To get started as an entrepreneur, you need to develop the ability to see opportunities to jump on. You need to see gaps in a market, you need to learn many new techniques and skills.
And you need a certain optimism and can-do attitude, as well.
These are excellent qualities to have... until they're not.
As you're building up a business, the same qualities that helped you get started can get you stuck and slow down your progress. In today's post, we talk about why this is and what to do about it.
You Can't Give 200%
Too many entrepreneurs make agonizingly slow progress because they do too many things at once. They start more things than they can ever finish.
The first way in which we fool ourselves is to think that we can just do more. As in: sure, I'm already incredibly busy with my one business project, but this new project excites me and I want to start it! I'll just work more and do both!
We delude ourselves into believing we can give 100% effort on project #1 and 100% effort on project #2. But unless you can somehow find 48 hours in your days, that's simply not possible.
You Can't Give 50% x2
But it gets worse. In my experience, you can't give 50% to one project and 50% to another, either.
Well... your input can be 50% of your time and effort for each project. But the output, the results that you'll get with each business will be less than half of what you get from going 100% in on a single project.
I know this seems counter-intuitive, but I've seen this happen way too often for it to be a fluke. If it takes you 2 years to get to $100K pursuing one business project, it will take you 3 or 4 years to reach a combined $100K pursuing 2 business projects.
What About Elon Musk, Though?
Did Elon Musk pop into your head as a counter example of what I just wrote above? He surely seems to be doing alright running more than one business, after all.
Here's my simple answer to that: if you've made $200,000,000+ as an entrepreneur, feel free to ignore my advice. At that point, you have the experience, funds and connections to leverage your efforts. For sure, you'll be more capable of successfully starting and running multiple projects at that point, then when you're just getting started.
I'll even lower the bar for you: if you've gotten at least one business off the ground and to a good, profitable and smooth running state, go ahead and experiment. Before then, stick to one business at a time.
Set Results & No-Results Based Milestones
To avoid the problem of spreading yourself too thin and slowing down your progress to a crawl, here's what to do: define results and no-results milestones for the project you're working on.
The results milestone is the milestone you want to reach, before you even consider starting something new. This could be something like: the business is making $100K/year and requires less than 30 hours of my time per week.
The no-results milestone is the milestone you will go to, before giving up on your current project and starting something new. This could be something like: I will spend 1 full year doing at least 2 hours a day of marketing and promotion work for this business. If it's still not producing regular income at that point, I will close it down.
Now it's your turn: take a look at your current business and tell me what your results and no-results milestones will be. Leave a comment below!