So, you want to get started on this entrepreneurship journey… but you can’t decide where to start, or you keep getting distracted by a million and one other ideas in your head. I’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirts! If you’re struggling with all the ideas, this is for you!
Struggling with ALL THE IDEAS?! Listen to this!
Want to listen to the podcast version of this post? I’ve got you covered!
If you’re feeling confused and struggling with all the ideas, we are the same person. I struggled with this when I started my business, and I continue to struggle with it now!
I don’t think having a bunch of exciting ideas ever goes away. Instead, we find ways to work with it (or against it) to actually accomplish our goals. Your goal is to grow a successful business, and if you’re focusing on too many things, you will NEVER have a successful business. So THAT’S what I want to talk to you about!
The theory of half-dug holes
I call this my “theory of half-dug holes.”
Imagine that someone comes up to your home and tells you that they’ve buried $1,000,000 in four different holes in your yard. They’re all buried 6 feet deep, and you have 2 hours to get as much of it as you possibly can. You know EXACTLY where they’ve buried that money. You just have 2 hours to get it all.
Let’s say you dig in one hole for 20 minutes. Then, you leave that hole and start digging in another hole. You switch again after 20 minutes and keep doing that for your 2 hour period.
You’re probably NEVER going to hit that $1,000,000 in any of the holes.
Logically, that doesn’t make any sense! We would all stick to digging one hole to make sure we could get to that $1,000,000 at least once, right?
Maybe you have 5 friends over at your house, but they can’t help you dig unless you pay them. You can’t pay them until you hit that first $1,000,000.
So, you stick to ONE hole and dig all the way until you reach that $1,000,000. Then, you take some of that money to pay three people to dig on the other 3 holes. If it takes THEM the same amount of time it took you to reach the money, you’ve just hit all of the $1,000,000 in your 2 hour time frame because you got to the first one first.
THAT is what being a successful multi-passionate person looks like. If you have four ideas but don’t dedicate enough time and energy to one before you get distracted by the others, you won’t reach your goals. Instead, if you focus your energy and hit “gold” on one of the ideas, that will open UP your availability and resources to work on the others!
Full disclosure – I still struggle with this!
Even now, with a successful business, I still struggle with this. It usually isn’t a random business idea anymore. One, it’s making sure I’m staying on the right trajectory in my business. But two, it’s the idea that I want to have a lifestyle brand related to our farm life and make money that way. But I have the ability now to remind myself that those things aren’t my passions, so I don’t need to switch gears to do them.
My story about struggling with all the ideas
From 2010 to 2015, I BOUNCED through a billion different businesses. I knew what made me money, but it wasn’t my favorite thing… so I kept trying to branch out. I tried things that were SO not in my skill set (I had a craft blog… and I do not craft, period). I was a personal trainer, I had a mommy blog, I tried to sell digital scrapbooking supplies… the list seriously continues.
In 2015, I spent time and got clarity on exactly who I wanted to be. Once I was clear on that idea, I spent time figuring out how to get to that point.
So, I REALLY leaned into the web design aspect of my business. I increased my prices and built my brand. I started my first podcast, All Up In Your Lady Business, with Jaclyn Mellone.
Even as I focused in, I remember telling Jaclyn that I REALLY wanted to have that digital scrapbooking company. Y’all, I have only made 2 digital scrapbooks in my life. I couldn’t tell you why that was what was in my brain, but it was.
In this same time period, my husband and I were struggling financially. I wasn’t making a ton of money from my business, we both had new cars with payments, and we had built a house that had a massive mortgage payment. We had to scale back, big time. We ended up selling our cars and purchasing an old truck outright and using a loaner car from my parents when we had to. AND we ended up selling that house and moving into a much older house with a much smaller mortgage.
But that house was old and it wasn’t my dream home by any means. Our goal became to keep that house while we purchased land and built the house we wanted so that we could move again. And THAT lit a fire under my booty.
I stumbled across the Being Boss podcast. Then, I started to head into the world of online business. With a very concrete goal ahead of me, it was much easier to FOCUS my efforts onto one business.
How to FOCUS when you’re struggling with too many ideas
Whether you feel like you have a million ideas and can’t choose, want to change your entire business model because of a new idea, or you have a bunch of ideas for one business, this can help.
Set an income goal
I want you to set an income goal here. Pick a realistic number and light a fire under your booty to get your business going.
It could be that you have to go back to work if you don’t start making $2,000 per month at your business within 1 year.
Or maybe it’s that you won’t be able to send your child to college if you don’t make $3,000 per month.
You get the gist here. Set a goal that matters to you!
Back in 2015, my goal was to make $3,000 per month. If you do the math, that isn’t even $75,000 per year. But that was my initial goal.
Take a trip to Wal-Mart and start WRITING
Now that you’ve set your goal, I want you to go to Wal-Mart or Target and get yourself a journal-type notebook. And a new pen, if that helps.
Write down ALL of the ideas that you have. Literally all of them. Business ideas, course ideas, revenue stream ideas.
Now, I want you to think all about the SERVICES that you could offer that would help you hit that income goal. I know I always tell you how amazing passive income can be (and it’s true!) but a service will always help you get to an income goal faster. If that service wasn’t on the list, write it down.
Now, you’re going to rank them in some different ways. All of your ideas are amazing and this isn’t discounting any of them! It’s just looking at them in a certain way.
Go through that list and RANK all of those ideas in terms of how quickly they will get you to your income goal. 1 being the fastest, 10 being the slowest. Those passive income ideas will be the slowest, and services will be the fastest.
Now go through that list again and rank them in order of how much you would ENJOY them. And I want you to really consider that! If you had to do this for the next five years, how much would you enjoy it? 1 being you would enjoy it the most, and 10 being the least.
Somewhere in that list, there’s going to be a cross-point. It may not be that the quickest way to income is also the number one thing you would enjoy doing. But if the number 3 quickest way to income is the number one thing you’d want to do, or if the number 2 quickest way to income is the third thing you’d enjoy doing, you’ve found your sweet spot.
The catch? If you aren’t REALLY honest with yourself here, it isn’t going to help you. Be genuine about how long it will take you to make money on each thing, and how much you’d actually enjoy them.
That sweet spot overlap is the thing you need to do. Circle it, write it down, that’s it.
I know better than to say you’re done now
Once you’e picked your thing, go out and BRAINSTORM YOUR HEART OUT about the thing you picked. Figure out exactly what you need to do, how to do it, and set goals there. Get yourself ready to move forward!
That’s it, you picked it! Struggling with all the ideas is done now!
I know better than to say that because I’ve been there.
What I want you to do now is go through and cross out any of the things that ranked really low on enjoyment. If you wouldn’t enjoy it for five years, why would you do it?
You’ll probably find a lot of the things you would LOVE to do will be on the slower path to income. Those things can stay because they’re important! You just can’t focus on them for now.
Instead, give yourself ONE PAGE in this notebook dedicated to each of those ideas.
Want to be a mommy blogger but know that isn’t the fastest path to income? Set a timer for 10 minutes and brainstorm one page to get out your ideas. Repeat that for any ideas that make the cut once you examine them.
Then, I want you to CLOSE THE NOTEBOOK and GET YOUR BUTT TO WORK.
Your ideas are safe. They’re written down. You don’t have to think about them. If you do happen to think about them? Open the notebook, write it down, and close it again.
If you don’t do this, you will NOT hit that income goal per month. It’ll be half-dug holes all over the place.
Here comes part two: set yourself ANOTHER income goal
This time, I want your income goal to be a decently large number per month. It’s going to exceed your current “need to make” goal by a lot, and would probably let you hit another goal in your life. This is a reach goal.
When you hit this second income goal per month for a consistent few months, you can pull out your idea notebook and start on another one of those ideas!!