Editor’s note: Suppliers, if you offer bird control products that you would like to have highlighted in an upcoming issue, please send a press release and a high-resolution photo to jdorsch@gie.net.

BirdBuffer is an invisible dry vapor solution that safely and humanely controls pest birds, the manufacturer says. Bird issues are not new to PMPs; there have long been many available solutions. BirdBuffer says it is an effective alternative to these products. To learn more about BirdBuffer’s patented solutions, visit the company’s website, birdbuffer.com.

Bird-X’s Stainless Steel Bird Spikes are 100 percent effective wherever placed, and are backed by a 10-year warranty, the manufacturer reports. Physical barriers are an effective way to keep birds off surfaces because they eliminate birds’ ability to perch, roost or nest. Stainless Steel Spikes won’t corrode or decay, and install easily with adhesive, nails, screws or ties, the company says. Bird-X Bird Spikes have a flexible polycarbonate base that allows for installation on curved surfaces. With four variations — narrow, regular, extra tall and extra wide — virtually all types of birds can be deterred. Even stubborn birds like seagulls will not land when extra tall spikes are in place, Bird-X reports. Pest management professionals can reduce clean-up time and labor costs with Bird-X Stainless Steel Bird Spikes, the company adds.

Chicago-based Bird-X has spent more than 50 years protecting public areas from more than 60 bird-spread transmissible diseases. A leading international brand of humane bird control solutions, Bird-X manufactures a complete line of unique bird control products, protecting the health of humans, wildlife and the environment by deterring birds from unwanted areas without harming them, the firm says.

Optical Gel from Bird Barrier differentiates itself from other tubes of squirt-on bird gels because of its “secret sauce,” the manufacturer reports. It’s a force field that keeps birds from landing on a protected surface. Birds approach a roof dotted with Optical Gel and veer away, as if scared for their lives, according to manufacturer Bird Barrier.

This product is easy to install and allows pest management professionals to enter the bird market quickly, Bird Barrier says.

Bird Barrier offers free one-hour webinars (visit v.ht/bbcert) that show exactly how and where to apply Optical Gel. Applicators/installers must clean the site and space the discs properly (not too close, not too far away from each other).

Bird Barrier also offers other bird control products, including StealthNet, Bird-Shock, BirdSlide and Dura-Spikes.

New technology developed out of the Netherlands is proving to be an effective tool in bird control. Bird Control Group says its products have been embraced by many industries as a cost-effective and safe solution, delivering common results of up to 90 percent bird reduction. The company developed an easy-to-use software tool called AVIX Connect, which allows PMPs to provide a customized proposal to effectively solve a customer’s bird problem.

Bird Control Group’s lasers leverage a bird’s innate fight or flight response by shining a laser beam across a predetermined path or structure, which in turn causes the bird to “escape” the perceived imminent danger. “The human eye sees the laser as a moving green dot, but a bird’s eye interprets this same dot as an actual beam of light or barrier, and will fly away to avoid contact,” explains Wayne Ackermann, director of business development for North America.

The company says industrial use of the lasers is ramping up in the U.S. with several operational lasers at big box stores, solar sites, commercial rooftops and industrial facilities.

Internationally, Bird Control Group has seen successful results in many industries ranging from agriculture, commercial real estate, airports, oil and gas sites, nuclear power stations and pest control, the company says.

Already registered in 49 of 50 states and Canada, OvoControl P, “birth control” for pigeons, is now available in Mexico. “Just as in the U.S. market, many commercial sites and communities in Mexico are plagued with pigeons,” said Erick Wolf, CEO of Innolytics, maker of OvoControl. “More than anything, as the popularity of OvoControl has grown, requests for the product have also increased in Mexico.”

Mexico-based ECONTROL, a part of Mylva, has been named the distributor of OvoControl P for the Mexico market. Benjamin Gómez, managing director of ECONTROL, commented, “We plan to focus on stored grain facilities, tourism and the export economy. The critical importance of food safety in Mexico cannot be overstated and pigeons can represent serious risks. Our pest control customers and their clients are keenly interested in innovative options to control the pigeon population safely and humanely. OvoControl meets these criteria and fits well with ECONTROL’s portfolio.”

Gómez added, “OvoControl works like an IGR, but for birds instead of insects. We believe that birth control for pigeons is a valuable addition to the portfolio of bird control tools that can be used in Mexico.”

OvoControl is a ready-to-use bait, which is dispensed on flat rooftops with an automatic feeder. Innolytics says this effective and humane technology is particularly useful for managing flocks of pigeons in larger areas without having to use extreme solutions and their associated risks.

