© 2022

Swimmingly not drowningly

“Startups don’t starve, they drown” ~ Eric Ries (probably)

The above quote, attributed to Eric Ries, touches on the idea that a founder is more likely to become overwhelmed with too many business ideas, and too much to do, than to run out of projects.

Indeed it has felt a little bit like drowning (not that I’ve ever drowned). I’m brimming with ideas for new business projects, finding it very hard to focus on advancing any single one of them, plus there is ongoing work for Ugli clients, the kids, and on top of it all I have had to do jury service this week. It’s been a mad old time.

Brian Casel talks about the shift from running an agency to offering a “productized service” and describes one of the biggest challenges as figuring out exactly what on earth to do:

“I had a thousand things that I knew I needed to do. But I had no idea which ones I should work on first, second, third, or tenth. For a while, I jumped haphazardly from project to project and I chased shiny objects.”

And believe me the struggle is real. Particularly regarding the transition from Ugli to whatever it is I’m going to do next: big projects (ie Ugli work) deliver money up-front, but I worry that if I spend time hustling for these then I’ll probably land one, and then be stuck with a time-consuming new client. Focusing on ramping up a SaaS business is definitely the dream longer term but it isn’t going to pay the bills any time soon. It’s a hard balance to find.

And the time I do allocate to my SaaS future needs to be divided it between

Suffice it to say I’ve very quickly moved from a decade of deadline-based client work, and knowing exactly what I needed to do, into a world where I need to motivate myself to figure out what to do first.

I have no idea if I have ADHD or not (a friend told me he thought I did), but I definitely know better now how it feels to have ADHD than I did last year.

I need to remember my mantra: if I’m not validating problems, learning skills and/or building my audience then I’m wasting my time.

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