If you’re like me and many other entrepreneurs that I know, your mind never stops coming up with new ideas for your business. (Much to the chagrin of your sleep schedule.)
You probably even have a system in place to captures all those ideas no matter where you are. Later, you then go through and decide which ideas are the best, most worth your time, etc.
This leads to one of the biggest mistakes that entrepreneurs make: before too long they are overwhelmed by how many projects they have going at once.
For example, how many of you run or contribute to multiple blogs? Starting a blog that matters, standing out from competition, and growing a thriving audience is hard enough. Yet, many of us work on more than one blog at a time. Why is this?
In this post we’ll discuss why you must choose to focus more often in your business and give you a simple strategy for positively sunsetting a project when it is time to move on.
Why Great Entrepreneurs Choose to Focus
Nothing leads to failure quite as often as analysis paralysis. Chances are you know this feeling well.
You come up with a great idea for something you want to do, but can’t decide on a name. Until you get that name right, the world basically stands still. You spend days or even weeks racking your brain around the perfect name and get very little actually work done.
If that describes you, don’t worry. That is completely normal.
What sets successful entrepreneurs apart from the rest is not just that they make the right decisions, but that they make them quickly.
Instead of having ten ideas in the brainstorming stage and not taking any significant steps forward on any of them, they instead take one idea and run with it until they have a minimum valuable product and see what happens to it.
The Big Misconception
The reason that most people have so many projects going on at once is that they typically want to have other things to “fall back on” if something else they’re working on doesn’t pan out.
They say to themselves, “I want to diversify my risk by having multiple talents/skills/income streams/projects. I don’t want to put all my eggs in one basket!”
The problem with this is twofold.
- If you are THAT worried about your project failing, it probably will.
- Entrepreneurs that really crush it typically just have one big project at a time.
Jeff Bezos didn’t build Amazon from scratch AND another company at the same time. Richard Branson didn’t try to launch Virgin Airlines or Virgin Mobile concurrently with Virgin Records. Mark Zuckerberg wasn’t creating Facebook AND another social media platform too.
Yes, there are examples of people that have multiple projects going at once, but if you want something to be wildly successful you should probably be putting all of your effort into that one thing.
When you start to pile up too many commitments on your plate, you have no choice but to start letting other tasks and ideas fall through the cracks.
A Strategy for Quitting Without the Stigma
Like Jonathan Fields and Seth Godin talked about in the latest episode of the Good Life Project (specifically at 15:45), there is a simple way to sunset something you are working on.
- Call it a Project
- Declare Victory
- Move On
When you do this you not only get more time to work on other projects, you also save face by subtly turning your loss into a win.
I like to call this process ‘Quitting Without the Stigma’.
In our society, a quitter is typically labeled as a failure. People assume someone quit because they were weak, incompetent, or just simply unable to perservere.
There are popular phrases like “quitters never win” and “not quitting is half the battle”, but are those things really true?
I’d argue that quitters DO win. Sometimes the biggest winners are the ones that quit all the time. They know what they should be focusing their time, energy, and money on and they quit the rest.
What should your quit doing? What should you be spending more time focusing on?
Let us know in the comments below this post.
The Top 10 Mistakes in Online Business
Every week we talk with entrepreneurs. We talk about what’s working and what isn’t. We talk about successes and failures. We spend time with complete newbies, seasoned veterans, and everything in between.
One topic that comes up over and over again with both groups is mistakes made in starting businesses. Newbies love to learn about mistakes so they can avoid them. Veterans love to talk about what they wish they had known when starting out.
These conversations have been fascinating, so we compiled a list of the 10 mistakes we hear most often into a nifty lil' guide. Get the 10 Most Common Mistakes in Starting an Online Business here »