Established in 1950, Nixalite of America invented and patented the world’s first bird spike. Today, Nixalite offers nine different bird spike models designed for different applications, infestation levels and budgets. All of the bird spikes manufactured by Nixalite are constructed of 100 percent high-grade stainless steel made in the United States. Options for the Nixalite Spikes include 2- or 4-foot lengths, sharp or blunt tip spikes, powder coat colors and various fastening choices.

Other bird control products available from Nixalite include nine different types of bird netting, Bird Zap Shock Track, FliteLine, exclusion devices, chemical repellents, bird traps, and sound and visual bird deterrents. Visit www.nixalite.com to see their complete bird control product line and online automated estimating applications.

Nixalite of America is a fourth-generation, family-owned full service company offering free planning and estimating services. Nixalite’s 24,000-square-foot manufacturing and executive facilities are located in East Moline, Ill. This is where the hand- built Nixalite machines turn high-grade stainless steel wire and strip into a bird and climbing animal control system. At Nixalite all pest management customers qualify for wholesale pricing.

Bird Banisher deters woodpeckers and other pest birds away from homes and orchards. According to manufacturer Viking Product Supply, it is built with high-quality components to ensure motion even with the slightest wind speed. Bird Banisher can be used on residential and commercial properties and is built for longevity, providing consistent protection. Bird Banisher says it uses high-quality products such as stainless steel ball bearing swivels for maximum movement in all wind conditions, powder-coated galvanized steel rods and high-performance holographic components.

Every time the phone rings and the caller on the other end asks if we take care of birds, it causes me to focus. Although all raccoon-trapping jobs have their peculiarities, in many ways they are essentially the same. Bird complaints, I’ve come to find, are never the same. Unlike a raccoon-trapping job, you can’t have a standard fee that you charge. Bird jobs require work that is out of the ordinary for me, although I do a lot of them!

On a good day, the caller will simply have a bird in their basement they need captured. Conversely, the next bird call that comes in may be to remove one of thousands of federally protected birds nesting on the rooftop of a local business. Each job is a winner, although one requires “jumping through many more hoops” and man-hours than the other.

A WIDE RANGE OF JOBS. Looking at the bird removal jobs that I took on in 2018, I see everything from a $200 bird removal job to a multi-thousand-dollar contract. If you compared both jobs financially, it’s obvious that the multi-thousand-dollar job is the preferable one. Comparing the two when it comes to profits, however, tells me that I’d much rather take on many small jobs instead of one or two large jobs. The large jobs require many man-hours of work. They require special equipment; supplies from a company that specializes in bird exclusion products; inspections; and then bids and quotes before the job can be shopped. After landing the job, we need to completely focus on it while our other accounts take a back seat. This is not meant to discourage anyone from taking on these big jobs. You just have to remember to factor into the price all the business that you cannot do while your resources are focused on the big contracts.

My favorite nuisance bird call is from a homeowner that has birds entering their house through the bathroom exhaust fan vent. I normally quote the prices of these jobs over the phone. These birds are generally European starlings.

Starlings have the uncanny ability to fly up to a bathroom vent and flip open the little flappers with a quick flick of their beak. Once inside the ductwork, they will find the perfect place to build a nest and raise their young.

European starlings lay eggs once per year near the beginning of spring. Each nesting results in four to seven eggs. The male starling starts the nest and lures in a female with his impressive building skills. Together, they will continue to improve the nest by bringing in straw, grass, yarn, and any other items they can find that will improve their living quarters.

The longer the client waits to call about this problem, the better it is for my bottom line, as the nesting material will eventually either plug the ductwork entirely or burst the ductwork and allow the birds total access to the attic. It is not uncommon in these situations to remove two, three, or even four contractor-sized garbage bags of nesting material from the attic.

The outside work is generally the fastest. These jobs usually call for a tall ladder as most of these types of calls are for birds entering a vent in a two-story house.

DEALING WITH DUCTWORK. On many jobs, we find the small little flappers missing from the vent. Every once in a while we will find these single flappers on the ground. Occasionally, we take the flappers from a new vent and simply swap them into the old vent. Many times, however, we find the vents in such bad shape that they need to be replaced. This is an easy job, but it requires a little work from the attic first. The new vent has a minimal cost and takes little time to install once the damaged vent has been removed. You’re certainly going to want to sell a vent guard to prevent this situation from happening again. It’s an easy sell, as there’s not a single homeowner that wants to incur this problem and expense again. Make sure that you’re prepared to install the vent guard when the vent replacement is finished. Being prepared saves you additional trips up and down the ladder.

