Putting together the puzzle pieces of your career or business
“How does this all fit together?”
This may very well be one of the most important questions you’ll ever ask yourself, especially if you find yourself doing a lot of things in your career or business.
Having an Offer That Converts
As my coach James Schramko says, the most important thing to focus on as a business owner is creating an offer that converts.
This isn’t to say you can’t begin building an audience that you can sell to later. But what if your product idea flops? What if no one wants it when you finally launch it? Then, you don’t have a business — you just have a blog or a website!
It’s possible to create a six-figure business and beyond if you have a single offer that converts.
The Dangers of Single-Source Dependence
I think James would also agree that single-source dependence is not a good thing. There are many reasons you can end up losing the revenue source you’ve worked so hard to create. Your product could become outdated. The market could get saturated.
Or, if you’re relying on an affiliate to pay out commissions, they could end up pulling the plug on that program.
You can build one pipeline, but why stop there? If you can build one, most certainly you can build another. You can mitigate risk by building many pipelines.
Having a Focus
This also speaks to the importance of having a focus.
Realistically, I think most of us can only juggle two or three projects at a time. So, it is much easier to create additional revenue streams when you’ve successfully put one on virtual autopilot.
Over time, I’ve come to understand more about myself and how I work. Focusing on just one thing sounds incredible, but I’ve come to realize it’s not reflective of how I’m wired.
I’ve certainly limited my focus, especially as time has become more of a commodity in my life.
But I still have many projects. If I’m being honest with myself, this probably isn’t about to change. There’s a good chance I will continue down the same path, because it has helped me create many revenue streams, and has also brought me considerable fulfillment.
That’s why this question is so important:
How does this all fit together?
Creating What People Have Asked For
Former CD Baby founder Derek Sivers says you shouldn’t create a business people haven’t asked for. I think he’s somewhat idealistic in saying that, but his point is well taken. Why spend hours, days, weeks, months, or even years of your life creating something no one wants or sees value in?
This also goes back to what I said earlier about creating an offer that converts.
I used to think I wasn’t creating anything people were asking for and that made me feel bad about my business. I realize now I just wasn’t seeing the forest for the trees.
In an ideal world, The Music Entrepreneur HQ would make up 100% of my revenue, and that is something I’m working towards. And while it does generate some revenue, to this point it has served a bit of a different purpose.
What The Music Entrepreneur HQ has done for me is help me build authority and credibility in my industry. People see me as being reliable and responsible because they see all the hard work and determination that goes into building an online business like that.
It has also helped me build worthwhile connections. And, some of those connections have led to great paying opportunities too.
In the last few years, people have come to me to help them with their advertising, content, social media, website, and so on.
So, when I reframe my perspective on the issue, I can see that there is demand for my work. People are asking for it.
Down a Different Road
The point is that you may go down a specific path expecting things to turn out one way, only to find yourself on another path you didn’t plan to go down. Even if it’s not what you expected, it’s still a blessing when viewed from the right perspective.
So, I continue to ask myself — how does this all fit together?
I’m making music, performing, creating content, developing websites, speaking, coaching, working as a tech or host at different events, organizing and executing marketing campaigns, and more.
Looking for the Connections
I could look at all of that and go, “that’s too much. I shouldn’t spread myself so thin.”
Or, I could figure out how to streamline my processes, systematize my procedures, delegate and automate tasks, and so on.
It’s also about looking at how one project complements another. At first glance, playing music has nothing to do with being a tech or host at local events. But when I’m at these events, sometimes I’m presenting or performing music. So, they are more closely linked than one might think.
When I’m creating content, I’m not focused on making music. Yet, music perfectly complements a lot of multimedia content, especially audio and video.
I’m not trying to downplay what is clearly a complicated issue. I believe what I’m doing could mostly fall under the umbrella of digital marketing. But even in that realm, people tend to specialize and focus on one thing. Because I’m doing many things, it could take longer to streamline, systematize, delegate or automate. And, you may be in the same position.
Is that a blessing or a curse? Again, I choose to look at it as a blessing, and I hope you do too.
It’s a privilege and honor that I get to do so many things. What they say about variety is true — it is the spice of life!
Additionally, the skills I learn in one area can help me in other areas. That’s the very basis of creative alchemy, an idea I’ve been spreading for about a year now.
So, if you find yourself doing things you never expected to be doing, if your revenue isn’t coming from where you expected it to come from, if life is taking you in a different direction than you originally thought it would, don’t be discouraged. You may have stumbled upon an incredible opportunity. But first, that opportunity may need to be recognized as such.
After all, it doesn’t make sense to complain about not having the success you want when it’s staring back at you. But it may look different than expected.
In closing, here are a few questions worth asking yourself if you’re trying to determine how everything you do fits together:
- What is the commonality between the various tasks and responsibilities I have?
- How can I take the skills and experiences I’ve gained in one area and apply them to another?
- If I were to build a team to handle the various tasks I need completed, what specific roles would I create?
- What repetitive tasks do I find myself doing all the time? Could I automate some of these tasks? Could I create checklists for them? Could those checklists be handed off to an employee or team member, so they can handle those tasks for me?
- What do I want my future to look like? Do I still want to be doing everything I’m doing today a year from now, or would I prefer having others help me with my career or business?
- If I already have a working model, could I see myself building another pipeline? Could I repeat the success I’ve already created?