Friday, November 30, 2012

Are new entrepreneurial ideas keeping you from getting things done?

My mind is literally overrun with all kinds of ideas all the time. My to do list is filled mostly of personal projects. I’ve started countless spiral notebooks of business ideas and have filled them with research.

I wake up in the middle of the night just to write down ideas. I can’t even enjoy watching business-based television shows that focus on improving a business (a la “Restaurant Impossible” and “Undercover Boss“) anymore without getting up to get a pad and paper and writing down my own ideas.

I couldn’t be happier working 12-14-16 hour days when I spend much of that time working on developing these ideas. I even often stop working on client work when an idea pops into my head to do a little bit of Googling about it. I tend to find myself saying “oh, I can work on that client project this weekend” then taking most of the rest of the day to start planning out a new idea.

Then it hit me: I was letting my entrepreneurial spirit overpower my current business operations. Ever since I realized that I was spending more time on my ideas than on my current client work, it kind of freaked me out a bit. My ideas were keeping me from taking care of my business obligations in the present. I was so excited and so eager to start a new entrepreneurial endeavor that I was pushing away things that were making me money right now.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized I was probably not alone. I believe that most self-employed individuals (myself included) have this creativeness and unique view when it comes to making a living. This freedom to create and build things we are passionate about and the uniqueness of our situation and our thought processes are the things that got us into our current self-employed lifestyle to begin with, the one that makes us excited to get out of bed in the morning.

We tend to use our past experiences starting and running our own entrepreneurial success(es) to want to relive that excitement all over again with the ideas we have spinning around in our heads. However, it is completely possible, and I believe very common, to let these ideas and that prospect of excitement overrun our current businesses and projects, which can get us into a heap of trouble if we aren’t careful.

Up until recently, I was very much guilty of letting my ideas seep into the working hours I established for myself for my current business. I often started working on client work later and later into the day and found reasons to stop sooner and sooner so that I could develop my ideas. I found myself trailing off during my work by opening a new tab in my browser and doing “a few quick” searches that turned into an hour’s worth of time.

Are you guilty of letting your ideas take over?