This is going to be a boring post.
I have 1 main job, 2 side jobs, 3 ‘hustles’ I’m trying to get off the ground, and 2 others that are still in my head. Thing is, ideas are very cheap and easy to come by, but execution isn’t. Everyone knows this, including me, so why am I still doing this to myself? It’s probably because I’m a loner, and I haven’t figured out a secret sauce to getting users or a community for a web product. I mean, I know the ground rules but actually putting myself out there to say “I made this, please use it because it could actually make your life easier, and also please leave feedback” is a bit scary – especially as no one knows me and we all know how clique-y people can be, so why should they agree to be early adopters for this product made by a person they’ve never heard of, let alone learned to trust? I’ve tested my ideas on my immediate circle and everyone agrees the ideas useful and in good niches, but I can’t seem to build followership, and I know I should hire someone but … wait, I was going to say I don’t have money but now I can sort of afford to pay someone part-time so I’m not sure what’s holding me back. Heh. Okay I know: when I first got these ideas, I didn’t have my main job which pays the most, so I was essentially a broke ass. In that state, of course I couldn’t afford to pay anyone so my brain got used to thinking I should (and better be able to) do everything by myself. To be honest, I can probably do things myself, but it’s easier and faster to hire a person to do it.
[And, to answer the question you’re probably asking: no, I can’t recruit my current friends and family as users because the platforms and products I’m trying to build are not targeted towards them, e.g. there’s one for caterers, and in my immediate circle, there isn’t a single caterer. Maybe I should stick to building things people in my immediate circle can use and pay for.]
I read something about a multi millionaire who spends his days sailing his boat. He doesn’t quite believe in cofounding, and doesn’t think every new business should be ‘viral’ a la Twitter or Uber, his own businesses are not viral in that sense, but they provide useful services at great quality and are spread out over different cities. I think that’s what I’m trying to achieve, but as a person who doesn’t have that much money to throw at a business (i.e. to hire people, rent space, etc), my options are a bit limited I have to tweak my methods to suit my constraints. It’s cool though, I like my comfort zone but I know you only grow when you step out of there.
I’m not sure how to combine growing these platforms with my main job and 2 side hustles, especially since I want to kick ass at everything. For now though, my method is to give one thing my undivided attention for a period, and then switch to the next, and the next. Fortunately for me, of the 6 things I do – or am trying to do – for a living, only about 2 or 3 require me to think, read and strategize a lot; the rest can be handled without much fuss. On the flip side, I usually put off the ones that don’t require a lot of thinking, because I’m tired and I’m like “that only takes 10 minutes, I can do it later”. Of course, later almost never comes. I need to be more efficient, and learn enough about myself to know (how to maximize) my most productive times.
I’ve also just remembered something Shonda Rhimes said and I’m pausing for a bit to think about whether there’s any point struggling. No, she’s not God, and I’m not a mother, but there’s some sense in it.
If I am accepting a prestigious award, I am missing my baby’s first swim lesson. If I am at my daughter’s debut in her school musical, I am missing Sandra Oh’s last scene ever being filmed at Grey’s Anatomy. If I am succeeding at one, I am inevitably failing at the other. That is the tradeoff. That is the Faustian bargain one makes with the devil that comes with being a powerful working woman who is also a powerful mother. You never feel a hundred percent OK; you never get your sea legs; you are always a little nauseous. Something is always lost.
Sorry about the rambling, I was going to do a post about my current life and parallels with the movie, Confessions of a Shopaholic, and I wanted that to be interesting but I got stuck halfway and decided to do this instead.
Have a lovely weekend, and Happy Halloween if you’re getting in costume!