This is great advice for most people.
But I don’t know about the rest of you…?
…but I’m just not built that way.
I wish I could just do one thing forever and never get distracted.
But I have to try new shit.
For years, every book told me I was a douche and just needed better focus.
(FYI I am a douche but not for the reasons the books said so.)
If you’re anything like the me…
…instead of fighting your very nature…
…I’ve learned to harness how I’m naturally built. I’ve learned to reign in my “new opportunity” process.
I hope this post will be helpful to someone else…
…to decide where the line is between golden new idea or distraction.
I do this with how I evaluate new opportunities.
When I start getting shiny object syndrome…
…I pause and pass my shiny object idea through 5 filters.
Usually by then, I know whether I should give it a try…
…or if it’s truly just a distraction.
Filter #1 – Do I have assets for this already?
One of my real estate mentors has 12 businesses.
All of them 7-figure and up successful.
How is he able to do that?
Because they are all related real estate businesses that serve the same market.
Because it’s the same customers through all 12 businesses.
Investment acquisition business. Construction fix and flip. Dumpster rental. Window manufacturer. Property management. Real estate data business. Etc etc.
Lots of assets get shared between those businesses.
The asset known as “customer list” did not need to be reinvented.
Nor did the sales people.
He even has a manager that likes managing his whole portfolio. So he just kept giving the same guy more companies to manage.
So even though it looks like 12 different things, he’s sharing tools and resources between them.
In legal, often lawyers figure out a gimmick that works. They’re only licensed in 1 state.
So they’ll lease their gimmick in 49 other states. Sometimes licensing the IP of their gimmick pays them more than actually running a law firm.
But it’s almost no extra work because they’re just leasing the IP for what they’re already doing.
In other words, they already have the assets.
“Here’s our working TV commercial. Here’s our radio ad.” etc etc.
Do I have assets that can be reused?
Teams? Existing relationships? Tools and systems? Scripts? Processes?
I do some crypto consulting for equity.
I do some revenue share deals.
I do some real estate investing.
I run an agency and mentor other people.
I lease intellectual property.
But it’s not really new shit. I’m using the same assets, skillsets, and resources.
I just try package them in different ways.
I never like to reinvent the wheel.
If I don’t have existing usable assets, it’s an automatic “no”.
Filter #2 – Would I be willing to see it through to the end if it gets difficult?
At some point, the new and shiny will wear off.
If it gets hard and difficult…
…am I willing to be as 100% all in committed as it takes?
I try not to start anything I don’t have the intention of finishing.
Filter #3 – Can I test my assumption?
Is there a way I can test my assumption with as little time, energy, and money as possible?
How can I find out for sure?
How can I validate quickly?
How can I find out this opportunity is what I think it is?
Filter #4 – Is there asymmetric upside?
If I’m wrong, what will I lose?
If I’m right, what is the upside?
Ideally, it has a small downside risk to test and high upside if I’m right.
For example, I do some crypto consulting for equity with a friend/client/mentor.
Downside: We spend an hour or two per month, shooting the shit and launch a coin that never takes off.
I consult about all the stuff I’m doing that’s working elsewhere and how we could use that in this project.
It’s unsuccessful. We lose a couple hours. Client knows crypto may not pan out so doesn’t hold me personally responsible.
Upside: We launch a $100 million token and I own 10% of it.
It’s fun for me to do. The skills and systems needed are what I already have in place.
I can win big or lose a tiny bit.
Filter #5 – Do I realistically have the bandwidth to take on something else?
This one just requires some good ol’ fashioned real talk.
What can I realistically do and not do right now?
Can I realistically handle something else?
This is nothing too crazy.
But I find it helps me play with new ideas without getting overly distracted.
I test small. Create the possibility to win big. Reuse shit I already have.
It allows me to stay in my lane and have some shiny object stuff to play with.
Hope this is useful to someone else who is like me.
Do 1 thing forever is good advice… if you’re built that way.
Random thoughts on a Wednesday afternoon in Mexico.
May the force be with you.
If you run a digital marketing agency…
…get a copy of my book: https://amzn.to/2XbKcPl