While doing the ladder work, it’s wise to have a spray bottle (filled with a mild cleaner) on your tool belt. Birds normally have defecated on the siding. This will take a little scrubbing, but make your finished job look much better. Although you may not think about it, most homeowners don’t hesitate to pay a little more for this service, so don’t forget to sell it.

If there were adult birds in the ductwork when you disconnected it from the attic, they usually exit their tubular home at that time. A good shake of the flexible ductwork before the disconnection sends them out into the bright blue sky. While you are doing your ladder work, you can be assured that “Mr. or Mrs. Starling” were watching you, especially if there are babies in the nest or a clutch of eggs. When you make your way into the attic, there should be no birds flying around inside, but scan the attic just to be sure. The last thing you want is a callback because the client hears a bird above their heads!

Flexible ducting comes packaged in 25-foot rolls. Our normal procedure is to remove the entire duct and replace it with brand new duct. The flexible ductwork will be full of nesting material, ectoparasites, bird droppings, cracked eggs, whole eggs, and possibly live young birds that cannot fly. One of the items that you will want in the attic is contractor-sized garbage bags. Dragging this mess down the scuttle hole and through the client’s home is not something we ever want to do. To disconnect the old ductwork, we usually take a small tool bag with us into the attic. I’ve seen the end of the ducts taped to the exhaust fan, clamped onto the exhaust fan, and also zip tied to the fan. This goes for the vent side too. A few times we’ll see sheet metal screws in use, so a good screwdriver is a must in our tool bag along with a pair of tin snips, some zip ties and a fresh roll of duct tape. You should consider using a headlamp for this work in order to keep your hands free. We also light the attic with a larger light right at the scuttle hole. If your headlamp dies or comes up missing in action, you’ll still be able to see to get out safely.

Once you have both ends of the ductwork free, it all goes in the garbage bag. Obviously, the ends should be held upright until they are in the bag, or you run the risk of performing a cleanup that wasn’t on the schedule.

The flexible ductwork will have to be cut to length and it usually has a stiff wire encircling it for stability. Your tin snips will make light work of this ductwork. Attach the new ductwork at both ends and your job could be done. I say “could” because most homes have more than one exhaust vent. Check the others for additional revenue opportunities! At the very least, any other vent should be excluded with a vent cover. Just like the offending vent with the birds, this is an easy sell and a quick install from the outside. You’re performing a service that the client either can’t do or doesn’t want to do, so charge accordingly.

Many times the birds will have packed the flexible ductwork so full of nesting materials that it will have burst open, giving the birds free access into the attic. If this is the case, there’s a good chance that there will be birds in the attic. It will be difficult to catch them as they certainly have the advantage. The best bet in this situation is to open a vent to the outside. The birds will be in panic mode and, when disturbed, will fly to the light. When they exit, reconnect the vent. There’s time and effort involved in this, so be sure to charge for bird removal.

CLEAN AND SANITIZE. The reason people don’t want birds in their attic is because birds are “dirty.” They defecate all over, leave foul-smelling odors, and harbor ectoparasites. Cleaning and odor control is part of the job that can (and should) be sold. Most homeowners have no desire to go into an attic, but pictures really sell the job. Obviously, nobody wants bird mites or other “bugs” in their home. Taking away the birds doesn’t mean that you have removed the bird mites. Soon enough, they may start searching elsewhere in the house for their next blood meal. Treating a home for ectoparasites brought in by birds can be the icing on the cake and another nice addition to the income stream.

While I’m speaking about all the reasons to clean up after birds have invaded an attic, let’s not forget our own health. It’s so easy to take the shortcut and pop into an attic without the proper personal protection equipment (PPE), but please don’t. Don’t turn your client’s emergency into your emergency. Suiting up in a Tyvek suit and adding some gloves and a respirator is so easy. Histoplasmosis is a very real threat to us. The airborne spores can cause a respiratory infection so bad that you can be hospitalized. In 1997, singer Bob Dylan had an experience with histoplasmosis. After he was finally released from the hospital and given a prognosis of a full recovery in four to six weeks, he said that he was so sick that he “really thought that I’d be seeing Elvis soon.”

