You have so many business ideas that it borders on ridiculous. Same goes for interests.
One day you’re trying to sell knit hats on Etsy, because you love knitting. One month later you’re selling ebooks on how to groom a cat, because you love cats.
And then the next month you’re selling handmade lotion because you see that someone else is making a tons of money from that. That idea doesn’t take off the first month either, so…
If this describes you, let me just say that I’ve been there. Oh, have I been there.
But here’s the thing – building a successful business requires tons of skills, and one of the best ways to develop any skill is to focus on it and practice it.
Except, if your lack of direction leads you to change business ideas every 2 months you’re trying to build a whole new business every 2 months instead of focusing on mastering those entrepreneurship skills that you desperately need and don’t want to hire outside help for. Why won’t you hire help? Well, maybe you feel too independent for outside help and prefer to figure it out yourself, even though it might take 10x as long, or maybe you haven’t been making any money because what little you do make goes to starting the next business.
So here’s my suggestion: forget the desperation and FOCUS.
It intuitively makes sense, right? If your lack direction isn’t getting you to where you want to be, then focus on one path instead.
Because this is what your year will look like if you keep going from business to business (or product to product):
You’ve made a little progress because you’re learning some transferable entrepreneurship skills.
But don’t you think this makes more sense:
True, it’s not a straight line, and it veers off a little as you tweak and hone and make your business work for you, but you’re moving forward. You’re learning what you can. You’re enjoying the next challenge, instead of starting the same challenge over again just with a different name.
So, why do so many of us put ourselves through the spiral hell? It’s often because of desperation.
In the people I’ve worked with, desperation is usually caused by one of two things:
a) you’re seeking your CALLING. The one thing to give to the world that will bring you long-lasting happiness and satisfaction. What you’ve tried before doesn’t make you 100% happy, so you keep searching.
b) you have little money and aren’t seeing enough financial returns from your project so far, so you panic about wasting your time and try something new.
But here’s the thing. It’s perfectly ok for a career to satisfy some life-cravings, and your hobbies, family, etc, to satisfy everything else. If you’d like an excellent book on this subject read I Could Do Anything if I Only Knew What It Was by Barbara Smith.
By the way, all the books I’m going to mention are Amazon Affiliate links. Hope you don’t mind. The books won’t cost more if you use my links.
And as for being profitable. Well, it took Amazon 6 years until it announced real profits.
I’m not telling you this because I think it will take you 6 years, I’m telling you because people often ditch great business ideas because they posted a few things on Facebook and nobody bought.
So, out of all your bazillion business ideas, which one do you pursue?
Choosing your focus
Go with your business idea that:
1. Is low hanging fruit
2. Has a successful person in that niche
3. You’re willing to dedicate yourself to the business for the next 6 months
1. Low hanging fruit.
What do friends and family ask you for help with? What comes naturally to you?
We often discount what we’re good at because it feels natural, like we didn’t earn that skill and because if it’s easy for us it must be easy for others.
Sell low-hanging fruit products, the stuff you don’t have to “reach” far to achieve, something you know people need outside help for. Selling low hanging fruit is so much easier than struggling to sell something people have no interest in.
2. A successful person in your niche.
Some once told me, after I was upset that someone had beat me to a product idea I once had, “You can recognize a pioneer by the arrows in his back.”
If there’s someone who is already successful in your niche you’ll have to do less work to convince people that what you sell is worth buying. Being first is risky.
For help getting over the idea that you need to be original, read Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant.
3. You’re willing to dedicate yourself to the business for the next 6 months.
YIKES! You might be saying to yourself “I can’t even dedicate myself to one task for 60 minutes, let alone one idea 6 months.”
Dude, I used to be like this too. There’s a misconception that us introverts are always calm and can focus on tasks versus getting distracted. Nope. Focus is a muscle that you have to exercise. It IS possible to change your habits and build that focus muscle.
You know how I mentioned Amazon wasn’t profitable for 6 years? Well, Amazon just announced that they bought the grocery store giant Whole Foods.
But what if they had tried to buy a grocery store after their first 3 months of business? They would have had to split their time in between figuring out how to make both of those concepts profitable, totally slowing down their progress.
The same thing goes for Google, Apple, etc. They focused on getting really good at marketing one thing, and then expanded.
So, how do you know if your idea is good enough to focus on? The book Will it Fly by Pat Flynn will help you figure that out.
Once you decide what you want to focus on for 6 months, how do you actually focus, and not get distracted?
Well, I have a flowchart for you. It’s not fancy, but except for minor changes this is the flowchart that allowed me to focus on life coaching introverts and turned down other business opportunities. Btw, I tweaked that idea and now I’m using the same skills but to help introverts build their business by being visible online.
As always, if you need that outside perspective to get your business running and to feel more confident about marketing your business, book a complimentary Discovery Session, where we’ll discover if my services are right for you (if not, I know tons of other introverts I can refer you to).