I’ve talked about this before as I drift from project to project with terrible shiny object syndrome. I can’t seem to stick with one thing and focus on it. Before I saw it as a problem, that I’d never be a success if I continued with this lack of focus. Maybe that’s true. But what I’ve realised over the past few months is that it’s okay to try new things, experiment and not be tied down to one thing at a time.
Make sure everything important is covered first. Get your bills paid, complete your client work, spend time with family and look after your health. Then, have fun and explore new things.
I see the portfolio entrepreneurs or prolific makers with multiple projects on the go all generating revenue and get a little jealous. I also see those that have stuck with one thing and made it successful - there are more cases of this than the former.
Josh Pigford recently sold his company Baremetrics for $4m, walking away with $3.7m. But interestingly, Josh is someone who starts a ton of projects. Not only does he have this profitable, bootstrapped SaaS that has given him a nice exit, but he’s also dabbled in his side projects along the way. He has a few physical product businesses such as Cedar + Sail and Laser Tweets, which have both been inspiration for my own projects.
He has the mix of this successful SaaS company that he works (worked) full-time at and then spends his spare time on these other passion projects.
In the article outlining the acquisition, which was super transparent and I have a lot of respect for that, he mentions that he’s a starter. Someone who starts a lot of things, but has a tendency to not finish them or have them fade out over time. I have that too!
Those that know me know that I start so many things and often don’t get very far with them before moving onto the next thing. So although I don’t think it’s much of a bad thing having a bunch of things on the go at once and exploring new ideas often (even if it is to learn a new skill or to delve into a new industry), I think I need to make an active effort to be more structured with my time and ambitions for each project.
I’m happy to be a starter, but maybe I should finish a few more things along the way.
Another thing I’ve noticed, and I guess I’m seeking some advice here, is that I get distracted incredibly easily when I set out to do a small task.
Let me give you an example;
“Oh, I’ve just remembered I was going to look up that Tweet that Joe sent me, let me take a quick look it will only take 30 secs”
Opens Twitter, starts scrolling, forgets to check Tweet, but sees tweet about new MacBook
“Oh, I’ve been wanting to check out that MacBook, let me have a quick look it will only take 30 secs”
Goes to Apple, checks the specs of new MacBook and realises I have no money to buy one
“Oh, that reminds me, I need to pay my gas bill, it will only take 30 seconds”
You get the idea. I still didn’t check Joe’s tweet.
To try and help with this when I get those little thoughts in my brain, I try and remember to dump them into a quick add Todoist task. This helps to an extent but I still find myself getting distracted and excited by certain things. I wonder what else I can do to remedy it? Let me know if you have any ideas!
It's been a week since I wrote this article (*ahem* at 3am) and now I'm editing it before I publish, I realised, hilariously, that I've done exactly what I'm talking about in the article! I start talking about how I'm a starter, then get distracted talking about how I get distracted. How amusing.
I'll get back to finishing this article now.
I'm not sure what the answer is to me drifting between my projects. I tried to break down the priorities like this:
- Get the 9-5 done
- Hit my client work deadlines
- Spend time on project with most potential - Indie Bites
- Spend the remainder of time on the fun stuff like Whitstable Craft Co, this blog, YouTube and Canterbury Digest. I can continue to drift between these, but the first 3 need to stay consistent.
I'll probably always be like Josh. But I've got to make something work if I want to get to the ultimate point of freedom we're all chasing.
In other news
🎧 I've been listenting a bunch to My First Million. One of the best podcasts out there for entreprenuers to listen to. No bullshit and good chemsitry between Shaan and Sam who host it. Also not sure if I love or hate the name.
💻 Apple released their new M1 chips with an absurd amount of swagger. And they were right to. The new laptops are absolutely knocking this one out of the park. Now I want one.
🖥️ On that note, I rediscovered Rene Ritchie's videos. This dude is understately hilarious. My favourite quote "oh, that's where all the headphone ports went" he said nonchalantly as he unboxed the new Mac Mini.