you created. Whether it was a podcast, a blog post, a YouTube channel. Did you write emails to your clients? Were you interviewed by other people on their podcasts, on their summits? Have you run webinars?

I bet you have created new assets, new content, new connections in your business, and that is important. I want you to recognize yourself for that. Because you need those a-ha moments. Like, “Wow, I am so much further ahead than I thought it was.” So, that’s number one.

Number two, think about what you need for 2024. Do you have a word, and not a fuzzy word? Again, like expansive and wealthy, or whatever words people come up with. Have a word that’s going to be meaningful, that is going to be your north star for the year.

Again, for me, it is “constraint,” because all of the things that I’ve created need to be constrained down. It’s going to be much more potent, much more powerful for me in my business when I maintain constraint.

The third thing is, my goal is to be focused way more this year. That includes batch content, by the way, because I can focus on doing podcast recordings once a month rather than every week. Like I said, I have other things that are going on in my business in the first quarter of the year.

So, that’s a goal that I’m putting on the backburner until the second or third quarter of 2024. It is a goal to become that person who does batch content. Not great at it, but I’m hoping that I’m going to get there.

But really maintaining focus, really eliminating distractions as much as possible, gaining awareness when I go off course, and coming back again and again and again, and training my brain to not be distracted, to be more focused. Because that is in service of me, that is in service of you, because that’s why I’m here.

That’s why I’m running my business, to be here in service of you, helping you to dissolve your money blocks, make more money, learn how to close your sales conversations so that you can go out there and serve your people. And of course, make money for you, for your family, and everybody here in this world that you are here to serve.

So, that is it for my podcast episode this week. If you have a word for 2024 send me an email. Let me know what your word is, because I would love to hear what it is and what you are focusing on in 2024.

Thanks for listening. I will see you next week. Bye-bye, for now.

Thanks for listening to The Jewish Entrepreneur Podcast. If you want to stop underselling and underearning and close more sales, you need to clear the limiting money beliefs that are sabotaging your business growth.

Head on over to DebbieSassen.com/mindset and download my free Money Mindset Workbook. Uncover and dissolve money blocks, like hundreds of other entrepreneurs who are now building six-, multi-six-, and seven-figure businesses and creating true financial freedom.

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