You can do whatever you want!.. but not everything you want.

you can do whatever you want in business

Just Like your mother told you!

You can, you really can! I think running your own business gives you the tools and confidence to do just about anything you set your mind to. You look around and where everyone else sees problems you see solutions, you see a way to get from where you are to where you want to go – you can see the money. However a rather painful realization I’ve been dealing with is that you are ultimately just one person. You only have 24 hours in each day less the 5-8 hours you sleep every night (hopefully at least 7!!), your bound by the same limitations as every other mortal and as such so is your ability to do the things you want to do.

The second realization which paired with the first to create this blog title is that no business is ever done and there is really no limit on the amount of time and energy you can invest in one endeavor in order to ensure it is a successful one. That being said obviously the more endeavors you engage in the less resources you have to invest in the other. In addition “switching gears” bears a price as well – I’m not nearly as effective dividing my attention between a promotion task and a website task as I would be doing one or the other exclusively. Businesses that become the most successful do one or a few things and do them WELL! – that’s IT! I believe this fact of life has equal implications for the individual professional… despite my love of Emerson’s ranting about how men today are reduced to parts. If you chop your energy into too many endeavors at the same time you will fail, despite any degree of potential – no matter how fantastic, in all of them.

I need to remind myself of this daily – my goal for next year is to be involved in 1 primary endeavor with a light sprinkling of a 2nd and the year after to be focused exclusively on 1 endeavor. You can do whatever you want but you can’t do everything you want. Right now I’m cut as such: 60% Food Importation 30% Website Development 10% Event Promotions and Marketing. 3 is too many things for me to be doing but it’s not bad from cutting back from well over 10 different things I was working on and several other things I put on my plate that I simply ended up having no time to do late last year. I’ve managed to cut down on the event’s side these past 2-3 months by bartering Website services in exchange for event organizing services with my good friends at in this way I’m able to consolidate my energies into two primary endeavors instead of a more even spread across 3. This is a step forward! – or at least I tell myself it is :) .

So if I had the power to spread a bit of wisdom over your cranium I would say find and focus on your value, wherever that may be, and develop it through a focused channel. Of course you’ll want to make sure your customers see the same value, and more importantly, are happy to compensate you in an agreeable fashion. Don’t spread yourself too thin over too many things, entrepreneurship has opened a lot of doors for me… too many… I have been forced to learn – in failure – how to courteously close some doors or pass it on to another when the timing is not right or the opportunity falls too far outside of my focus. Have the wisdom, courage, and resolve to execute on the rules you make for yourself in this regard. Who knows! maybe you’ll save a few more strands of hair from stress related fall out in the years to come :) .

  • michelini

    cheers man, haha, seems like all those conversations we’ve had back and forth over beers comes into a blog!!!

    its such a struggle….to FOCUS. to dedicate.

    but its also the fear of FAILURE for me, if i dedicate everything to 1…and it flops……then i’m a duck out of water

    that i believe has always been why..

    plus, potential customers push us to service them, and then it may not be exactly the service we do…

  • David

    I know right!, I see it now like … as i started out with low confidence as I had little in the way of experience every possible opportunity spurred excitement – and I didn’t know any better than to say yes. As I ran out of time and over extended myself again and again, failed and/or was unable to follow through as the load was just to great, I began realize how wasteful some of those endeavors were. Now I’m working to slowly form a solid understanding of where my value is and how to manipulate the opportunities around me to better fit my path and be smart enough to pass on or kindly dismiss the ones that just don’t make sense.

    Remember that dude that wanted us to develop his whole business in China in exchange for value any normal customer would supply us with. I wish some of the opportunities presented to me were that easy to dismiss … heh!