As graduates, experts or enthusiasts seeking to establish ourselves in our particular chosen fields, it can get very easy to meander so far off the path sometimes that we often lose the essence of why exactly we set out in the first place. For a budding “Money Guy”, since the end goal is to make money (and preferably to make that money passively while sleeping), the many different ways through which to make it can become a bit overwhelming.
The prospect of some software to use in the automation and streamlining of a rather arduous contact management system across several ventures, for instance, can be fascinating to the point you can find yourself dedicating your time and efforts passionately to a mirage at the expense of more fruitful objectives.
The point is to focus on one’s core business and learn to judge quick-win follies for what they are, which comes with experience. Sidestepping into consulting, into new software ventures, and cash-generating schemes are some of the typical distractions of the entrepreneurial journey. In each case, there is an investment involved, whether that is in licenses and protecting intellectual property or purchasing domains and hosting.
Operating as a little side-business can be exciting and potentially rewarding, but any and all businesses demand your time and attention. Word-of-mouth referrals can result in your little consultation side-business taking up a whole lot of your time. Many of those demands will come in the form of clients offloading their own tedious tasks onto you; as though you were the automation software that can make the decisions, build the appropriate solutions and magically drum up business without their involvement – but then they reap the rewards. Consultants typically earn a lot more than employed staff as they purportedly have the knowledge, experience and contacts to effectively fulfil that role.
Having tested your skills in a consultant capacity, as many of us do, you will probably come to resent the time you are wasting on working towards the aspirations of others while not having quite the capital to develop your own. Explore what funding options are available to you, whether that’s through angel investment, venture capital loans or discussing equity release leads with a financial adviser.
The lesson is somewhat of a compound one: the one aspect demonstrating that sometimes the road of opportunity will lead you to a place of plenty that you never anticipated even existed; the other being that if you want to reach your ultimate goal, not every opportunity along the way has to be pursued. Software is useful across most ventures, but don’t lose perspective; and allocating someone to handle your little side-businesses and the time consuming tasks of building your personal empire is indispensable. You may take consolation in the fact that you are helping out fellow hustlers in your network, and rely on the great rates they are paying you for your time. Avoid remaining stuck in that rut, though. Find a way to employ someone to run those side operations for you and still benefit from the opportunities that fall into your lap. Make progress.