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Chapter 4

Chapter 4


Now that your team is on top of their daily operations and your business is growing and seeing profit, your options might seem limitless. But while your “business is running like clockwork”, as one of our respondents put it, bold changes need careful consideration.

The challenge? Choosing paths you can commit to and those you need to avoid. You want to ensure it’s business as usual as best you can while you’re looking at developing new projects.

This means peak performance when it comes to productivity. One self-starter said this was key to “maximising longevity and sustainability”.

This is also the time to reassess your core values as a business, and making sure they resonate with the vision statement you settled on back in the beginning.

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Ask Yourself

  • Is your product and business model solid?
  • Are you meeting your goals?
  • Is your head and heart in it?
  • Is your business scalable?
  • How much time would it take to scale to meet your goals?
  • What activities can be outsourced?
  • What is your monthly support budget?
  • What aspects of your business can be automated or replicated effectively?

Focus like a pro

Maintaining Focus

The key to productivity is managing your attention, not your time. Deciding to drive out distractions and manage your attention efficiently can increase your output, but it’s more than just switching off social media. Maintaining focus in the right areas was important to those we spoke to. Respondents mentioned “paying attention to quality of service”, “focusing on the customer or client” and “staying focused on my target market”.


Distractions have always been part of our psyche, but the speed and scope of modern life means they’re with us tenfold, faster than ever. Proper productivity isn’t about how much time you spend on a project or a task, it’s about the quality of the time you spend on it.


Establishing strong routine can aid this immensely, as can ensuring your mind is clear, focused and properly-fuelled. Thankfully, there’s a host of expert resources about mindfulness, mental health and physical wellbeing available online and off to keep you running in peak condition.

Five of the best podcasts

The key to being productive is consistency, and the key to consistency is building good habits. Podcasts are a perfect tool to build into your routine, your downtime and your commute. They’re also a great way to learn from those who have travelled a similar path.

Masters of Scale

In each episode of this excellent series, Reid Hoffman – venture capitalist and co-founder of LinkedIn – sits down with some of modern business’ biggest names to discuss what it takes to make a start-up grow into an empire. 

HBR Ideacast

A must for any self-made, this weekly podcast from Harvard Business Review features a range of leading thinkers talking about everything from managing office politics to learning the art of saying no. It’s one of four must-listen HBR podcasts. 

Scaling Up Business

If you want to learn why some make it and others don’t, Scaling Up takes you behind the scenes of big business. From interviews with accomplished authors to tools and techniques for building an industry-dominating organisation, it’s a show to help you grow. 

How I Built This

A firsthand glimpse into the passion, pitfalls and peak performance of today’s most successful business leaders. The NPR-produced features innovators, entrepreneurs, idealists, and the stories behind the movements they built.

The Accidental Creative

Big business isn’t just about logic, it’s largely about creativity. Hear how you can turn complacency into accomplishment and learn how non-linear thinking can play a role in your growth and development.

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