In the midst of my conversation with my business buddy, Vicki Voisin last Thursday she mentioned that I was always branching out. She couched the compliment in one of those ‘don’t take this the wrong way’ disclaimers. I assured her she had no worries, I was aware that I sometimes appeared to have a business related attention disorder that I have learned to embrace.
“That’s a blog post.” She said. I agreed. This is that blog post.
The cause for our conversation was my latest personal project, a crafting blog called “The Artful Geek Girl”. It was born out of my chosen method of de-stressing after a full day or week of work. Making things with my hands, rather than my keyboard is extremely satisfying and relaxing for me, and selling them so that someone else could enjoy them seemed the natural thing to do. They say ‘blog what you love’, thus the launch of the new crafty blog last week. This was the topic of conversation when my tendency to always be branching out was mentioned.
Rather than be offensive, I found the statement to be a compliment. It wasn’t always that way though. [su_pullquote align=”right”]
Whatever it was, I saw my inherent need to follow my new ideas as a major flaw.
Especially for a business owner.
At one time I felt my love of starting new projects was a bad thing. Maybe it was the countless times someone said “Why can’t you focus on one thing?” Maybe it was just because the consensus is that someone who is juggling multiple ideas or projects lacks control of them all. Whatever it was, I saw my inherent need to follow my new ideas as a major flaw. Especially for a business owner.
What changed my mind? Experience backed up by articles like this one that shared how many truly great entrepreneurs pursued multiple projects too. As the article states, I too found that single project focus slowed me down rather than pushed me closer to success. Why?
I think it is because:
- Putting all of your focus and energy into one project means that your success or failure also hinges on that one project. Talk about stress!!
- This leads to stress and worry especially during the down times that all small businesses go through.
- Speaking of down times, if you are putting all your focus and energy into that one project, during those down times you’re frantic, which often leads to desperation. Desperation tends to lead to bad decisions and a vicious cycle begins.
So what does splitting your focus and branching out into different projects do to help?
- You aren’t relying on the success of one single project, so you relax about the success or failure of them all. You have built in backup plans in place.
- During the down times you have the others projects to keep you from getting frantic or doing anything desperate. No vicious cycles and chances are the down time won’t last very long.
Although I’ve never been able to keep myself from branching out with new projects, I used to think it was best not to advertise that I was one of those people. You know, the ones that juggle things. Now I know better. I’m actually proud that I’m in the company of people like Richard Branson and Elon Musk as a fellow un-focused entrepreneur.
If you’re still feeling embarrassment or shame over the fact that you too love branching out stop it! Embrace your business related attention disorder and recognize it as one more path to success.