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:
- That there’s a need for what I’m providing
- That there’s the potential to profit
- That I have both the interest and the time to invest in the new project
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:
- Assess where I’m at
- Decide which project will get me to my desired goal the fastest
- Begin and stabilize the business
- Reassess priorities, and find the next opportunity.
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