The Economics of Too Many Projects
It’s easy to get caught up in a good idea. You buy the domain immediately, and get to work.
Wait 48 hours.
I learned about the 48 hour rule from Dan and Ian, and it’s so money.
If in 48 hours you still think you have an excellent idea, then start planning and see where it goes.
Think about it, if you’re going to create 100 niche sites that’s over $1k/annually in domain registration alone. Not to mention creating content, hosting the sites, keeping everything up to date and fresh – that get’s really expensive, really quickly.
Especially when the majority of your sites are probably never going to be profitable.
Now imagine if you had one site that you put the same amount of time and money into. In my experience, most people are better off creating one site than dozens. It’s easier to provide value and in turn become profitable than it is with tons of small sites or projects that die before even getting off the ground.
So, How Do You Decide What Project to Take On?
When you’re first getting started, I’m a firm believer that you should pick one project or business model and ride that out until you’re absolutely confident in your ability to take on something new.
I started out building my skills and writing this blog. It was over a year before I started my next (personal) site, Daily HDR. It was a great idea in theory, but now it hasn’t been updated in months.
Realistically I didn’t take on a personal project that was successful until almost 18 months after beginning the first one.
Because everything I did on the first business (the blog), was laying the foundation for the next one, Overcoming the Fear of Uncertainty.
I was building skills, establishing expertise, and garnering a small following to put myself in a good spot to be successful.
Then slowly but surely, I began adding other projects to my core business.
Everyday I have a new idea for a fun project, and sometimes I’ll even buy a domain. However, I don’t go full speed ahead until I know the following:
So, how should you go about finding new projects? Here’s what I do:
Step #1: Assess Your Current Situation
What’s your current goal? Do you just want a little side business built around a hobby? Do you want something that will allow you to travel the world? Do you want to become the next millionaire entrepreneur?
Each of these goals has a different startup path.
Assess where you are, and then make sure you have the skills necessary to get started.
Step #2: Pick the ONE Project that Will Get You Closest to Your Goal Fastest
Are you trying to build a business as quickly as possible so you can quit your job and travel? Then stop trying to create a bunch of bullshit affiliate sites and start freelancing.
Pick one specialty, become a relative expert, and then get clients.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Freelancing is the best way to build your first business online.
Step #3: Stabilize the Business
Do you know how much money you’re going to bring in every month? Do you have clearly defined processes for managing clients and finding new ones? Is work coming to by word of mouth? Are you beginning to become well known in your niche?
Great, keep that going.
Before taking on any new, significant projects you want to make sure you have a solid base and are able to manage your current situation.
Step #4: Reassess Your Priorities and Select the Next Project
The chances are, whatever you choose to freelance in isn’t going to be something your totally passionate about. It’s going to be a means to being able to live out the things you are passionate about.
Once you’re freelance business is stable, then you can start thinking about other projects you want to take on that are more directly in line with what you like to do.
Two years after I began Location 180, we started up HDR Software. Once that was stable, Location Rebel was born. Then it wasn’t until a year later that Hacking the High Life was released.
Each of those are businesses built around fundamental interests of mine, but none of them started until the previous one was completely stable.
Step #5: Repeat
This is the thought process I go through every time I’m going to begin something that I know will be a significant investment of my time and money:
Am I saying that you should absolutely, no matter what just take on one project or business? No, I’d be a complete hypocrite if that’s what I was suggesting. I love having multiple projects; it’s what keeps everything fresh and interesting for me.
However I am saying you should do your best not to overextend yourself. Once you have a base, each future project gets easier and easier to take on, because of the work you’ve put in previously.
Put in the work up front to build your core, and then expand into the fun stuff down the road.
See more at SeanOgle.com
Donald Trump has failed as many times as he has succeeded and ultimately he has succeeded, at least financially.
While I cannot claim to be enamored with his personality (or his hair) I think he illustrates a very powerful point: Your life and your work depend on you being willing to take risks.
You have very likely heard the expression bold action gets bold results. And, well, it does.
So, if it does, then what scares us so much? The plain fact is that the results of our bold action are bold for sure but not always positive. A certain amount of the time we are going to fail. If it was a guarantee, then it would not be a risk, right?
Somewhere along the way many of us learned that failing was bad. Maybe it is our grading system. Where else in the course of life is the goal 100%? For example, what if in soccer players got 100% of the goals? We don’t even consider this. Under these conditions getting a CHANCE at the goal is seen as an accomplishment.
Embracing failure as a likely outcome and being willing to learn from it and make adjustments is the cornerstone of success. Perhaps this is why so many successful entrepreneurs were C students!
Ok, so if you are convinced now that taking risks and even failing might be in your best interest then how do you get yourself to take action when you are on the edge and gearing up to take that major leap to create the life, love or work that you really want?
In the book that I am currently writing a book called “Apathy is Noxious”, where I talk about this very subject. One approach to move out of inertia you need to intensify the discomfort of staying the way that you are.
Another approach is to adjust your perception of what “good” results are. What if instead of success and failure you looked at the outcome of your bold action as valuable information that is letting you know how to make your next bold move?
*A footnote for those of you who leap before you look. LOOK. Taking risks requires reviewing the situation and taking educated risks.