If you’re called to the path of entrepreneurship, you probably are a go-getter. You probably have more ideas in a day than you could implement in a year. You get a lot done but there’s always more to do. You think of something you want to do and want it done NOW.
These tendencies are some of your greatest assets and some of your greatest weaknesses. Harnessed and used well, these tendencies can make you a success. Allowed to run the show, these tendencies will sink you fast. This is one of the biggest challenges of entrepreneurship – walking the line between controlling your nature too much or not enough.
One thing that I find that helps is to focus on changing or implementing just one thing at a time. One reason is that it’s a good way to test and gather data. If you’ve changed 8 things in your business and you start doing much better or much worse, you won’t which of those 8 things are responsible for the change. That makes it hard to duplicate and expand. Another reason is that those things may have interactions which you can’t predict. You may foul up something in your technology or lose customers because they are confused. You may cannibalize your own sales in a negative way. In the event of a big failure, it’s hard to go back and undo 8 different things.
There’s also the mental cost of juggling all those projects and switching between them. If you have several projects open at once, you have to keep track of a lot of different critical paths, next actions and things you are waiting on. Each time you switch your focus from project to project, you lose time because you have to close up the first project (physically and mentally) and open the next one (both physically and mentally).
Ideally, I would have just one new project at a time and everything else would be in maintenance mode. Realistically though, that’s not a good use of my time because when that one project stalls while I’m waiting on something then my business isn’t moving forward. So even though I’d love to have just one new project at a time, I usually have 2-4 but that’s it! Everything else gets put on hold until a slot opens up in my current projects.
I realize it’s hard, but do your best to focus and only have a few new projects going on. You are more likely to get projects into the money-making stage sooner if you have fewer of them.
How many new projects do you typically work on? How do you keep a lid on it? Tell me about it in the comments.