I’ve spent a lot of time over the past few months tinkering with various side hustle/business ideas and seem to be making no progress.
My situation may be different than the average person out there, as I’m typically in a distracting environment with kids and other demands throughout the day – so there’s not a lot of uniterrupted free time.
The only time of the day I can work without interruption is usually late at night from around midnight to 4 a.m., which is not very healthy in the long run.
I’ve spent quite a bit of time building an idea list of projects to pursue or test out, whittling them down to around ten or so. One of my ideas is to return to building up this site, Side Hustle Spy, but I’m torn as I also would devote time to other projects.
So… what do I do? Should I focus on only one business idea or continue working on multiple ideas?
I decided to turn to George Kao for some advice – as I was pretty sure he has talked about this topic before.
Sure enough, here’s the video:
George makes several good points, the main one that sticks out is that you really don’t know what idea is going to stick, so you should consider trying many different things until one stands out from the rest.
This is so true.
But, the amount of solid, uninterrupted free time each person has may vary quite a bit depending on your life situation. In my case, I have a lot less free time than I did in my younger single years, so it’s probably better for me to limit the number of simultaneous projects I work on.
If you are young and single, have no kids and have tons of free time, it’s likely ok to pursue multiple projects.
Keep in mind though, one of the trademarks of the super successful is laser like focus.
As a commenter on Reddit said “one thing I’ve learned is that working on 2 or more ideas at once almost always leads to them dying. Its hard to dedicate the effort a startup needs to a single project, let alone multiple projects.”
Another factor to consider is whether any of your current projects look promising or not. Are they all stagnant? Any of them showing signs of hope?
Ultimately, your goal is to make money with your business idea – but you may be unsure which one has the best odds of succeeding.
You can take a few shortcuts by test marketing your idea using ads – but… this can get expensive so keep this in mind. You can bounce ideas off friends/family or even post online, but once you do, those ideas are pretty much fair game to anyone that may want to do the same thing.
Before you open your idea up to the public, at least make sure you’ve secured a good domain name, social media accounts so you’ll have that advantage in case someone decides to run with your idea.
My 30 Day Focus on One Project Experiment
Anyway, I’ve decided I’m going to try an experiment for 30 days and try focusing mainly on only one main project and see how that compares to the current system I have used – spreading myself too thin.
I’ve been debating whether I want to make this site my dominant project or another website I’m working on. I’m pretty close to making my decision and am leaning towards working on the other site. I’ll make my final decision sometime after I publish this post, but… I wanted to write this article first.
Now, I probably will still work on a handful of small, experimental side projects, but plan to use a system where I only work on those when I need a break from my main project.
After 30 days, I will report back with my results, so be sure to bookmark this site. 🙂
It may be a little early to come to a conclusion, but here’s what I suspect is the best advice on this topic.
1 – If none of your projects are earning money, it’s ok to work on multiple projects until one starts getting momentum/showing results.
2 – If you already have one or more businesses operating smoothly, it’s probably ok to start an additional project – just keep in mind that a new one will eventually limit progress on your original ones. In theory, you could hire/outsource work, but this still takes time/energy to manage. Everything depends on how much money you have to burn.
3 – While working on multiple projects, if you see that one is bringing results, consider scrapping your other ideas and shift your focus to the one bringing in money most efficiently.
In closing, keep an eye on this blog and I will post updates on the results of this experiment. It will be interesting to see what happens by shifting my focus to one dominant project.
Overall, your goal is to start a side hustle that makes money.
Try and test out your ideas and when one of them starts showing results, THEN shift your focus to that one idea.
To be continued…
For further reading, here’s another article on the subject from Entrepreneur Magazine: Want to Be Successful? Focus on One Business.