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4 ways your focus word can help you run your business

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If I’m being completely honest, a past version of myself would have thought that picking a focus word for the year was silly. I mean what can one word really do, right? But I kept seeing people in Facebook groups ask what our word was for the year and it got me thinking, maybe it’s worth a try.


So I sat down and thought about it for a while. Now back in the day I got a journalism degree, so while everyone else was writing 15 page papers, I was forced to turn an entire book into one paragraph. Choosing one word was totally doable for me, or so I thought.


As I began to brainstorm possible words, it became clear to me just how powerful this one word could be. Sure I could just pick a word that sounded good and go with it, but if I wanted it to truly impact my life, then I needed to really think.


To help me find my word I decided to create one of my favorite little visuals, the cute little venn diagram. Oh yeah, if you want to narrow down your focus, the best way to do it is with a venn diagram. So I drew 3 circles and in one I entered my business goals, in another I entered my personal goals and in the final circle I entered my brand story. Almost immediately I realized that last year was all about a sort of rebirth. I was pregnant for the last time, I had given birth to our second daughter, I had launched a new brand and written a book, and somewhere in there, I began to discover myself again.

This year is all about taking what I built last year and making little tweaks. It’s about taking what I’m good at, and getting even better. This year’s focus word for me is ‘refine’.

Now that I had the word, what next? Well of course we did a podcast episode about the power of picking your focus word. You can listen to it here.
During the podcast I realized that, just like with all things, it can mean everything, or it can mean nothing.
So I decided that my focus word would be dripping with meaning this year. I decided that my one, wonderful and impactful word was going to be a beacon of light in my life, guiding me through the year.

Now, only a few weeks into the year, I’m amazed at how much one word can impact your business.
In particular, I found 4 ways that my focus word is helping me run my business.


#1 It’s like a Business Plan in one word. I love a good vision board because it helps to take a larger idea and boil it down to one page of visuals that you can continually reference. Picking my focus word took boiling it down to a whole new level. The great part is that because I was thoughtful about picking my word, it falls perfectly in-line with my business goals this year. Every time I look at my word ‘refine’ I remember that my goals for this year are all about making tweaks to what I am already doing. Every morning when I look at my to-do list, I can think about my focus word and it helps me make decisions about what is most important, just like a business plan.

#2 It helps me say ‘no’. I so enjoy saying yes to things. I want to be all things to everyone, and help everyone I can, but that doesn’t serve me well. I end up getting burnt out and sad because I end up letting people down because I over promise. When I look at my focus word I am instantly reminded of what’s important to me. I am reminded that my business and personal goals are important and that if I want to create the thriving life I desire, then I will need to say ‘no’ to the things that don’t bring my purpose to life. Just a moment of looking at that word reminds me that saying ‘no’ is ok.

#3. Keeps me mindful and present. It is so easy to get bogged down with the little tasks of the day, the small fires, and all of the virtual shinny objects. There is often so much going on in our business that we aren’t able to stop and really be present in our business. Not only is this a sad thought because we built our business out of passion, and it is growing up before our hours and we are missing it. My focus word brings me back in each morning and reminds me what I am trying to accomplish each day. My word has become this beautiful symbol for everything I want to accomplish this year and it is a shining light that not only keeps me on the right path, but also helps me stop for a moment and realize all that I have and will accomplish this year.

#4 It’s like a little accountability partner. That one little word sits on my desktop wallpaper and looks me right in the eyes each day and says, ‘are you doing what you said you would do?’ It asks me each morning if my daily priorities are going to be as impactful in my business as possible, or should I be spending my time elsewhere.photo

I keep my word near me at all times, and when I need someone to tell me that I can do it, that I’ve got this and I can achieve all of the goals I set for myself this year I can look to my word for motivation. As long as I stay true to my ‘word’ then I know I will create an environment where my business and family can thrive.

This year I decided to pick a focus word. I decided that my word would mean something. I decided that my word would help drive beautiful growth in my business, and it already has.
So what meaning will you give your focus word this year?



Dana is a mother, business & content strategist, coach, speaker, writer, podcaster, brainstorm facilitator, and blind spot reducer. Dana is the author of Boss Mom: The Ultimate Guide to Raising a Business & Nurturing Your Family Like a Pro, and the founder of the Boss Mom Movement. She serves Boss Moms who yearn for more time and less guilt when it comes to building their business and starting or raising their family, by providing the tools they need to get more out of their content and business, without sacrificing their family goals.

When she is not creating new courses or building new strategy tools for creative entrepreneurs, she can be found, chasing her son on the beach, rubbing cheeks with her new daughter, or thinking of the next fun new family adventure.

Connect with Dana on Instagram / Periscope (her total happy place)

Want to work with Dana? Find out more here.


Dana Malstaff

Dana Malstaff

Dana Malstaff is the Founder of Boss Mom and creator Nurture to Convert.
She is a mother, author, speaker, messaging strategist, podcaster, blind spot reducer, and movement maker. She believes that too many brilliant moms are struggling to figure out how to grow their business while balancing all that is required to be a good mom, partner, and woman. So many moms are trying to grow their business using trends that feel inauthentic and aren't realistic for their inconsistent schedules. She has helped thousands of women become known for their brain and not their dance moves

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