Do you recognize this question: “Do I start two businesses at one or just one at a time?” I received it over the weekend from my ask-me form on my website. And I have two completely contradictory answers and then an explanation.
First, the question (leaving out parts of it that would identify the person asking it):
I am about to start a business called [omitted] a digital marketing agency. But I also want to start another one, a mining research consultancy company called [omitted]. I am passionate about both but just wondering if I should start both at the same time or start one then use the profit from the first one to start the second one.
Before I answer, I have to enjoy the optimism there. How nice to be wondering whether to fund the second success with profits from the first.
My answer: Focus. It’s going to take a lot of work to start up either one of these. Don’t dilute your efforts. Choose one. It’s going to be harder than you think. Do a business plan for it, then execute, and review and revise the plan constantly.
The contradiction: I’m right now doing exactly the opposite of what I recommend. I’m working on a social media business and a mobile apps business, both of which I’m doing with co-founders, without staff, and without outside investment.
The explanation: It’s dumb, but I get up in the morning, like the idea, and I can’t resist. I have patient co-founders.
So I’m hypocritical, yes. Do what I say, not what I do.
Image: Vlue, shutterstock.com