The very strength that makes us entrepreneurial spirits is sometimes our a root cause for our sense of defeat or lack of focus. We are inventors. We are creators. We thrive when we are starting a new project, idea or piece of art. This sense of purpose and love affair with ideas tags along wherever we go. We are idea-driven. It’s good until we haphazardly (somewhat impulsively) begin to implement a random idea.
The idea becomes a new project.
We add the new project to our list of things to do.
We divide our energy into another pile.
We lose our focus.
But we love those piles!
I know that some of you reading this will want to defend all your piles. Some of you will see your projects as opportunities that simply will take time to unveil. It’s bound to be the next best thing.
But here’s the rub: this diversion of attention can be another reason to feel like you are never getting traction. You are adding to your list of things to do and leaving yourself feeling unproductive. I know you know what I am saying here. When we get excited about a new idea, we get… well…distracted.
Who doesn’t like to pursue the next shiny object that might be the key to better sales or more rewarding results? Who among us can resist that sense of accomplishment when we drill down on a new idea and start implementing strategies for success. The early checklist is so addictive:
- Experiment with materials
- Check out YouTube tutorials
- We attend a webinar
- We download the free “success guide”
- Experiment with colors or sizes
- Buy new tools (always a favorite thing!)
We see a bright light at the end of the tunnel. We really want the reward that seems so close to the surface. Each step feels good until we hit a stage that either requires a bigger investment of time or money or both in order to move forward. And then it’s fish or cut bait.
When faced with a task we are not sure we can complete, the momentum drops off a cliff. Being unsure leads to self-doubt and then we really can’t justify continuing to invest more time or money.
And now it’s another pile of “someday when I get more time.”
Naturally, we avoid feeling like complete failures, so we just set the project aside. It’s still a great thing! It’s still got super potential, but we just need to rally our forces and then we will get back to finishing up. Maybe it will be better to “launch next year” or in time for Mother’s Day or…..
But what IF….!?
And out of the blue, that exhilaration we felt in the early stages is calling out again. What if I did this instead of that? Suddenly that old “dead-end” idea has morphed into an entirely different and even better idea.
We love feeling the power of pursuing a project – any project that we think (at the time) is totally brilliant. This time we get to the stage when we consider new packaging, design a new product logo, and start to create new marketing campaigns. We spend more time and money taking classes to learn how to do ads on Facebook. We just know that if we can get it together, we can kill it with our new concept.
We share our great hopes and dreams with our communities and they will “high-five” us on our beloved Facebook Group or share our Instagram posts. We introduce our prototypes. We order more supplies and experiment with more prototypes.
All is not lost
It’s important to experiment, of course. And it’s important to learn new skills. What I am cautioning, my fellow right-brainers, is that we must maintain our focus on those things which bring us closer to our financial goals. And sometimes, we just need to hold our Inventive Spirit in check.
I have a long list of clients who have a long history of “changing directions”. One day they are doing jewelry then start working with clay, or fiber, then several months later, they are doing jewelry again but doing it with entirely new materials. They still have no website because they still have not created a clear path for potential buyers to “buy into” their creations because the creations keep evolving.
That lack of dedication to a particular set of target market segments is a momentum drain. It might take many months for someone to get “hooked” on you. It might take many visits to your website to “get it”. And just when they are excited about your creations, you have moved on to a new product. Can you see the problem?
Of course, none of this matters if you have no desire to be a full-time business owner. If you are a dabbler, please enjoy dabbling! Dabbling can sometimes accidentally create a very sustainable livelihood. Mine did!
However, if you are trying to become financially stable from your creativity and you suffer from “re-inventing the wheel” I am totally hugging you right now. I know it’s hard to be a businessperson and a budding entrepreneur, but ask yourself how it will affect your income to abandon one pathway and start on a new journey. I beg you to rethink before you take your eye off the ball; especially that ball that you need to keep pushing up the hill.
I have said this before, but it’s never been truer: Whatever you focus on expands.
Be careful what you focus on. Or even more importantly: Be careful what you don’t focus on.