In a world where everything seems to be about rushing, rushing to be first to market, the next great tech company, overnight success, or whatever it may be, it can be easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. That true success takes time, hard work, commitment, and the ability to pace yourself.
Having spoken about getting your product or service out into the world as quickly as you can in my previous post – Is The Pursuit Of Perfection Holding You Back? it may seem contradictory to now talk about the need to pace yourself. But the two go hand-in-hand in helping you to progress. It is about finding a balance between getting your product or service to market quickly enough so as not to lose momentum, but not to constantly push products out before you have a chance to see what is working and what is not. At the beginning of starting your new venture, you will have so many ideas rushing through your head it can be tempting to run before you can walk. But you would be wise to heed the saying ‘slow and steady wins the race’.
When you first start a new venture you will be bubbling over with enthusiasm and energy to see your vision come to life. You could call this the honeymoon period. The realities have not yet set in. And it is therefore very easy to want to achieve everything as quickly as possible, to get all those ideas out before you forget. But rushing to get products out before you are really ready can hurt rather than help your business, and is why you need to pace yourself.
Pacing yourself is about understanding your capabilities at the present moment in time. This does not mean you should hold back from releasing your product(s) or service(s), it just means taking the time to evaluate the performance of your existing product(s) or service(s) to help you better tailor your next offerings. It is far better to focus on getting one or two core products or services to market quickly and refining them to meet customer demands, than trying to maintain five or six products or services that you cannot give your full attention to. Launching too many products or services simultaneously can overwhelm [You] and confuse [Your Audience]. You could end up juggling and promising too much resulting in you failing to deliver and thereby hurting your business.
Almost every successful business started off with one core product, usually developed over several years before other products or service offerings were added. In tech Google and Facebook are prime examples, for bloggers it could be a flagship course or store. Retailers may have a slightly different experience, but even their core offerings tend to focus on a specific area by offering a group of related products before branching out into other segments. If you find yourself getting into the habit of churning out product(s) or service(s) you will have fallen victim to ‘shiny object syndrome’, a term for chasing after every new idea that catches your fancy.
In talking about pacing yourself I am not saying spend all your time and attention developing a project especially if it is not working. For that, you need to know when to stick and when to quit, but that is a subject for another post.
In other words don’t run before you can walk, take it one step at a time to get the foundations of your business right first before looking to scale up.