We have all seen the power of the laser beam. Completely straight and true, a laser beam can go for hundreds or thousands of miles without dissipating. Add enough power behind the light and a laser can cut through steel, brick or concrete. Compare this to a spotlight. While a focused spotlight can go for some distance, the beam eventually spreads out and dissipates.
So if we want to hit a target a long way away, we need a laser beam. A spotlight just won’t cut it. But here is the rub. To hit that target we have to have perfect aim. Since the beam is narrow, if we are just a little off, we will totally miss the mark.
Creating a spotlight is simple. It just requires a light source and a reflector. A laser is a different story. We need to pass our light through a device that removes all the frequencies we don’t want and totally focuses the beam. The process actually changes the nature of this light.
While standard white light is actually made up of a rainbow of colors, laser light is just one color or frequency (monochromatic). Using a process of mirrors, a laser drops all frequencies of light other than the one desired and the light output is cohesive and very directional.
A laser beam analogy for our lives.
To go great distances, we need to remove all distractions and focus our singular energy in one direction. We need an exact focus to hit the target.
A laser lifestyle requires a lot of planning. We need to come up with a way to block out all distractions and then put all our energy into one focused goal or target. We need to know exactly where that target is.
In his excellent book, Essentialism, Greg McKeown talks about blocking out distractions by saying NO to them. The idea is to block all unessential items and focus on just what is essential for our particular project. The more we say no, the more focused we will be.
While a spotlight (goal) can take us far, it eventually dissipates.
With a laser (very focused goal), we can go much further than we ever imagined.
Here is how this can work in real life.
Jeff Goins is a blogger who helps writers write. Over the last few years, he has focused his posts to spotlight writers in general. If you write, you are a target for Jeff’s blog. Jeff rarely strays from his subject. This spotlighted focus has allowed Jeff to amass a huge email list of writers. Through this email list, Jeff asked people if they would be interested in a writing course. For those interested, he created a signup page for more information. Out of the tens of thousands of followers he contacted, a few thousand showed interest in the course. It was to this sub-list that Jeff laser focused his Writing Course. He surveyed this group and found out what they were looking for. He asked a lot of questions and fine-tuned his material.
When Jeff launched his course, he knew exactly who his target audience was. It was all in one laser-focused list. Since he had surveyed the list he knew exactly how to configure the writing course offer. He only put in what was essential. The week that it launched, he had hundreds of people sign up for his $397 course, with some opting for an even more focused master course at a higher price.
By laser focusing his offer he was able to bring in hundreds of qualified people that he knew were interested in his course. He didn’t offer everything, just the essential items to his targeted group. When he fired the laser, it was for a limited time. This gave a sense of urgency.
As you can see from Jeff’s example, you want to start with a spotlight, and then refine your target smaller. The more you know about your target audience, the more likely you are to hit it.
Laser focus can help in a myriad of ways. It’s not easy, and it can take quite a bit of work before you can fire. But if you do your homework, aim carefully, you’ll hit your target most every time.