The other day I was making some green tea and something struck me. After I filled the pot with water and turned on the heat, I kept checking it. I was checking it every two minutes. And each time I checked it, it didn't seem any closer to boiling. Finally after some amount of time, it boiled, I took it off the heat, added my tea leaves, and started to brew the tea.
How often does this happen to you with your business?
I'm as guilty as anyone of having a past project or two where I shut it down before it reached the boiling point. I dove in head first, worked like a mad man, and when I didn't see the results I expected declared it a failure and moved on to the next.
What would those projects have become if I had worked on them a little longer?
I've seen this happen with a lot of entrepreneurs. They get into something with the best intentions but it never comes to fruition. So they move on to the next thing, and then the next, and then the next.
What does this really mean?
Jumping from project to project and idea to idea isn't entrepreneurial ADD, it indicates lack of a clear definition of success. The desired outcome isn't well defined if it's defined at all.
Before you dive into your next project, ensure that you have a clear outcome in mind. Don't get lost in the activities required to achieve that outcome, rather take the time to clearly define what the outcome will look like. Determine what metrics are needed to measure both the outcome and that you are maintaining the correct trajectory towards it.
If a current project has no defined outcome, stop and define it along with the metrics.
Keep your focus on the outcome, and the means to achieve it will become much easier to see.
The awesome frog photo is by Holger Groschi (2003)