For the little time that it takes to don our PPEs, it’s just not worth the risk to our own health! If I haven’t convinced you yet, please consider that attics are filled with fiberglass insulation. The dangers of breathing these fiberglass fibers is a subject that could use its own article! If the attic has other types of insulation, the particulate matter you stir up will cause numerous problems. Let’s not forget that all sorts of chemicals have probably been applied here. There will be no notice. Oh, and every attic that has had mice will have mouse droppings and dried urine. Wearing the PPE shields us from a whole host of dangers lurking in that attic.

LOOK FOR OPPORTUNITIES. Once the bird removal job is done, I challenge you to look around at the neighboring houses. Most homes in an area are built in the same style — and where you find one nest of starlings, you will find others. Look for the white streaks on neighbors’ siding. Look for bathroom vents missing the little flappers. There have been many times we have completed a job at one house and then, 20 minutes later, our ladders are set up on the house across the street! It’s really easy to sell the job by knocking on the door and explaining what you just did for Mrs. Kelly across the street. For example, saying, “I see that you have the same problem,” and then showing them the mess. Sometimes they know that birds are in there; most times they do not. Your knowledge of bird habits, dangers, and diseases will assure the homeowner that it’s the right thing to do — and it is!

Although my business provides bird removal services, this work is just a fraction of the pie; however, it’s a slice of the pie that I do not want to lose. Not many companies advertise for bird removal services. Don’t forget to include it in your marketing plans. I can’t tell you how many people who call are thrilled that they found someone that performs the service. In my opening line of this article, I mentioned a client asking if we get birds out of houses. That tells me that the client either didn’t read enough when looking for me, or that I have more work to do in telling the world that I want to help them get birds out of their house. Every call is a learning opportunity to better market our services.

If you don’t currently perform bird removal services, it is a good money-maker. I encourage you to get your feet wet. There are no two jobs that are exactly alike, and each one will take a little time and effort to come up with the right price. Your bottom line will see the benefit of adding this line of work to your service offerings.

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in a PCT e-newsletter titled “Targeting Ants,” which was sponsored by Rockwell Labs.

While there are numerous species of ants with varying habits, many ants’ primary nesting places can be found in outdoor spaces underneath stones, logs and soil. However, these insects become major pests when they make their nests in the foundations of homes, primarily in walls, floors and foam insulation. Many ants also forage for food indoors, and some can damage electrical wiring and sting.

Whether ants are already occupying your customer’s space, or you want to prevent an incoming invasion, there are strategies and tips to help defend your customer’s home against these small but bothersome enemies.

Michael Burks, owner of Eco Pest Solutions, Cleveland, Tenn., said that it’s always better to have a proactive approach to ant control rather than reacting to a later ant infestation.

“Being proactive is a little different, you have to think...like an ant,” said Burks. “The ants aren’t there, but you have to pay attention to areas they may show up.”

When inspecting a home for potential ant problems, it is important to look for anything that could promote ant activity in the house structure and the surrounding environment, Burks said. Structural flaws such as cracks in the foundation, gaps in walls and floor voids provide ants with easy access to your customer’s home. It is also necessary to locate sources of moisture outdoors, such as gutters, mulch beds and leaking A/C units that could damage wood and form a perfect spot for ants to set up shop and dish out some of their damaging behavior.

“These areas should be caution school zones, like flashing lights, for a PMP,” Burks said. “If I was a betting man, that’s where I’m putting my money on where a potential ant problem could show up.”

If you’re reacting to an existing ant problem, you will want to use pesticides that provide quick knockdown. Keep in mind reactive ant control typically involves using increased volume of products to get rid of existing ants.

Once those ants are removed, it’s important to locate the weak spot where ants were entering and correct it. However, ironically, your reactive approach isn’t complete until you set some proactive strategies in motion. In addition to fixing the initial entry point of the ants, it’s vital to inspect and fix all other potential structural or environmental deficiencies, so as not to allow ants in a second time. In doing this, Burks added, “That’s when you are a proactive pro.”

PMPs must locate trails to effectively place baits. Ants will not find baits that are placed at random locations; therefore, you must place the bait where you know it will be discovered by ants.

Successful ant management assumes two directives: “Find the nest” and “Locate the trails.” These are preceded by the correct identification of the pest ant involved. The nest location and the trails are dependent on one another as well as the chemical: bait, spray or dust that is employed. Trails will lead to the discovery of nests and chemicals applied with trail information all can be applied to management. Ants trail for a number of reasons and knowledge of the biology of the species involved will help determine the method of attack.

