The world is changing at a faster pace than ever before. The price of oil continues to rise. There is political and civil unrest in many parts of the world. China is consuming natural resources at an ever growing rate to support their economic expansion. Banks are slow to lend money and interest rates for savers are near record lows. The housing market continues to lag with excessive inventory including many units that are not even listed due to low demand. Despite of this, the stock market has rallied significantly and people are beginning to come out of their shell, if not ever so slowly.

Given the above I think it is more important than ever to stay focused on the goal. My goal is to be the premier floor covering, window treatment, cabinet and counter top retailer in my market area. In order to achieve that goal I must remain focused on the things that I can control and work within those things to give my company the best chance to achieve.

Items I can control include who I partner with when deciding what products I want to offer to my customers. Great suppliers are critical when business is difficult. I need suppliers that will deliver first quality products at competitive prices on time. I need suppliers that will protect their products distribution not only in my market area but on the internet so that I can sell their products at a reasonable profit. I need suppliers that when necessary will go the extra yard to make the situation right no matter who is to blame.  Without great suppliers I cannot be a premier company.

Another item I can control is how I react when things don’t go exactly as planned. I have always said that what separates good companies from average companies are their people.  The ability to access a situation and figure out the best course of action is critical. Things happen in business and it’s how you deal with them that ultimately determines whether your customer will sing your praises or curse about you to every friend, neighbor and/or human being that will listen.

The Green Bay Packers won the super bowl mainly because Aaron Rogers kept his focus on the goal. The Packers’ goal was to win the Super Bowl. Aaron Rogers was not distracted by the things he had no control over. When a play didn’t work as planned he did not panic, instead he went back into the huddle and called the next play with the same focus that was required. He didn’t panic when a pass was dropped or the Pittsburgh Steelers scored to put the outcome in jeopardy. Instead, he calmly led the Green Bay Packers down the field using the clock and turning the momentum back in Green Bay’s favor.

Did Aaron Rogers worry about the hundreds of thousand of screaming fans in the stadium? Did he worry about the millions of fans watching his every move on television? Did he worry if his offensive line would hold the Pittsburgh rushers so he would have time to complete his passes? Did he worry about whether the Green Bay Packer defense would stop the Pittsburgh offense? Did he worry about all the comparisons to Brett Farve? The simple answer is no. Aaron Rogers was the Super Bowl most valuable player because he understood that in order to each his goal he needed to play within himself and control what was in his control. If he had tried to do too much, to squeeze a pass in to triple coverage perhaps the outcome might have been different.  Aaron Rogers and the Green Bay Packers did not make the same mistakes the Pittsburgh Steelers did. The Steelers failed to take “care of the ball.” They lost focus on the things that were in their control. Aaron Rogers calmly went about his business with confidence and focus and now is the starting quarterback for the world Champion Green Bay Packers.

Control what you can. Depend on the people around you to do their job and if you have the right people I believe it will lead to success! It’s hard to keep your focus with everything going on around you but in order to succeed it is not an option but mandatory.