Every once in a while I choose to shut my mind down and do absolutely nothing. It is often a result of restless brain damage from over thinking and analyzing. Sound familiar?
Entrepreneurs share the common problem of opportunity skipping, much like college students share the activity of bar hopping. Entrepreneurs tend to be restless in earlier stages of their journey until they find the entrepreneurial venture that they are truly satisfied with and that is working for them (showing results).
Our minds are very spontaneous. Whether we are intro or extroverts, our minds are always working in the background. As a result, we sometimes go through a phase of self evaluation and before we know it feels like the entire world is collapsing down on us. This overwhelms and paralyzes us from moving forward and making any progress with any entrepreneurial venture.
Why does this happen to entrepreneurs a lot? Because we are ambitious, impatient, results driven and as a result always looking over the fence for the next best opportunity. Many of us make the biggest mistake of spreading ourselves too thin. There are many distractions out there, especially online, and it is very easy to lose focus from the task on hand.
Because there are limitless options out there, many entrepreneurs tend to over multi-task and focus a little bit on everything on their plate, rather than focusing a lot on one single task. Does any of that sound familiar? I know I am guilty of this even today when I am in a very comfortable position and have established entrepreneurial ventures in my portfolio.
However, I WILL ADMINT that if I didn’t have A.D.D., I would have reached the level I am at today years ago. Relatively speaking, I am much better today because I didn’t know any better. But now I do, and I hope that you can learn from it and avoid the mistakes I made.
I cannot promise it will completely eliminate occasional anxiety since it still attacks me here and there 😉 but I can tell you that it can lead to more control, calm, stability and better results from your endeavors.
The sooner you find out what entrepreneurial venture you really want to get into, the sooner you can put the blinders on and focus just on that one business.
In order to arrive at a conclusion, you have to address a few key questions. Take your time with this process, because if you do not end up with the right answer, you will find yourself constantly looking over the fence once again trying to identify that next best entrepreneurial venture.
This is the main fundamental question you have to answer for yourself. What activity is it that gives you pleasure and satisfaction? Can you build a business around it? For example, if you enjoy writing and like to inspire and encourage others, you may decide blogging about personal development is the right type of entrepreneurial venture for you to start on the side.
It is important to enjoy what you do in order to see success in the long term. All businesses take time to establish and flourish to profitability. If you are not interested in what you are doing, chances are that you will give it up before you see any kind of results.
Also consider that most people do not like their jobs, and of those many absolutely hate it. People work these jobs because they have to, not because they want to. When starting an entrepreneurial venture, you have the opportunity to make all the decisions. So why compromise when you finally have a chance to do what you enjoy best?
This question will help you determine what your capacity is (how much spare time do you have) and how you want to spend that capacity. For example, do you want to work every night and weekends on your business? Or do you want it to be a weekend venture only? Do you want a flexible entrepreneurial venture where you can work on it on your own terms?
Do you want to work for money (freelancing) or do you want to establish a passive and residual business venture (a web based model)? Eventually when your business flourishes and makes some money, do you want to work IN your business or ON your business?
There are several business models you can pursue. Having some clarity around what type of work you really want to do and how much of it will maximize your satisfaction level. Many entrepreneurs often do not think about this and later realize they don’t like what they have created for themselves.
The minimum return on investment in this case refers to the time, money and effort you put in to your business. What activities are going to give you the most financial return from all that investment? What is a return acceptable to you?
Continuing from Question #2 above, if you decide you want to work for a salary/fee, you then have to determine what you should be doing to get paid your minimum ROI expectations. For example, if you were a CPA in your previous life and wanted to pursue freelance consulting, you have the choice of offering tax compliance and consulting services at the rate of $35 per hour, or write technical articles for $12 per article.
Now obviously the type of work is completely different, as is the ease or difficulty of the task, but this is something for you to decide based on what your minimum ROI is. It is not much different from the corporate employee’s decision process. Should he or she stay a Manager all their career making $80,000 or should they work hard, pursue credentials, kiss some A$$ and move up to upper management and maybe even C level suite and make $350,000?
It all comes back to what you are willing to accept. I will say however that at the end of the day, even a CEO is trading hours for dollars as he or she is merely an employee. They might be a very high earning employee, but an employee nonetheless. When they stop working, their paycheck stops coming.
On the contrary, if your goal is to establish an entrepreneurial venture that is long term in nature and scaleable in growth, you may decide to start a franchising concept if you want to actively work in and on your business or an Internet based business if you want to establish passive and residual streams of income. Both offer varying degrees of financial rewards and offer different types of lifestyles.
For the sake of this discussion, let’s pretend you chose the internet based model. Now you have to think about what your minimum ROI requirements are once more. For example, do you want to do paid surveys online and get paid for them? Or do you want to build a content heavy website that will generate advertising revenue and affiliate commissions for a long time to come?
Do you want to pursue an entrepreneurial venture that will require you to keep working to earn money (like developing programs for others), or do you want to build a business that makes money even after you stop working (like building programs for yourself and selling your software on your website or blog)?
Do you want mobility in life so that you can pack up and head for the next vacation instantly? Do you want to explore the world and live in various places a few months at a time while still being able to run your business?
Or do you want a small business 5 miles from home that you drive to every morning and come back to your family at a set time in the evening? Do you want to build an empire like Bill Gates? Basically, do you want more fortune? fame? freedom? flexibility? time with family & friends? Is it a combination of any of these?
These are the critical questions that I go through each time I pursue a new entrepreneurial venture. Your answers will determine the purpose behind you pursuing the venture to begin with as well as your long term plans for it. Some entrepreneurs go through this exercise in conjunction with their business plans. Others completely forget to give any regard to their life plan and as a result become slaves to their business plans.
Since many entrepreneurs do not prepare full business plans and shoot straight from the hip, going through these questions at the least will allow them to back into the right type of business venture. Remember, we all have 24 hours in a day, and how we use those 24 hours distinguishes us from each other.
Some of us choose to work for $50 an hour, while some choose $75 and others $100. The type of entrepreneurial venture you select will determine this. Once you are able to conclude on the type of business, the single best advice I have for you regarding staying on track and avoid distractions is to focus on one task at a time.
Spend all your time figuring out the current task on hand before moving on to the next. Give yourself and your entrepreneurial venture some time. If you choose to follow a proven program, stick to only 1 and give it some time to come to fruition before deciding whether it works or not.
You will find countless scam reports on these programs. Truth is however that most of these programs are solid and proven systems, but the distractions we succumb to often precludes us from experiencing success with them.
Some of my personal favorites that do not require any programming knowledge that you may want to consider are the following:
Blog Mastermind – Excellent system that walks you through establishing a successful / profitable blog. (2012 Update: This program has been discontinued by Yaro)
Niche Profit Classroom – A system I have followed to develop several niche websites I own that are all profitable and do not require any ongoing work.
SBI – A system my wife and I used to establish a profitable internet business around our traveling hobby.
Are you stuck or have been stuck? How did you get out of the paralysis? What did you do and did it work? How similar or different it is to what you are doing now?
I hope this information helped – Good luck to you in your entrepreneurial venture.
Here are my additional thoughts on the type of entrepreneurial venture you should pursue.