Have you ever wondered when too much as an entrepreneur is too much? Or heck, even if you haven’t started a business yet… have you ever wondered when taking on too much in life is too much?
Ya, I think we all have. And, most of us have probably at one point or another looked at what we have going on in life or business and thought… “damn! I’m doing way too much stuff… so much that I can’t get anything done”. Heck, this might even be you right now.
I know I have. In fact, just in the past 18 months I’ve gone through this struggle and while the answer seems to be clear and right there in front of your face (that you should be working on fewer “things”)… for some reason it’s easy to justify all of the stuff we’re doing and say that “I can handle it all”.
You see, a funny thing happens when you see a bit of success… or even before you see success but everything clicks mindset wise and you see everything out there as a legitimate opportunity that you know you can take advantage of. Heck, after I had a couple business successes… people started coming to me with ideas… ideas that I loved and knew that if I would get behind would work and be home runs.
Opportunity breeds optimism. And optimism breeds opportunity. They feed off of each other. The more you see the world for what it is… FULL OF OPPORTUNITY for those of us looking for it and optimistic about the outlook of the word… the easier it is to fall into this trap that I’m about to lay out below.
Ever Heard Of Too Much Opportunity?
It sounds like a contradiction right? Too much opportunity?
It’s like too much ice cream (I have had too much ice cream before, it wasn’t pretty). Some people struggle seeing opportunity in anything (if that’s you, you can turn it around. It’s all mindset, gratitude, and surrounding yourself with the right people). Some people see opportunity in everything… almost to a fault (that’s me).
Going into last year I had 2 thriving businesses (by thriving I mean both providing a more than full-time income on a fraction of the hours normal people work each week). Then half way through that year my income dropped by nearly half.
It wasn’t a lack of opportunity. It wasn’t that customers weren’t there. It wasn’t that the industry had changed. None of that.
What it was… was in the previous year I had seen so much damn opportunity… and said YES to so many projects… I flooded myself with a workload and responsibilities I couldn’t keep up with.
Deadlines here. Deadlines there. Getting missed.
Splitting my focus on project A with projects B, C, and a new D project.
If you can picture a juggler juggling 1 ball… it’s easy for them right? You add another ball… still easy… the juggler needs to concentrate a bit more… but even 3 balls that juggler can do pretty much without problem. But, as you add on new balls into the mix… the juggler starts to lose focus on each individual ball. Balls get dropped… the arcs the juggler throws the balls on get sloppy… and before you know it, every single ball the juggler is tossing in the air gets less and less attention and eventually they all fall down.
That was me.
So, How Do You Know When It’s Too Much?
I always struggled with this until a mentor and mastermind member told me this.
“Always be working on the main thing and 1 big thing”.
What he means by the “main thing” is whatever you’re doing that is bringing in the money right now. For me, the business that was my “main thing” had slid down the list to number 2 or 3 on the focus ladder sometimes. So my income there started to hurt.
And since I was working on 2 or 3 “main things” at once… the “big thing” I wanted to work on really never got off the ground the way it should have.
So, this past 4 months has been my time to remove balls from the juggling routine… and to really decide what is my “main thing” that will get the vast majority of my attention… and what is the 1 “big thing” I’ll be working on on the side to do something big.
For me, it wasn’t easy. My passions have changed in the last 2 years and what was once my “main thing” is now being taken completely off the table by me making the tough decision to sell the company (even though it’s a great company and can be highly profitable). Now I’m forced to focus on growing the main company only… and still be able to push forward 1 epic project at the same time. All without overwhelm… and with a clarity I haven’t had in 2 years. It feels darn great
What’s Your One Big Thing?
So I ask you… do you feel like you’re spinning your wheels? Do you feel like you’re working on a lot of great high opportunity projects but none of them are getting pushed forward like you know they can and should? If that’s the case, you’re probably juggling too many balls.
Sit down today and figure out what your 1 “main thing” is that you’ll spend the vast majority of your time focusing on. Then, what is the 1 “big thing” you want to push forward on the side? It could be another business, a book you want to write, a non-profit, etc.
Always be working on something big, and something that brings home the bacon today. Nothing more, nothing less.