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The best advice I ever heard (and didn’t listen to) when I first started my business was “get really good at one thing”. What this meant was, when you own a business, you are going to end up doing a lot of things on your own to try to save money and time. Since you can’t be good at everything, get really good at one thing before you move on to something else.
I listened for about 30 seconds and then went on to try to take on all 8,562 tasks I had for my business by myself. I have a whole list of projects that are half started. I spent a lot of money buying products I never used and trying to train myself on things that I only half listened to. I was usually only half interested in these things because by the time I got to it, I had already moved on to the next thing.
I call this type of behavior “shiny object syndrome”. I would start a project and get halfway into it and then think something else looked better, would work better for me or make me more money so I would move on to that. I couldn’t just leave well enough alone and work with what I had!
This was a huge mistake. I did this for the first year of my business and I wasted a lot of time and money. In the end,I had nothing to show for it and I wasn’t good at anything. When I look back, I’m annoyed at myself for not following through with anything and wasting all that time and money.
I recently ran across some notes I had taken during one of the many trainings I never finished. I found the quote “get really good at one thing” and decided I needed to start doing something different. I needed to take that advice otherwise my business was going to end up going nowhere.
Instead of trying to do everything right now, I plan one realistic goal I can achieve for the month and list all the tasks associated with that goal. My goal is to get really good at that one thing. I space those tasks out for myself over the month in hopes by the end of the month I have them done and I’ve achieved my goal. If anything else comes up during the month, I have another list called “projects” where I write these ideas down. That way I don’t forget the ideas but I also don’t get sidetracked by moving away from my monthly goal.
I’m finding this is much easier to focus and stay on track when I do things this way. It takes the stress off to try to complete an unrealistic amount of tasks during the month and also gives me a list of fresh ideas to pick from for the next month when I start more projects. If I remain on this pace, I will have completed 12 projects by the next year which is actually quite impressive compared to where I’ve came from.
Jenny is a personal finance blogger with a goal to teach single women how to get out of debt and build wealth. When she is not blogging, she spends most of her time reading, gardening and trying new recipes she has cooked from scratch. Jenny is passionate about helping women and blogs about it on her site, The Jenny Pincher. She has taught her self-developed “Basics of Budgeting” course throughout the St. Louis area and developed a Budget Bootcamp to educate women on the topic of personal finance. She has also taught budgeting in the college setting.