The Multi-Business Myth – Are You Juggling Too Many Businesses?

I often see ladies who are really proud that they are building 2 or 3 businesses.

And my heart sinks.

Because I know exactly how they are thinking…

  • They are spotting money-making opportunities around every corner.
  • They see a friend with an MLM business and decide to add it onto their current business because they love it.
  • Then they decide that their current business is missing a trick because they are seeing people in their Facebook group asking for stuff that they could be doing, but aren’t currently offering.

And before you know it, you’re trying to promote and build 3 different businesses to 3 different client groups. And none of them are really working.

And then they wonder why they are busy to the point of exhausted and yet still broke.

There are a couple of things going on here.

The first is that my Club ladies are all entrepreneurs, just like you.

Entrepreneurs love to start things. They love the thrill of the new. They spot money-making opportunities around every corner. They can’t say no to a good deal. But they also get bored quite quickly if things need more work than they anticipated or if it’s all taking a bit too long. Is this sounding familiar? Hmmm. I call it ‘Bright Shiny Object’ syndrome.

The other thing that’s going on is that they think ‘More Businesses’ = ‘More Money’.

However what I see is ‘More Businesses’ = ‘Diluted Focus’= ‘Less Money’.

I know from experience that when I spread my attention over more than one business, especially if they are in different sectors, then something has to give. I can’t put my attention in more than one area at once. And I also want to fit in quality family time.

Remember ‘Where you place your attention, is where the magic happens.’

This might sound like a trite saying but it’s true. 100% true.

When I had 3 businesses they were draining me. I didn’t have the mental bandwidth to be able to give any one of them the attention they needed and as a result I was always playing catch up and doing half a job with them, which made me feel guilty.

My decision was to drop two of my businesses – not because they weren’t profitable, but because my heart wasn’t in them. My heart is in The Girls Mean Business and it’s a good job, because I put a lot of energy into it and I intend to do so for a good time to come.

So, you’re not going to like what I have to say, but if you want to make a really good living from your business, focus on your business. On ONE business. The best business. How will you know which one?

  • The one that’s got the best chance of making money.
  • The one that already has customers buying from it.
  • The one you LOVE to work in.
  • The one where you’re not doing the follow up.
  • The one where you’re not getting repeat sales even though your customers love what you do
  • The one where you’re missing out on opportunities because you’re only giving it a third of your attention.

Yes, that one.

When I put all my focus and attention on The Girls Mean Business I went from earning 30-40k to earning over 100K in a year. Because I gave it my all. I put all my other stuff away. I stopped hedging my bets. I put all my betting chips on my favourite business. And wowser, did it pay off!

It doesn’t mean I can’t do ‘new’. I still do ‘new’ all the time but I do it under my Girls Mean Business brand.

So I challenge you to park those businesses that aren’t your ‘best’ business. Park them for 3 months, or even better, 6 months and focus all your energy and attention on your BEST business. And see what happens. I predict the magic will start to happen. It always does.

Off you go!

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13 Comments

  1. Rebecca Claxton

    I most definitely have ‘Bright Shiny Object’ syndrome! 😉

    Reply
  2. Sherry Tyson

    I can see where you are coming from. It is hard if you are ‘multipassionate’ to cut back to one business, but as Marie Forleo says, build the first and then add the others once that has become successful. There’s no way I can quit all my ideas. I know I would regret it!

    Reply
    • Claire Mitchell

      Hi Sherry! I thought I’d feel the same way but once my main ‘best’ business took off, I was actually happy to let the others go as they were distractions 🙂 x

      Reply
  3. Amanda Alexander

    Claire, this is brilliant brilliant brilliant!!!! Over the years of my business, I have been distracted by bright shiny object syndrome all too often! You’re a breath of fresh air – I ALWAYS love your common sense, tell-it-how-it-is directness. Thank you for being you.. keep up the great work!

    Reply
    • Claire Mitchell

      Thanks Amanda – I know it’s probably not what most of us want to hear about our business ‘babies’ but it works! 🙂

      Reply
  4. Lisa Gasgarth

    Thank you so much for this post Claire, you really have confirmed the very thing I have been worried about for a little while now. You make a great deal of sense and I’m going to put your advice into practice immediately. With any luck doing so will only benefit my most important business in the long run! x

    Reply
  5. Nikki Hartley

    Really fascinating and very timely! Thanks for a great article, as always!

    I was discussing this with a fabulous networking friend yesterday. She gave me this EXACT advice! I could listen to her all day!

    Reply
  6. Joanna Oliver

    Hi there Claire

    Thanks for this….very interesting and looking forward to receiving your weekly newsletters. This blog is extremely timely for me right now. I was freelance for a few years before going back into employment and fine tuning more skills. I have recently launched my brand, which is a multiplicit brand called ‘ConsultAChameleon’. It has a few diverse strands to it, which in my perception are all connected…do you think this falls under a version of your ‘doing new but under the brand’. One thing I know is that the diversity is not about chasing money but IS about me wanting to utilise what is in my hands to develop self direction, more time with my family and also financial freedom. Do you have any thoughts on this please? Thanks again 🙂

    Reply
  7. Andy from Workshopshed

    That ‘Bright Shiny Object’ syndrome applies to lots of things. I get it a bit with projects

    Reply
  8. Natasha

    Perfect timing! I’ve been distracted by so many different avenues to my business I need to just focus on the main ones. Thanks Claire! X

    Reply
  9. Tee

    Great post as always. This is something I must take on board in the coming months. Thanks Claire x

    Reply
  10. Victoria Withy

    As relevant today as it was when you posted it in 2014 Claire!
    Got me thinking!

    Reply

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