A few years ago Oprah Winfrey retired from her daytime television program after a successful twenty-five year run. Oprah was asked what had been the secret to her success over the years. Her answer: “I stayed in my zone.” She went on to explain that she had found what she was good at and had simply stayed at that same endeavor, day in and day out, resisting the temptation to “chase rabbits” in a different direction. She found what she could do best and stayed with it throughout the years.
I find that to be very good advice – stay in your zone. What is it that you are good at that you can grow in and develop in your own personal life and business? Do you even know your zone? That is a question I had to ask myself as I thought about writing this Tip.
I started out almost fifty years ago as a youth director because I loved working with teenagers. After spending so much time with them, I decided to become a school teacher and found that I loved that, too. It brought me a great deal of fulfillment. In time, I became a school principal and ran the day-to-day operations of a school for eight years. The huge responsibility of that role caused me to grow up in many ways. I had a staff of sixty-five faculty members and a five hundred fifty member student body with whom I interacted on a daily basis. It was a very rewarding experience!
After that, I got involved in church work. I moved my educational endeavors into the church and found that to be rewarding as well. Through that experience, I came in contact with Zig Ziglar and worked as the pastor of his Auditorium Class in Dallas, Texas, for several years. There were over five hundred families in that one class. It was another time of growth and learning. I even eventually became a pastor of a church for a period of time.
Eventually I developed other areas of interest and started my own business. It was a new and wonderful opportunity for me. I guess you might say that education, ministry and business eventually became the three themes of my life. Although somewhat broad in nature, that is my zone. Those are the areas in which I feel most comfortable and productive. So, those are the zones that get the most attention and focus in my life.
Personality Insights recently celebrated its twenty-eighth year anniversary of business. I have been stretched and pulled in a number of different directions in the process of learning how to run a business. But, once again it has been a great learning experience and very profitable for me, both personally and professionally.
During the last twenty-eight years I have lost focus and gotten off track a few times. Every time I find myself chasing something other than my personal goals, dreams and business endeavors, it has cost me financially and wasted precious time. I have come to see how important it is to simply stay in my zone. But, there seems to be something constantly pulling me to go in a different direction. I guess that is just the nature of life.
When I heard Oprah say, “Stay in your zone,” I knew exactly what she was talking about.
So, I would encourage you to find what you are good at and simply stay with that. Stop chasing rabbits and other tempting opportunities that come your way! There will always be someone enticing you to get involved in some new deal that will lead you away from your goals. It is far better to stay on-track and simply learn and grow in the area in which you are already familiar. As you learn to do better in the realm in which you now find yourself, it will not be long before you understand what real focus, success and achievement are all about.
As I mentioned earlier, I have asked myself the question, “Am I aware of my own zone?” I want to ask you that as well. Have you found your zone? Do you know what you are good at, and do you stay focused on that task on a daily basis? I believe that Oprah was right when she said that has been the key to her success. And, I believe that will be the key to your success and mine as well. I am endeavoring to make it the focus of my daily life and experience from here on out. I think that when you apply this simple concept to your own personality, gifts, talents and skills, it will not be long before you find your zone and experience all that you dreamed of in your own personal life. Let me encourage you to spend the necessary time to learn and focus on your own zone. Grow in that area and stay in that zone until you cross the finish line successfully one day. You will be glad you did!
Tip: Stay in your zone!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm