The Power of Tunnel Vision and the Trouble with Juggling.
There was a lesson I learned the hard way years ago and an issue I see frequently in peers and clients, and that is attempting to take on too many tasks at the start of a new venture. I learned the hard way taking on too many tasks and having too big of a scope will only result in many tasks not being accomplished. It seems this is a reoccurring issue which comes up more than any other. How high can you throw one ball and catch it, versus how high can you throw ten balls and catch them all?
Here are a few reasons to consider if you are taking on too much.
- It can be dangerous to your mental and physical health, leading to burnout.
- It can be unfair to those working with/for you
- It can result in important deadlines and opportunities being missed
If you take on too much for too long, one day you will look back and realize you have exerted vast amounts of effort only to see you have not accomplished the true value add tasks. This will be impactful and demoralizing for you and those around you.
Motivation is fuel for your venture. You and those who buy into your venture will be propelled by your motivation and passion to accomplish a dream turned goal. The intent of this writing is to push you to convert your motivation into directed energy.
Read on for Awesome Metaphors
There are two scenarios I am addressing here. Taking on too many tasks to start and grow a business and scope creep in your business model. If you are starting a mechanic shop and cannot comprehend accounting principles, do not be your own accountant! If you want to start a mechanic shop, do not spend your spare time feeding the ducks. Your business model is car repair not feeding ducks.
One of the hardest things to do is to recognize you are taking on too much. How can you recognize this? I have seen over and over this process occur as an “ah-ha” moment in conversation. I suggest having a conversation with an objective mentor to go over your current goals and how you plan to accomplish them. Make a list of all these goals that you have and when they will be accomplished. Discuss and write down how those goals benefit and contribute to the mission. Build your tunnel vision. This process can also be the precursor to making a product such as a Gantt Chart to really drill down into timelines and responsibilities.
The goals you want to weed out are the ones which do not contribute to the growth of your venture. Ask yourself, how does a goal contribute to the success of what you really want to do? How does enhancing your duck feeding skills provide a value add to your goal of being a hot air balloonist?
Narrow the Scope
Put your committed* capital and effort behind one thing. The metaphor I like to use for this involves two cars. (The cars being the choices in goals/mission). If you have 40 gallons of gas (your capital) and two cars and want to travel the greatest distance possible, you will put all 40 gallons into one car to travel the furthest. Or consider a plant. Assume you have two seeds. If you did not have enough water to properly nourish both seeds, what good is an attempt to water both? Both seeds would fail to grow and whither away, leaving you with zero plants as opposed to the chance for one. Do not let these metaphors oversimplify the matter, but hopefully you get the gist. How to spend your capital and time is a simple numbers problem, and now you can move to focus on one goal.
Be a Better Juggler
You need to decide how you will spend your time in starting and running the venture. Here again we can use the car metaphor. You cannot sit in all seats at once and expect the car to move forward. Going back to the old days of using paper maps, a driver would need a navigator to constantly read the map and guide them on the journey. Decide where your skills are best suited for the venture and put yourself there. If you are an expert driver, then drive. If you suck at driving but make a great navigator, then navigate. Do not attempt to do both. You will get lost or crash the car. To apply this to your application, ask yourself and write down how best you, and those with you can contribute to the effort. Decide which tasks you want or need to juggle and pass-off the others.
The Last Ramble
Make it a habit to revolve everything in your life around your mission. Establish a singular determined focus on your mission. Set a goal to operate at this level for at least six months. With the right guidance and support you will see success.
*Notice I underlined “committed”. Only commit the money you are willing and able to lose on a venture. There are many ways to bootstrap a business and I will cover this some other time, or you can schedule a consultation meeting with me to learn more about this and many other topics.