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BUSINESS PLANS

How can I follow through better on projects that I start?

Personal & Professional Growth mentor Jennifer Lawton offers advice for focusing on and sticking with the tasks at hand.
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Personal & Professional Growth mentor Jennifer Lawton responds to the following question from an inc.com user:
I own a home-based business. I have not yet been successful financiallybecause I thrive on creating, the change and challenge of it. I start a project, andas soon as I am well versed in it, I lose interest and take on another project.I know I have spread myself too thin and have too many irons in the fire. What advicecan you give to me?

Jennifer Lawton's response:
A lot of entrepreneurs have this issue; I think many of us have attention deficit disorder. When I was first in business, I found that I could take up lots of time doing things that didn't make a big impact on the business -- things like answering the phone, reading e-mail, sending letters, paying bills, or getting the mail. I also found that I loved to let a project linger until the last minute, then stay up all night to finish it. These are bad habits! I realized that they were bad habits and that I needed someone to take them away from me. So I got an assistant, thus freeing my time to focus on the business.

If you can afford it, you should get an assistant. Look for someone who is task oriented and loves to take on a lot of projects. Then hand off the execution to that person. It sounds like you enjoy theclassic CEO role (visionary) and need a COO type (implementation). That's OK -- in fact, you could potentially win more business if you focus on where the business is going and someone else deals with the here and now.

If you can't afford to get an assistant, you may want to think about moving the business to strategic consulting/front-end work, as opposed to execution.

I think you need to examine why you are not making money. Is it because you don't charge enough, don't have enough volume, or have too much overhead? You need to figure that out before you can really answer your question.

Copyright © 2000 inc.com LLC

Last updated: Nov 2, 2000




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