It's just about 2:00 in the afternoon and I must say I'm a little bored. At least part of me is. It's not that I don't have anything to do. I've posted a few new designs in my CafePress shops. I sent my book off to my editor. I've taught a class on Effective Communication. And I spoke with a couple of coaching clients. All good stuff. But it all feels very routine to me. I'm just not having the tons of new ideas that I used to. The crazy ideas that were really fun and interesting.
Yeah, I get it. Businesses that keep jumping from one bright shiny object to another won't succeed. It's persistence and perseverence that pay off in the end. But I still find my mind wandering when I should be working. Where's the fun and excitement I used to feel?
I don't want to spend time on Facebook. Or Twitter. And I certainly don't want to spend time on Google+. I suppose I could see what cool new apps are available for my phone, but I'm not much of a Candy Crush type of person. Angry Birds was the only game I had, and I'm already bored with it.
I need something completely new and different! Something that will change the way I think! Or that will inspire a new business idea or product!
Now I don't want to be completely negative about business. It's been an amazing year so far! But I need more! Lots more! The kind of stuff that gives me stories to tell my grandchildren.
Wait - what's this email? Can I create a course on motivating and developing employees? Something that's fun and interactive and sparks ideas? Well, sure. I can probably do that.
Oh, and what about the idea that came up last night at dinner? Can I design a line of T-shirts with a political theme? Something with my particular brand of snarky commentary that is suitable for members of either party? Something totallly politically "incorrect?" Hmmm...let me think about that. Could be fun!
There's my phone. "Yes, I'm finally done with my book. Yes, I know we discussed writing one together. You want to start now? Sure!"
Patience and persistence do pay off. All the experts will tell you that. And they are absolutely correct. You should listen to them. Meanwhile, I'm off chasing the newewst shiny objects to fall into my lap. Which is fine because they really are all just extensions of what I am already doing. So I might as well have some fun!
We live in an age of instant gratification. Where the push of a button can put us in touch with magical worlds. Where things we only imagined a few years ago are now reality. Where change comes like a whirlwind and every achievement is monumental. It's eaay to expect to constatnly feel that level of excitement everyday. And when we don't we think something is wrong. And so we end up chasing the next bright shiny object, hoping to feel that excitement all over again. Before you invest your time in a brand new project ask yourself these questions:
1. Does this add to or complement my existing business? In my case, yes. I'm a trainer so creating a new course makes sense, especially since it is for an existing client. And I can tailor it to fit many scenarios. Lots of potential. Same with the t-shirt designs. I already have the shop. Designing them is my creative outlet. It's a politically charged year. This could be profitable! If the answer is no, cover your eyes and walk away!
2. What will you have to give up to make time for the new project? Nothing! My first book is finished, so I have time to start another. It will take a few days to create a new training course, but I can schedule training and coaching sessions around that. And designing for my CafePress shop is something I do to amuse myself instead of watching TV. So no time conflicts for me. If you can't fit the new project in your day and don't have anything you can give up to open a bit of time, turn your head because this is not for you.
3. Will it generate enough profit to make it a worthwhile investment of your time? While you cannot guarantee that a project will make money, sometimes you can make an educated guess. The training course is for an existing client who pays me well. Good investment. And although the CafePress shops started out as more of a hobby than a business, they bring me a nice little income. Already established shop and politics. Can't hardly go wrong with that. Book? Even if it doesn't sell well, it lends to my credibility. Two books in print? I must know SOMETHING! But my co-author already has a name built for herself and it's a great topic. Worth the effort.
Bored? Feeling a lack of excitement? Need to try something new? Before you succumb to the lure of a brand new project, take a look at your existing business. What can you add or upgrade that will challenge and excite you again? Do you have time to do it? Will it be a worthwhile investment of your effort? If so, go for it. Meanwhile, I'm off to start work on my latest project. Because I'm bored!