Elon Musk owns or is active in at least five businesses, including Tesla, but only one (Space X, a private firm) may be turning a profit. Why does Musk pour time and money into losing efforts when he has a winner? Maybe he doesn’t care about losing millions; maybe lifestyle is his driver.

What is your driver, your focus? Why are you investing time and money in certain areas of your business and not in others? When you pick the direction for you and your business, start by determining your personal primary driver. It could be lifestyle (balanced life, family time, doing what you enjoy), equity (a business built for the long term or value), or income (maximized net income each year). Pick the one that is most important to you over the next two to four years.

If you want to maximize annual net income, for example, it will be best to stay smaller and avoid the overhead of building a leadership team, paying sales commissions, and developing a business infrastructure. If you want to build a business that has equity or that will allow you a better lifestyle, then you’ll want to invest in team members and sacrifice on annual net income.

From there, pick the primary driver or focus for your business. This needs to inspire and motivate you and your team. And it needs to align with your personal goal. If you have prioritized “lifestyle,” expect to compromise business returns because you’ll have to work a little less, invest in a management team, and so on.

Then develop a road map to head in your chosen direction. What efforts or businesses should you continue to invest in versus those you should terminate? Think through team members, processes, and policies. What are required or acceptable business returns?

Focus. Without it, we are in the dark and success will be elusive. Without focus, we don’t use our time, money, and resources to their fullest extent. Without focus, our clients won’t feel our depth of commitment. And focus starts with knowing our true driver (lifestyle, equity, or income) and developing our business, our team, and our goals from that foundation.