The true mark of a progressive human being is one who is able to rise above challenges and come back with even more vigour to make a difference, to change the trajectory of their life and to simply do away with mindsets that did not yield the best returns.
With life’s unpredictability and the fast-paced environments we find ourselves in, we tend to want to do everything at once, to our detriment. I will give an example about my own journey into entrepreneurship. There was a time when I had three business concepts and I was running around like a headless chicken trying to get these concepts off the ground. You can imagine the stress and exhaustion that came from exploring these concepts and bringing them to life. It soon became evident that I was wearing myself too thin and I was not maximising on the potential of these businesses. This is not to say that one cannot run multiple businesses, but rather to point out that when you are first starting out, it is better to focus on one business until it is stable enough to hold its own and then the other ideas you had can be brought back to life. This of course, is a lesson I learned the hard way while I was deep in the trenches. I made the decision to pause one venture, let go of one completely (with lessons learned) and focus on one first.
Dormancy, or rather the concept of putting certain ideas on pause for resurrection at a later stage, comes (admittedly) after the realisation that you are doing too much at the same time and would benefit from focusing on one or two (at a stretch, three) things at a time. It comes with acknowledging that you have bitten more than you can chew and can thus relieve yourself of the pressure.
Making the decision to pause certain ideas and ventures is not one which should be perceived from a point of failure, but rather from a perspective of awareness.
What I mean by this is that your awareness about your current capabilities to execute optimally will help you make the right decision about what you are currently able to execute and what you can pause for a later stage. With that also comes the decision to let go of an idea completely because it wasn’t a good fit for you and you were not able to maximise on its potential fully. This does not equate to failure, but rather knowledge gained that not every idea is a good fit for you or your values. I often phrase that what others deem as failures, I deem as lessons. For me failure is equivalent to lessons learned. The fact that you boldly took the steps to execute where others couldn’t, already makes you an action-oriented person; this is a huge asset that will take you far in life and distinguish you from those who think and conceptualise but not take action.
I cannot emphasise enough how necessary it is to press pause on some of the activities that you have going on. At the heart of this is focus.
If you are doing too many things at the same time, you will overwork yourself and will not have the energy to fully be present to get the best possible outcome.
Let me make an example. Say your primary strength lies in words; you have identified that writing is a great skill that you could use to create an income stream while providing a much needed service in a content-driven world. So you then provide a writing service to clients; great, you’re good to go, great start. Then you come up with an idea to start a food business. You are enthused about this idea and you believe you can make it work. You start doing market research about it and you make some headway and start the process of registering your food business. Great, you’re good to go, you’ve got the necessary tools to get you started and you cannot wait to be a foodie service provider.
What we often fail to understand is that whatever decision you make has an impact in terms of time and resource allocation. The foodie will now find herself neglecting the writing business because she is spending too much time getting the food business off the ground and is now flailing. It gets even worse if she adds yet another business idea to it and ends up juggling way more than she can handle. At this point it becomes necessary to put some ideas on pause for review at a later time period. For instance, pausing the food business and concentrating on the writing business until it brings sufficient income that will help with getting the resources for the food business. In this way, you put all your energies into making your writing business a well-oiled machine. The fruits from that business will spill over and you can use some of the returns to then open the other business and then when that is fruitful, yet another…ad infinitum.
If the gist of this article is still not clear, the message is this; don’t focus on too many ventures at the same time, you will get burnt out. Focus on one venture, make it successful and then take the proceeds from that venture and revisit the concept you had for the venture and do things differently and with a different mindset.
The truth of the matter is that any endeavour we focus on requires our full presence and deserves our full focus. Half-baked endeavours do not bode well on you. In a nutshell, it is necessary for some of your ideas to be put on dormant mode and paused until such a time that you have the resources and capability to execute them fully and vigorously.
Don’t be afraid to press pause. Pause temporarily and press play at a time when you are ready to set things in motion again.