This is a continuation of my article last week about going to the ER after my body gave out on me. If you haven’t read it, check it out here.
I’m a pretty neurotic person. I’m also a workaholic. I don’t mean that I work constantly, though I really do. I mean more that I always feel guilty about not working.
While this doesn’t always manifest in me working 20 hours a day, it does manifest in me taking on 1,000 projects at a time.
I think that I can write three books back to back to back and they will have the same quality as the one I spent a year writing.
I think that I can do seven podcast episodes a week with the same vigor that I do two. I expand myself to an insane degree with every new businessthat I undertake.
When I started Kickstarter University, I decided not to do one new video a month, but to do a new one every day, and to start with 50 episodes at launch. It’s no wonder that company failed in six months. I did 10 years of work on it in three weeks until it collapsed under the pressure.
That’s not good.
It’s really not good. And I find myself continuing with projects I only sort of like because one day I might love them. Heck, it happened with my latest book, and that book is AMAZING!
More often though, it leads to more projects than I can handle and certainly more than I can launch effectively.
So today, I want to beg you to focus on a couple of projects and do them really, really well. You will have a much better time working on them, and you will have time for a life.
Here are a couple of things I learned from hard experience about why it’s so important to focus on a couple things and take time to live.
You don’t have time to launch all these projects
You have to slate projects in over the course of a year, and build to them. It takes as much effort and energy to launch a little project as a big one, so you are better off focusing all your energy on a couple of big projects.
The rest of the year is just building scarsity and interest in you as a brand and your product as a whole.
Your fans need time to grow and recover from your launches
Your audience is not going to buy projects from you every three days or even three months.
Your audience needs to recover from your launch, catch their breath, and miss you. If you are always launching they don’t have time to realize how awesome your projects are and that they want more of your work.
If you are always there, you are never important. Think of that friend who moved away. How much more moving is that visit than when they lived down the street from you?
You need time to build a head of steam
Creating a podcast, building an audience, writing a book, or launching a product takes time, energy, and effort. Once you launch something it takes time to build it up. If you are constantly shifting focus to something else, nothing gets the energy it deserves.
More does not (necessarily) mean better
Apple puts out one phone model a year (well this year they did the SE and they had the plus too, but historically it’s one phone launch a year). They are the most recognizable brand in the world.
Android phones come out every other day, and aside from Samsung most don’t matter.
Sometimes more is better, but most of the time having one strong brand is better than having hundreds of small ones.
You’ll burn out, and be sent to hospital because your body can’t take it
That level of output is unsustainable. Trust me. I know. I have such a back catalog of books and projects that I created over the last few years I feel like I break down every other month. This time sent me to hospital, but mostly they just make me collapse in exhaustion.
I never really took into consideration my body or my health. I mean it’s always been there, but I never forewent money in exchange for health. That has to change. In the end, health is all we have.
Businesses are more than creating products
Look, I know we are all good at creating products. That’s why we are still doing it. Whether it’s art, or books, or software, the thing we do well is create the product. Unfortunately, product is a very small part of business. Business is about distribution, and expansion, and audience building, and all the other stuff that content creation allows us to do.
If we are always creating new content, there isn’t time to build that audience.
So there are some things I learned. I shout into the ether more for me than anybody. I hope I can look back at these posts in the future and take comfort in them. I hope you take comfort in them too.