I’ve had an amazing business journey but I have been prone to distraction…
If you’ve ever found yourself being distracted by new must-have technology, gadgets and opportunities, you may have succumbed too. Don’t worry, it’s a common entrepreneurial affliction!
My distractions have been related to business ventures, so I’ve named it Business Butterfly Syndrome (B.B.S).
Like many entrepreneurs I get a LOT of ideas and I’ve previously found myself being distracted by seemingly ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunities, or I’ve just had an amazing new business idea (or so I thought) and thought “Hell yeah, I can do that”. It put me in mind of being a business butterfly, flitting from one tempting idea to the next.
I’ve demonstrated my B.B.S below ⬇
My BBS Moments
As I wrote this, it struck me how much my business ventures have been like relationships. Some you look back on fondly, whereas others you wonder “what the hell was I thinking?”
Phoenix Trading – my first love
This was my first business, launched in 2008. Launched makes it sounds like it was a purposeful and planned but it wasn’t.
I set up a small direct selling business with Phoenix Trading (greeting cards and stationery) with less than £100 because gawd I love stationery and I knew I could easily retail from baskets of cards and brochures taken to my kids toddler groups.
I was the first Phoenix Trader to create a successful business online through blogging and social media.
Once Work for Mums become more successful, I scaled down the business.
Online Business Entrepreneur – An epic fail
This was my wonderful idea to create an online membership website in 2011.
I knew I could help people to get online, sell online and be successful online but I didn’t have the tools, ooomph and vision to make it happen.
I spent 6 months creating brilliant content for people, but I didn’t put it to market effectively. I built it, but they didn’t come.
As my business idol Alex Polizzi once said…
‘No time building a business is ever wasted, darling’
I know that it just wasn’t the right time for me to launch but it was a great learning experience.
Mother Hen Cards – It was a bit rocky
Reassured by the fact I could retail online, I set up an eCommerce website in 2012 selling cards with artwork by a popular UK artist, who had previously provided artwork for Phoenix.
It was plagued with problems, mainly due to a complicated website theme and when the artist started selling online herself, it slowly fizzled out.
Body by Vi – A summer fling
Attracted by B.B.S in 2013, this was an MLM opportunity that I was worried I would miss out on if I didn’t jump on board.
There were so many things I loved about it; fab products, slick branding and marketing materials…plus great earning potential.
However, it was quite an intense experience which coupled with trying to juggle everything else, meant it ended up being really stressful. I decided it wasn’t for me after about 10 months and resigned as a promoter.
Work for Mums – My steady relationship
Now one of the most successful jobs websites for mums in the UK, Work for Mums started out as a business blog in 2011.
Initially the site was created to blog about my Phoenix business but as I started to use social media more, I began to write tips and guides. Guest bloggers and companies started to get in touch about advertising opportunities and eventually as the shift moved away from Phoenix, people wanted to advertise their work from home opportunities.
Seeing the huge potential, I launched Work for Mums as a jobs and resource site in April 2013 and I’m really proud that thousands of mums visit the site every month.
Super Mums Business Club – Going with my gut
My idea to help women run a successful business had been planned since 2011 when I had my failed relationship with OBE.
It took me 4 years to pluck up the courage to try again.
Work for Mums was going well but I just had a niggling feeling I was destined for something else.
I’ll be honest, there was a few false starts as I faffed and fussed over the design and content and I had MAJOR WOBBLES but I eventually got it right.
Superstar Tribe – My true love
After seeing success with SMBC, I started to feel like I wanted to move away from super mums so I could be more inclusive. My members had always been called Superstars, so Superstar Tribe seemed like the obvious choice. I re-branded as ‘me’ with my tribe of Superstars in 2017.
BTW, this is not everything I’ve done! *hides face*. I’ve also had dalliances with 2 other direct sales companies, a drop shipping business and a few other online businesses which never quite came to fruition.
So how do you avoid this happening to you?
First up, I think many entrepreneurs try out lots of business ideas before they find their ‘thing’, so from that perspective, my journey doesn’t look quite so bad. They also experience a fair amount of failure along the way. Take J.K. Rowling, Arianna Huffington, Richard Branson and even Walt Disney – they all experienced failure before becoming successful.
The problem is working out whether your new idea/opportunity is a part of your journey, or whether it’s a distraction! Taking on these exciting new ventures distracts you from your core business and when you take your eyes off the prize, no one wins.
Here are my tips to help you avoid BBS:
- Are you just procrastinating? It could be that things are just a bit stale in your current business, or maybe you’re finding that to move forward with your business you have to challenge yourself and step out of your comfort zone. This certainly happened to me. Rather than address any challenges in my existing business, I found that new opportunities conveniently made their way into my field of vision. I was then able to start a shiny new business, rather than face those scary things head on.
- Don’t act out of fear. Have you got a fear of missing out? (F.O.M.O). This commonly occurs a lot in network marketing. A new opportunity comes along and it’s the best thing since sliced bread and everyone seems to be jumping ship. People are encouraging you to join, flattering you…telling you how great you’d be at it but you just HAVE to get in at the beginning. Don’t be pressured by F.O.M.O.[easy-tweet tweet=”One of the best ways to deal with the peer pressure of the #FOMO is to opt-out whenever possible” via=”no” hashtags=”DanaPerino”]
- Go with your gut. Intuitive decision making can work out and I’m a bit fan of listening to your gut, however you should always sleep on it and take time to think things through.
- Be a devils advocate. Ask yourself lots of questions about new opportunities presenting themselves, such as…Is it ‘too good to be true’? Do I have enough time, resources, energy, and money? Do I have incomplete goals that need to be finished before I start something new?
- Commit to the journey. Being an entrepreneur is really hard work. Don’t jump ship at the first new thing that comes your way. It takes grit to become successful.
- Do what you love. It’s what all the experts say and it’s true. You have to be doing something that you truly love or you’ll find that B.B.S will come up time and time again. It’s much easier to maintain focus when you’re doing something that makes you want to jump out of bed each day.
- Maybe it’s possible? You CAN run more than one business IF you have supportive networks in place – consider hiring a Virtual Assistant or outsource your workload so you can concentrate on running your business effectively.
There’s nothing wrong with loving innovation and reinvention. Just make sure you don’t lose focus on what’s most important for you, your business and your customers – Karen Greenstreet
I hope you enjoyed reading my business journey and tips to address Business Butterfly Syndrome. I’d love to know if you’ve ever experienced this – share your experiences below.