Staying Focused

motivational speakersAs motivational speakers, we encourage and empower people to set goals and reach them. I have LOTS of great ideas – and that is a blessing and a curse. I am an awesome idea collector. Following through is another story. Therefore FOCUS is a big issue for me. If I don't have a strong idea of my vision, I will never get anything done – or rather I would get the beginnings of everything done. And so every year I take a new look at my vision, my mission, my goals, and how well I'm tracking the path to where I want to be. And every time a new idea or project presents itself, I put it to the TEMA test.

1. Do I have the TIME for this project?  Time is precious to me, and I can't afford to waste it on things that don't fit the priorities in my life and in my business. If I take on something new, something else has to give. Can I afford for that something else to go?

2. Do I have the ENERGY for this project?  I was put here to do something great. And so were you. But if we are burned out, we can't get there. Period. Our energy is precious. Use it accordingly.

3. Do I have the MONEY for this project? "But it's a good investment!" I always say. Well, lots of things are good investments – but that doesn't mean it's a good investment for you. I have to ask myself, "Will this put money in my pocket? Or will it end up taking it out?"  Budgets are budgets for a reason.  Good businesses don't spend more than they bring in.

4. Do this ALIGN with my vision?  We create a vision for a reason. Not just because it sounds good, or looks good on paper – but because that is our intention – to get there – to create that. The purpose of the vision is to keep you focused.  So when every new idea comes my way, I hold it up to the light of my vision.  While it looked really really great on its own and felt like it was something I should do – when I held it up to the vision and the path I was on – well, it looked more like a distraction – and wasn't even really something that was going to help me get further down the road – but that might actually hurt me. So I ditch it, or put it in a file to look at somewhere down the road.

This simple little acronym helps me stay focused on my goals. Maybe it will help you too.




Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson - called one of North Carolina's funniest women by Our State Magazine. Kelly lifts the spirits of audiences from coast-to-coast using humor, storytelling, and lives of the characters from Prides Hollow - Kelly's make believe small town. This unique approach to motivational speaking allows Kelly to break through communications barriers and connect directly to the audience's imagination.
Her powerful stories and wacky wit will make you laugh, remind you that you matter, show you how to see beyond your obstacles, and teach you how to stand up and stick out in a crowded market.
To book motivational speaker Kelly Swanson:
Motivational speaker Kelly Swanson's website

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  1. Hey Kelly! Yes, many motivational speakers have a tendency to START lots of cool projects, but finish rather few. But my guess is that there are a LOT of other people in every walk of life who experience the same tendency. This is a very succinct and specific way to approach some task, idea or goal – and increase the odds of it happening! Four GREAT questions! 

  2. With so many opportunities crossing our paths as motivational speakers, this is an excellent tool to keep focused.I'll be putting it to work tonight!

  3. Local TV show, Cooking for Fitness classes, fashion blog with sister, personal training sessions for a very eager student…these are just a few exciting ideas that have crossed this motivational speaker's desk this year (I"m talking the month of January!).  Thank you for your timely TEMA test, Kelly.  I can really put it to use right now!

  4. Kelly, I thought I was the only motivational speaker who had great big ideas and lost focus and didn't finish them! (Remember our idea of starting our own women's professional speaking association?) Love your TEMA test – a test that I have failed in the past.  But, since I'm letting go of the past, here's to staying focused from here on out!

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