The key to implementing a lot of things

by Michele on February 22, 2012

When I talk to new solopreneur business owners, a common theme is overwhelm at all there is to implement and later maintain. These new solopreneurs are right, Solopreneurs should implement just one thing at a timethere is a lot to implement and maintain to create a successful business. Just to name a few, there are:

  • A website
  • Other components of web presence such as social media profiles and directory listings
  • Banking, payment and billing systems
  • Print material such as business cards, brochures and flyers
  • An email newsletter
  • A physical filing system
  • Bookkeeping

These are just a few of the projects that new solopreneur business owners need to tackle – there are many more, which is why it can seem like a daunting work load.

There is one critical key to getting all of these projects implemented, and that is to do things one at a time. If you are anything like me and most people, you’ll want all of this done right now. We see people with robust, established businesses and start trying to create that for ourselves yesterday. The reality is though, that people with established businesses didn’t get there overnight. They started somewhere and chugged away at adding things to get where they are today. No matter where you are in building your business, this is one of the best ways to make sure you get where you need to be.

I realize that this is not a glamorous, exciting take on building a business. Some people may be able to jump right in and have all of this done fast but that’s not the norm. When you see a business you’d like to resemble, see how long they’ve been around before you start thinking you’re coming up short.

Along the way, it might be tempting to jump into things too soon. If you are drawn to entrepreneurship, you probably have “bright, shiny object syndrome” which means new ideas and projects pull you like a siren song. It’s especially tempting when you are in the thick of implementing something and it’s gotten boring but isn’t done. Along comes the next new thing and it’s fresh and exciting, and we’re tempted to abandon the half-done project for the new one. Don’t give in! Anything you take on will only produce results when it’s done, so if you keep jumping to new projects without finishing the old ones you won’t get the results you want.

Have you been tempted into a bunch of half-done projects? How did you get some of them done? What’s worked for you in building your business? Tell me about it in the comments.

Comments

  1. Amen sister to the advice to discipline ourselves to do one thing at a time. In reality, that is all we can do anyway. The book “The Myth of Multitasking: How ‘Doing It All’ Gets Nothing Done” by David Crenshaw drives home the point. He starts with an exercise that makes the truth of his premise blazingly clear. Then he gives several specific tools for managing time more realistically, all in about 100 small pages, in a highly readable style. Enjoy!

    1. Michele says:

      HarSimran, that is so true! The funny thing is, study after study on multitasking confirms two things: one, multitasking is inefficient and two, everyone thinks they multitask well. I know I’m constantly tempted to multitask and as you point out it is a discipline not to. Great tip on the book too, I’ve added it to my list.

  2. Interesting piece, and very relevant to me. I like “bright, shiny object syndrome” – nice description! I’ve just finished reading a fabulous book by Barbara Sher, ‘What Do I Do When I Want to Do Everything?’, which describes various sorts of so-called Scanners, who love doing lots of different things, either all at the same time, or one after the other. I definitely recognise myself in this description, but the book has the message that it is possible to be successful if you are made this way. Recently I’ve read so much about finding your passion and following your dream.s, and was becoming rather worried that I couldn’t decide what that was. After all, I have so many ideas and dreams. How could I choose?

    At the moment, I have ideas for several projects (whether they will become businesses is another question), all linked but separate. I’ve spent a couple of months investigating how to start up, but have been turning in circles. As you say, there are so many things to do. Where do I start? What do you recommend? Website first? Facebook first? Newsletter first? Or does it just depend on your business, where your potential customers are, and your personal preference?

    1. Michele says:

      Sarah, I’m familiar with Barbara Sher and I’m a fellow Scanner! I first read her work in “I Could Do Anything If Only I Knew What It Was.” Without knowing more, I would say building a business is a very intensive and absorbing process, so I would definitely pick just one idea to start with if you are aiming to build a business as opposed to a hobby. Before answering whether to do the website, Facebook, newsletter, etc first question the number one thing is to get clear on the business itself. What will you do for or sell to people? How will it benefit them? Will anyone buy it?

      Helping people narrow their focus and get their business going is one of my favorite areas to coach on, so if you are interested check out my Work With Me page for details (http://www.michelechristensen.com/workwithme). I also offer a free newsletter with strategies (sign up here: http://www.michelechristensen.com).

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