Oct. 28, 2010
Total Distance for today: 0
Total Distance for Trip: approx. 233 miles
STATUS: in Baltimore, arranging opportunities ahead – AND SUCCEEDING!
I have ADD, seriously! Like so many entrepreneurs, I exhibit a pattern of extreme enthusiasm for new projects, but that enthusiasm can be quick to wear off, as other projects begin to look tantalizing. Last night, I was fortunate enough to have a chance to talk to my favorite author, Tim Ferriss, author of New York Times best seller: The 4 Hour Work Week. I pretty much consider Ferriss’ book required reading for any entrepreneur, business person, or person who generally wants to improve their life.
Anyway, I was listening in to a live teleseminar and thinking about my entrepreneurial ADD problem, when they opened it up to Q&A. I pushed the button on the phone, but I didn’t hear anything happen. So I typed my question in the form on the live web-cast I was also logged into. It turns out that it did register when I hit the button, and the co-host thought my question must be rather pressing, if I typed it and tried to ask it via. phone; he put me on.
I was kind of in shock, but I was able to do something like articulate my question ;-), and Tim proposed two possible solutions to my problem:
1) Find a way to capitalize on my short but intense attention span by getting involved with projects that don’t last very long.
2) Still involve myself with longer-term projects, but supplement those projects with non-business-related other pursuits that will provide the variety I need in my life. For example: to fulfill my need for social variety, I could focus on learning a new language every 3-6 months (ask me how, if curious!). For physical variety, I could focus on learning some new sport (perhaps martial arts?) every 3-6 months.
In general, he was getting at the idea that “entrepreneurial ADD” is most likely a symptom of a need for considerable variety and frequent change in my life. What’s interesting is that I don’t need to fulfill that need for constant change through business. It can be satisfied elsewhere, which will allow me to stay focused on bigger long term business projects that will amount to more in the end.
Obviously, I’ve given more attention to Tim’s second idea than his first, and that’s because it seems to be the more effective solution for me. I’m involved with projects right now that will need considerable time to reach maturity, and it makes no sense for me to be jumping all over the place with too many new business projects, when my attention and enthusiasm is needed for the bigger projects.
Solution: Smart Introduction of Variety
For most of us, it doesn’t make sense to allow our business attention to jump between too many projects, as we are very ineffective when our attention is that divided. We should seek variety in our lives outside of “work.” That said, it requires considerable discipline to train ourselves to pull ourselves away from our business interests enough to find that outside variety that we need. Business is just one part of life; we should treat other parts of our lives as if they are just as important, because they are!