Understanding the social behavior and habits of different ant species is important to understanding management. Ant trails are common with most ant species and this trait is vital to understanding ant management. The three most common ants that are pest species according to national surveys are carpenter ants, odorous house ants and pavement ants. Other ant species in specific areas include the Argentine ants in the West and South and the velvety tree ants in the Western United States and Canada.

All ants are social with a division of labor including the mated queen, workers and brood consisting of eggs, larvae and pupae. Mature colonies also will contain the reproductives, winged males and females who, depending on the species, may leave the colony to mate and establish new colonies. Ants work together in nest building; in providing care for the brood, queen and reproductives; in moving nest sites; and in foraging for the colony. Not all ants in a colony will leave the nest to forage at the same time. Estimates are that 10 percent or fewer of ants are foragers at any one time. The non-foraging ants are involved in activities within the colony where their various roles will vary depending on age and requirements of the colony. The oldest of the workers will forage for the colony supplying nutrients for non-foraging workers, brood, queen and reproductives.

TRAIL BEHAVIOR. Ants move together in a trail for the purpose of establishing a new colony, moving from a parent to satellite nest(s) or sub-nest(s). Nest building varies among ant species from simple collection of brood under a pile of leaves to extravagant parent and satellite nests to a constant rearrangement of sub-nests as foraging arenas are changed. Carpenter ants maintain a parent nest, often outside a structure, while satellite nests are established in subfloors, attics or voids within a structure. Ants maintain communication between these nests by trails. Odorous house ants, Argentine ants, pavement ants and velvety tree ants may move sub-nest(s) with a queen(s) to different foraging arenas or into structures often from an exterior nesting site.

The most common type of trailing behavior occurs in foraging activity and may be observed with most ant species. Most colonies require both carbohydrate and protein at various times during the life cycle. Carbohydrates are often supplied in nature by homopterans (aphids, scales) producing honeydew or from nectar from flowers. As homopterans live in trees, shrubs and other vegetation around a structure, the foraging trails of ants will lead from nesting sites to these foraging arenas. Ants also may be attracted to a carbohydrate source within a structure, such as candy, fruit or other sweets. Protein required by colonies is usually met by foraging on insects or in structures by feeding on pet food.

Trails by ants are fluid; that is, different ant species forage at different times of the day, at different temperatures and on different substrates. A black utility wire that leads from the structure to trees makes a good trail from a satellite nest to the foraging arena, especially if the wire avoids direct sunlight and is therefore cooler than a wire exposed to direct sunlight and may have too high a temperature to navigate during the heat of the day. Timing of inspections is critical as ants change trails in response to these factors.

Ants commonly follow structural guidelines that facilitate movement between two points. Structural guidelines may be a fence; a wire; an irrigation pipe or hose; the edge of a concrete structure such as a patio, sidewalk, steps or driveway; or even the edge of a garbage can. Again, direct sunlight and temperature will alter these guidelines and may be camouflaged by lawn, shaded areas, trees or other vegetation. Technicians need to inspect these areas to determine trailing activity and remember that environmental conditions will change trails.

Trails may be marked by trail pheromones. As each ant passes along the trail, more trail pheromone is released from the tip of the abdomen. Pheromones may be produced in the hindgut or Dufour’s gland in carpenter ants while pheromones are produced in abdominal sternal glands in odorous house ants. Pavement ant pheromone is produced from the poison gland. The release of pheromones keeps the trail strong and allows other members of the colony to determine the quality of the trail and direction of the food source. Pheromones usually are volatile and need the constant reinforcement of other foragers.

Ants are recruited by pheromones or by tandem running with other ants. Tandem calling followed by tandem running is employed by some ants where the “calling” or recruiting occurs with the release of a chemical, often from the poison gland, followed by the worker ants following the leader releasing the pheromone. Pavement ants may be recruited in this manner.

When a particularly strong foraging arena is employed by a colony, a trail may be physically constructed through lawn or other vegetation to provide a more direct route to the arena. This is commonly witnessed with carpenter ants where vegetation, small rocks and debris are removed from the trail. Some of these trails may be 4-5 cm in width. Trails also may become subterranean and ants will excavate passageways beneath the soil surface from a nesting site to a foraging arena. This has been observed with nests in partially buried railroad ties or landscaping timbers with trails constructed underground. The trail leading away from the buried wood is lined with wood excavated from the nest site and emerges near the base of a fir tree. Ants also may follow roots of trees in underground trails. As these trails are hidden, inspection should include the bases of nearby trees or shrubs to determine if ants are emerging near the tree and establishing their foraging arena in the trees.

