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Starting A New Venture: Staying Focused

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So much to do! So I’ve started rebuilding this site after a couple months hiatus and I feel as though I have the attention span of a goldfish. The hiatus was caused by feeling insecure about the idea and inability to stay focused. When starting a new venture, there are literally millions of options and it’s easy to get side tracked from your goals. That goal could be: adding content to your blog, creating an item to sell, coding your app, etc. Here’s what I do to stay focused.

Let Myself get Sidetracked

Alright, now this seems counterintuitive, but if the thing I’m working on is super interesting, then I let myself get sucked away with it for a little bit. Today, I couldn’t decide what theme I wanted for my site. I spent all day creating a “child theme” for my site and then ended up changing to a different theme at the end of the day anyway… But I’m still glad I did this. I learned more about CSS, which I’m sure will come in handy. Also, I’m pretty positive I’ll have to create a child theme again at some point, so it wasn’t exactly time wasted for me. Sometimes the connection isn’t as clear as this, but either way, it can be helpful to let yourself get sidetracked on other ideas that aren’t as relevant to building the meat/bones of your project.

Another benefit of letting myself get sidetracked is transferring the feeling of “being in the zone.” I’ve finished doing the child theme stuff that I’m not using, but I’ve also written a whole other blog post and started organizing my thoughts! Most of this energy is coming from the inertia of when I was working on the not as relevant child theme.

Make Interconnected Dynamic Lists

Now what the hell do I mean by that? Do you ever find that you make a list and you still don’t cross off items anyway? Yes?!?! Good me too. What I’ve found is that I don’t cross off items because I need to do other items first. So what I’ll do is create 3 lists.

  1. Long term or “master” list if you will. This has what I want to accomplish as an end goal.

– create kick ass website with a goal of having people more easily connect with others. The proxy of this will be selling t-shirts/blogging.

  1. Medium term list. This has some more immediate goals. After all, I can’t just will a website into existence… Unfortunately.
  • buy a host for website
  • put shirts up for sale
  • blog about different personal experiences
  • post once a month
  1. Immediate Goals List
  • Learn about different hosting options
  • Figure out domain name
  • Write up some phrases for the shirts
  • Figure out the colors
  • Figure out how to change t shirt colors in Photoshop
  • Take pictures for mock-up images
  • Take/find photos for blog posts before posting

This by all means is not a comprehensive list. Also, as I move along, I may move items down from medium term to immediate goals. For example, after I researched how to create a website and picked a domain name, I crossed those items off immediate goals and moved “buy host” from medium to immediate goals. If I just had “buy a host” for a goal, I would be stuck as I didn’t even think of a good domain name. Another example would be if I had my goal to as “create mock up images for shirts”. However, I can’t do this until I’ve finished my logo and taken/found pictures for the mock-up shirt. Another benefit of writing goals down is the realization that there really is a lot to do, so I won’t be as hard on myself for not having something done immediately.

Reassess Goals

After making all these lists and figuring out a million things you need to do in order to get one tiny thing accomplished, it’s easy to forget exactly what you’re working towards in the first place. This definitely happened to me for this site. If I really think about to when I first had this concept, it came from the idea of having shirts with phrases on it that would help foster community. I’m pretty much a sap and just want people to talk all day and for no one to be lonely or feel like “no one understands.” However, I’ve spent much of my time on the blog and not figuring out the shirts. It’s not a bad thing per say, as I have enjoyed writing. But I found myself having an identity crisis over how to organize the site and what to include in the blog. So I decided I would write down what I wanted this site to be and assess if what I’m currently doing is furthering that ideal.

Just do it

At the end of the day, you just need to get started and build up a habit of working on your venture. This can especially be hard if you have a full-time job, kids, responsibilities, etc. However, at the end of the day, you have to make the time for things if you want them.

How do you stay focused on meeting goals for your venture? Any tips/similar experiences?

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