The more successful you get, the more the people around you want something from you. Some of these people may have good intentions. It is important to be able to properly filter through the “opportunities” these people throw at you. At the end of the day you can only do so much. There is only so much time in a day. You really need to pick your battles.
Be Selective & Not Too Opportunistic
In my early 20s, i was extremely opportunistic and most people will tell you that i still am. There is one thing that changed about me though – Now i am extremely selective and ask the hard questions before i just jump into a new venture or project. I treat my time like a good investor treats their money – Every dollar counts. I am also no longer afraid to leave a venture or kill a part of it, if i believe it is on the wrong track. I am no longer blind to continually re-upping on a bad investment.
As an entrepreneur, it is very easy to find yourself in a predicament where you have too much going on. You start to ask questions like – “How the fuck did this happen? I had one thing, it got a bit of success and now i am involved in 7 things.”
At age 19 i was working 18 hours a day on one single business with a very straightforward product line. All day i would focus on marketing, selling and fulfilling that single product line to the point where we began to dominate the industry and to this day still dominate it. Then after a while me and my partner decided to split that single focused company into 2, because of branding issues. It was the right call but things began to get harder. I felt like a mini Elon Musk. I was dealing with 2 companies now. One company was still fairly simple but the other one was a beast that needed to be tamed and simplified.
More Is Not Always Better
Its very simplistic to think that the more companies you have the better off you will be. Most of us are building these organizations from the ground up, with no investor(s). After all, adding investors to the mix just makes things more of a pain in the ass anyway. Better to have full control.
If you are building anything from the ground up, it takes time. Time is more valuable than money because you can never get it back. Money is a renewable resource and there are plenty of ways to get it back if you lose it.
Before you enter into any new venture you should ask yourself these 2 questions:
- How much time / money will i be spending on this new venture?
- What will be my role in this new venture?
If you already have too much going on, be honest about how much you can contribute to this new venture. Most of the time you must say no. Sometimes you will be in a position to say yes.
Investing with Money vs Investing with Time
There are two ways to invest in a business.. Money and Time.
Investing with Time
An example of investing with time is where you are primarily doing all the heavy lifting of the business. You can not become very successful without an initial extreme investment of time. Even if you have money, you will have time take the time to learn an industry inside and out to delegate the tasks. One does not need to be passionate about something to spend time on it but it REALLY HELPS.
This is why you need to ask yourself those 2 vital questions above. You can not jump from one company you are already spending a lot of time in to another one which requires even more time. Your time ends up getting divided.
Tips for Investing with your Time:
- Know your industry inside and out.
- Know your top competitors inside and out.
- Work as much as you possibly can, the more time you spend working the faster your company will grow.
- Eliminate distractions, only be focusing on this one business.
- When you begin to make a little money, re-invest it back into the business.. not another company.
- As you keep re-investing money back in your business, find ways to delegate tasks by either hiring employees, developing software or hiring contractors. Do not half ass this. Anyone will take your money!
Investing with Money
Investing with money means most tasks will be handled by another partner or contractor. You may have heard of the saying “Success Breeds Success”. Its true. Once you spend the time to get one business successful you can either choose to spend time or money to get the next one successful, depending on how much you have of each. At this point you will know more about business as well, you will be sharper and better prepared.
Tips for Investing with Money:
- Know your industry inside and out
- Know your top competitors inside and out
- Make sure your partners / contractors are 100% time invested in making the company grow. After all, you will be funding it.
- Have a simple dashboard to measure the success of the business. You shouldn’t have to put time into this, should happen automatically.
- You need to know the industry because you may have to jump in and put time in to fix things if it becomes available.
So please, never ever ever forget those two questions i wrote earlier (put them below again).
- How much time /money will i be spending on this new venture?
- What will be my role in this new venture?
If you choose to ignore the simple questions, you might find yourself in a position where your success is leaking uncontrollably to every damn thing you decided to jump in to. Of course, you have to be wary of material possessions too 🙂