Other foraging arenas that are more temporary may induce ants to move sub-nests to different arenas as the food sources are depleted and as the numbers of brood increase. Odorous house ants or velvety tree ants that are both multi-queened often will set up temporary nests or sub nests and structures may be invaded within a day or two as new foraging arenas are located.

INSPECTION TIPS. Trail inspections become an important tool in management protocols. Homeowners may be of assistance but technicians should recognize the importance of inspecting possible trailing activity at specific times of day. Guidelines such as fences, wiring and plumbing leading to the structure, plus any vegetation in the form of trees, shrubs and plants that are in contact with the roof or siding, must be inspected. If foraging arenas are located in trees, ants may be visible on the trunks. These ants may be traced back through the vegetation to entry points on the structure.

Trails also occur within structures with ants following various structural guidelines, such as along door and window frames, the edges of carpets (tacking strips under the edge of carpeting) and counter edges. Ants prefer to establish trails on dark surfaces and along edges (structural guidelines). Within wall voids or other structural spaces, ants will trail on plumbing and wiring. Dust applications are ideal to reach some of these areas by injecting small amounts of a dust formulation (using plastic nozzles) on the side of electrical boxes after removing covering plates. Dusts also may be injected into accessible openings around pipes and plumbing fixtures.

The number of ants on trails will vary by species, size of the colony and time of day. Carpenter ants have an increase of ants emerging on trails at sunset and a decline at sunrise and during the daylight hours. Some trails of carpenter ants will have ants, sometimes several abreast, or at other times of the day, the ants will be spaced several feet apart along the trail. Odorous house ants and velvety tree ants are very numerous on the trails, especially when the ants are entering or exiting a structure. Close inspection of the foundation will often reveal these trails.

Once trails have been located, management of infestations can be facilitated by removal of the trail features (vegetation, guidelines, etc.) or with the use of chemical sprays and/or baits. Placement of a chemical spray, preferably a chemical that has demonstrated transferability, should be placed on trails, under the lower edge of the structural siding, at structural entry points and along any guidelines where ants are trailing. Ants exposed to slow-acting sprays will transfer the material to other ants in the nest(s) and eliminate the colony.

Locating trails is imperative for bait placement. Slow-acting baits are effective but lack the ability to recruit unless baits are placed within a few centimeters of the trail, especially when ants are foraging to an established arena. Ants will not find baits placed at random locations; therefore, the more efficient use of the material is to place the bait where it will be discovered by the ants. Once the bait is encountered, other ants will be recruited.

Proper location and chemical placement along trails will result in successful ant management because ants follow trails to the nest(s). When trails are located and treated, callbacks will be reduced; however, treatments require a thorough inspection and knowledge of ant behavior.

The author is an instructor in the biology department at Spokane Falls Community College, Spokane, Wash.

Do you want to maximize your R.O.I.? Concentrate on what you’re good at and stop focusing on your weaknesses.

Unfortunately, many people (and many organizations) still buy into this principle, and it’s detrimental to the long-term success of their business and/or the likelihood of whether or not they will reach their full potential in life. Here it is: Stop focusing on your weaknesses! The more time you spend trying to improve upon things you are not good at, the less you stay within your unique talents and skill sets, which are ultimately the things that will give you the greatest return on your investment of time, money, energy and resources.

Have you heard of the Pareto Principle? If not, it’s pretty simple to explain. It basically states that the top 20 percent of your priorities are responsible for 80 percent of your results. And it’s no different when it comes to staying in your strength zone — also known as your “sweet spot.”

I’ve been grateful to have some oustanding mentors that have come into my life at the right time who assisted me with this endeavor greatly. For example, I was able to discover my strengths (primary drivers) as an individual, and I also found my unique purpose in life, which is to empower others to grow their businesses and lead to their full potential faster.

With that being said, I choose to focus on only three things. The interesting thing is this: the three things I’ve chosen to focus on are not only what I’m good at — in other words, things within my strength zone — but they are things that I enjoy doing immensely.

My challenge to you is simply this: Find the two, three or four things that you do extraordinarily well and focus on them exclusively. This may not be easy. It wasn’t necessarily easy for me.

For example, you may have a strength with a lot of potential; however, for one reason or another you haven’t been able to tap into it and develop it to the level it needs to be in order to impact your long-term success. Be patient, find a good mentor and commit to a process or processes that will help you find the answers you are looking for.

Reprinted from the Purpose Unlimited E-Letter: For a free subscription, go to www.purposeunlimited.com. Copyright © 2018 Jim Whitt Purpose Unlimited.

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