What entrepreneurs don’t like to admit

The hardest part of our work is not the making money part — it’s the focus part.

I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but ideas are a dime a dozen, it’s the execution that matters.

It’s so easy right? Then you realize there’s the entrepreneurial bug that drove us here in the first place. There’s something inside us that constantly wants us to create. 

Well that’s great, until it’s not. Here’s why…

Chasing shiny objects

I had 5 calls this week with hopeful entrepreneurs.

They pitched me their idea, showed me their “design” and how their million dollar idea would change the lives of thousands. I was happy to see that all of them had the passion to embark on this journey. Elated to launch their product to the proverbial shelves they couldn’t stop talking about all of the awesome new features they were planning. You wouldn’t be wrong by admitting it’s an amazing time to build something.

But that’s just it, we’re obsessed with building.

It’s what we do. It’s in our DNA.

We see these features as shiny objects and we chase them. “Ah that’s awesome!” you might think. You start searching Google for what already exists, excited to only find 1.7m results for the keyword.

“I’ve got this!” — you start creating.

Ideas, sketches, flow charts and the occasional prototype. You need to get that MVP out the door before the next gal does. All the while you’re leaving your existing product behind. You’re no longer staying true to it’s mission and the purpose it serves.

You’re not being fair.

The last mile is the hardest

If you hired me to consult with you, I’d tell you this time and time again. The last mile is the hardest.

[Tweet “The last mile is the hardest.”]

The first 90% is easy:

  • Define the market
  • Solve the problem
  • Ask  yourself, “Am I passionate about this?”
  • Build your prototype
  • Market & promotion
  • Test

And then that last 10% comes into play. You get bored, you want to create again!

Now is the time to be disciplined. 

This is the hard work and this defines the entrepreneur.

Can you stay focused to see the product through or are you going to chase more shiny objects?

Tell me how you stay on point in the comments. Like what I’m doing here? Subscribe to my newsletter.






6 responses to “What entrepreneurs don’t like to admit”

  1. Thanks for the info. I am going to stay true to my project and not loose track chasing other shiny objects!

    1. Good luck Karen!

  2. There’s a similar discussion going on right now in the StackExchange Freelancing Beta forum. http://freelancing.stackexchange.com/questions/1047/how-can-i-discipline-myself-as-a-freelancer Maybe a trending topic? Good to know there are others dealing with focus, discipline, and perseverance.

    1. Thanks for the link.

      The solopreneur’s journey can be a tough one, especially when we live it out in our mind. Keep up the hard work — that last mile.

  3. Thanks for defining this differently. I always called it self-diagnosed ADD 🙂

    Have you noticed in your interviews that those who finished the last mile do NOT have a history of unfinished projects? Or they happened on one that they enjoyed enough to finish through?

    Or… They discovered something that allows continuous building and creation instead of a final product?

    1. Tony,

      That’s a great question.

      I think that for many of them, they have started something and were conscious of pivoting into a better direction or killing it off completely.

      Two guests that come to mind are Brian Clark of Copyblogger and Thomas Griffin, I’ve pasted the links below.


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