Ma, me & mangoes” – Episode 20 (FOCUS – Follow One Course Until Success)

(Next week we are going to Mangalore to celebrate the Navaratri (a festival that spans for nine nights), usually, my mother has a long shopping list before going there that includes fruits, sweets, vegetables, and whatnot. But the thing is she writes on whatever small piece of paper she gets, and sometimes even on a newspaper. This time it was no different.)

Mother: Chinmay, have you seen a paper on which I had written the list of fruits purchased?

Me: seriously? some paper?

Mother: I had kept it here on this table, not sure where it has gone. Your father must have mixed it with old newspapers.

Me: (in my mind I was thinking – thank god my father is not in the room. Meanwhile, I saw a piece of paper and asked my mother) is this the paper? You have written some list of…

Mother: that is the list of dry fruits but I am looking for the list of fruits that had apple, banana, pineapple, pomegranate, papaya…

Me: (suddenly, I remembered seeing something similar) Ma, did that list had a dozen items on it?

Mother: yes

Me: did it had quantity next to each item?

Mother: yes

Me: did it had the price mentioned next to each item?

Mother: yes yes

Me: was each of the items ticked?

Mother: yes yes yes

Me: are you sure it was a piece of paper or had you written it on an envelope?

Mother: Ah… I remember now, it was on some marketing envelope. Where is it?

Me: hmm… I hope the bag in which we dump all the paper waste is not emptied yet?

Mother: oh… not sure… go and check before the maid gives it to the garbage collector.

(In our house, my father is very particular when it comes to disposing of wastes. We have three bags that hangs at the back of the house – one each for plastic waste, paper waste, and electronic waste.)

Me: (I found the envelope within a minute in the paper garbage bag) Ma, I think this is the paper you are after.

Mother: yes, thank you thank you thank you.

Me: Ma, I see all the items are ticked and you have circled the total price. Why is it that you are still after this?

Mother: It is not for the list of fruits, I had written the phone number of the owner of a sweet shop that my friend mentioned over the phone.

Me: Whaaaat??? Why didn’t you save it on your mobile?

Mother: I was speaking with my friend on the mobile when she asked me to make a note of the number.

Me: still you could have saved it on your phone or you could have opened WhatsApp and messaged the same number to your friend. That way, you can access it whenever you want.

Mother: I am not that tech savvy like you. Why don’t you show me how to save a number when I am still talking to someone over the mobile?

Me: I have shown it several times.

Mother: You have time to teach others but you do not have time to teach your own mother.

Me: (in my mind – typical mother’s dialogue)

Mother: anyways, how come you knew the piece of paper was in that paper bag?

Me: yesterday, while I was throwing some old papers after cleaning my desk, I saw the envelope inside the bag as it had numbers written on it. For some reason, it was in my memory.

Mother: you and your numbers!

Me: Ma, now I think I know why I might have remembered it.

Mother: Why?

Me: FOCUS!

Mother: focus on what?

Me: Nooo, because most of the time I am focusing on numbers, I believe I tend to see them everywhere.

I remember once my mentor said, “what grows is, what you focus on.”

Also, he said, “FOCUS stands for Follow One Course Until Success.”

In other words, as Confucius said, “Person who chases two rabbits catches neither.”

Mother: interesting

Me: Ma, do you know how much milk we have at home?

Mother: yes, we have sufficient milk till tomorrow morning.

Me: do you know in which fridge the milk is kept?

Mother: the pack that has been opened is in the new fridge and the unopened pack is in the old fridge. Why? Do you want something to drink?

Me: Nooo. I am trying to make a point here. Do you know why you remember how much milk is there and where it is stored?

Mother: hmm… is it because that is something that I focus every day?

Me: Genius!

Mother: I know

Me: Whhaaatttteevvveeerrrrr…

……………………………………………………………………………………….

As entrepreneurs and business owners, where is our focus?

Are we focusing on relevant numbers that always have some story to tell? or are we busy firefighting?

Are we busy complaining about the Covid situation or are we able to see opportunities behind the challenges?

As Winston Churchill said, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”

If we are struggling to find opportunities, then I am afraid we need a shift in the mindset.

Remember, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein

#focus #entrepreneurialmindset #numbers #financemanagement #bottomline #financeacademy