Managing a company is work. You have to learn how to juggle things that matter and delegate appropriate tasks to your team members. Don’t be pulled in a million directions just for the sake of it (or to look busy). Here are 4 signs that you’re an unfocused entrepreneur:
1. You immediately start working on your next “Great Idea.”
Is your first great idea making money? Before you go down that path of launching your new fantastic idea, there are a few things you need to consider:
– How much is it going to cost me?
– What is my ROI?
– Is it a natural extension of my current brand?
– Am I doing this because my original idea is not making money? If so, do I need to re-evaluate my original idea rather than start something new?
– Can my team take on a new task at the moment?
2. You have a variety of open, dangling projects with no real closure in sight.
There’s a difference between being involved in cool projects versus haphazardly having your finger in many pies. If you are working on a project there should be definitive stages: beginning, middle and end. Anything that is floating up in the air should be cut off. You’re busy enough as it is. Don’t waste precious time.
3. People know you but can’t explain exactly what you do.
We all know those people. They’re at all of the cool events in town. They are telling you about their next “Great Idea” and they probably are “working” on a variety of dangling projects, too. You know they do something with something, but you really cannot quite pin down what they do and how they make money.
If your peers can’t say, “Hey, that’s Kate. She’s a network designer.” You better get back to work on your marketing strategy and elevator pitch. If it’s hard for you to develop one because you’re still deciding what it is you want to do, stop going around and confusing people with an ambiguous façade. Be honest and direct. “I’m Kate and I work in telecommunications.”
Don’t tell them you “do a little bit of everything,” or list the three jobs you’re straddling. It’s confusing and it makes it hard for people to remember you (in a positive light).
4. You’re starting to build a reputation as a flake.
You have high energy. It’s easy for you to lure in new clients or business partners. When it’s time for the real work to begin, suddenly … you do a disappearing act. You know deep down it sucks that you left them hanging, but you have something else that needs your immediate attention. Stop lying to yourself. You’re unreliable and you better know that others are talking about just how unreliable you are when you’re not around. You can turn a deaf ear and live by the “Sticks & Stones” philosophy if you want to, but don’t be surprised when your phone stops ringing.