I just finished watching the interview with Gary Vaynerchuk over on Obsessedtv.com. Gary is a wizard in building brands and using the power of social networking to promote both himself and his businesses. Everybody knows this about Gary, nothing new there.
While I was watching this video there was one topic which struck me as massively important for anybody starting a business out there (around 14:90). Be honest with yourself. Gary talks about being honest with who you are in business and knowing what you are good at. This advice is HUGE, and I would like to throw my two cents in on the topic of honesty and how I apply it to my business life.
Currently I am involved in a handful of different startups here in Burlington, Ontario. Anybody who has started a company knows the amount of time and effort involved, let alone starting more than one concurrently. I didn’t plan on being involved in this much all at the same time but when the opportunities presented themselves I decided to jump on it. I had to be honest with who I am and what my limits were, but I also had to figure out a way to organize and structure my days to get maximum output for each project.
Prioritize your task list in a brutally honest way. If something isn’t going to get you the same amount of return for your time (and money) as the next thing, then let that task fall to the bottom. I don’t care how much you love your job or what you do, we all have parts of our days that we don’t enjoy and sometimes it’s difficult to take the “fun” stuff and move it to the bottom of the pile. I still struggle with this. I’d rather be writing code than working with my partner on marketing strategy, but you have to be honest with what is more important for your given short, medium, and long term goals for the business.
Take an honest, objective look when you think it might be time to cut bait and stop fishing. If a particular item is starting to give you the impression that it isn’t worth it, whether for your own happiness or for the business’ growth you need to look at that item in a sickly honest fashion and make tough decisions. This one is tough. When you start a business / task and sink massive amounts of time into it the last thing you want to do is scrap it entirely and move on to the next thing. It’s your baby, your passion, your life…but sometimes this is necessary.