Focus on the umbrella

I really hate to admit it, but I once watched an episode of Dr. Phil.

I know.

Anyway, his advice to the panel of overweight guests was, “Don’t dwell on the idea of shedding pounds, but rather, focus on living a healthier lifestyle.”

He encouraged (er, yelled at) them to modify their eating, drinking, exercising and sleeping habits. As a result, he said, they would experience increased energy, higher self-esteem, a more positive self-image, and of course, a loss of weight.

In other words, they needed be healthy intentionally so they could lose weight incidentally.

I saw that episode two years ago. But it wasn’t until yesterday afternoon during an eight mile run in the middle of the mountains – the type of environment where I always seem to get my best ideas – that I realized how applicable the concept was to business.

I even came up with a cool name for it: focus on the umbrella.

Take networking, for example. Some people think it’s about selling. Or gaining referrals. Or obtaining new clients.


Networking is about the development and maintenance of mutually valuable relationships. In other words, the healthier lifestyle. The umbrella.

Now, sure, while you’re networking, it’s possible that you’ll make a few sales, earn a referral or two or even gain a new client, i.e., lose weight.

But those things will only happen to you incidentally, not intentionally.

Focus on the umbrella.

What are you doing intentionally to create indicental results?

On the top of a sheet of paper, write: MY INTENTIONAL ACTION IS __________. Then, below it write all the possible incidental results.

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag

Are you That Guy?

Find out in Scott’s new book at


Daily updates straight to your inbox.


Author. Speaker. Strategist. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. Gameshow Host. World Record Holder. I also wear a nametag 24-7. Even to bed.
Sign up for daily updates


Daily updates straight to your inbox.

Copyright ©2020 HELLO, my name is Blog!