How many projects do you need?Roger Quinn ▼ | October 17, 2008
Some people are multitasking machines: They think about several things at once, doing many things at the same time. Since the Homo sapiens is not a multitasking creature the question is: When to stop? How to decide that there are too much projects on your back?
Everything is easy when you have one job with clearly defined responsibilities, easy-going and not stressful. But that's boring, isn't it? That's the reason for establishing our own company and doing what we want, when we want, and the way we want it to be done.
If we survive the very first months and our small business starts to look like the real company, we need something more. It is in the nature of the entrepreneur: always more and always better. Then we start a new project, maybe several at once, and we start to work more and more. After some time it's not enough anymore and we are on the way to establishing a new company.
Our focus shifts to the new firm where everything starts again. However, a new idea comes to mind and we are on our way to a new project or another new company. So, when do we stop? The common sense would say it's time to slow down when we aren't able to control all projects and/or companies. And in this case the common sense is right.
It is easy to fall in a trap of new projects and new profit. However, there is a limited amount of information that we can hold and process in our heads. If we own numerous companies and have CEO in every one of them, we still must process all the information about each and every one. Maybe we can think about one, maybe five or ten projects at the same time - the number is different for every one of us but it's limited. There is a point after which we lose control.
The rule of thumb would be: Stop when the usual job is not done right. When you notice that one of your projects isn't going well, and it was live and well until recently, it's time to think about it. Maybe you pushed too hard in which case you need to slow down. You don't need ten companies to be a successful businessman. Make it two and make it well. ■