Put All My Eggs in One Basket?

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When I worked as an employee for three big organizations, I noticed a common strategy to earn more: assign multiple projects to one staff or team, all being carried out simultaneously. Often, my co-workers would complain and mention the need to hire more people to get the job done.  The targets may not be appropriate for our individual capacity.

The game plan has been:

“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket or you could lose everything.”

There are multiple sales initiatives which isn’t part of the plan set for the year.  We are banking on opportunities presented to us, without thinking if it these are sustainable.

Moreover, the testing phase happens through launching several income streams.  But it seemed prolonged because managers have a hard time cutting activities that generate less income to focus on high potential ones.  My opinion is that at some point, we should be able to determine which business to keep and grow, before creating another model to run.

Sorry if I’m using my entrepreneur tone for this article.  You may be used to the laid back and rested vibe here on my blog.  But getting too much work on our plates is a reality that women like me needs to face.  We all have jobs, and income sources in a way – and if we want to simplify our lives, this struggle of knowing whether to focus on one thing or not should be address.

I researched the quotation above about putting eggs in many baskets, and found two different versions from prominent men who believes in the opposite:

“Put all your eggs in one basket and then watch that basket.”

– Mark Twain

“Keep all your eggs in one basket, but watch that basket closely.”

– Warren Buffet

Come to think of it, laser focused energy to one initiative that has been proven to generate great results could be worth pursuing.  Richard Branson on a blog for entrepreneur.com agrees:

“Focus your time and energy on one business, learn the ropes, then expand – you’ll thank yourself later.”

Guess what,  I adopted the system ingrained on me while I’m still part of a company even now that I became an entrepreneur: do many things all at the same time.  I’ve been wired to multi-task as a stellar employee.  I can’t rest when there is an unchecked item on my to-do list.  And as an event organizer, I’m used to juggling simultaneous projects.

Earlier this week, my boyfriend told me that even if I’m no longer employed, I’m being a hard boss to myself.  I can now choose to keep my work at a minimum.  Give myself more time for break. Run only a few business.

Should I follow this strategy?  How can I simplify things in my work life when I researched on and found more articles suggesting that performing multiple projects is a good strategy?

If we do not micromanage and have the ability to delegate, we can do multiple projects at once.  Technology, realistic planning and effective communication helps.

You can build every successive business faster than the one before.

Running multiple projects speeds up results.

Maybe the problem is not the many projects I’m working on, but how I deal with it.

People have different opinions – one suggesting focus, and one encouraging doing more.  I realized that by now I should make up my mind about my my own.  Doing so will help me become at peace with myself and move forward with a conviction about work this 2017.

Should simplicity mean choosing only one business project?  Again, how do we reconcile this mess?

A new idea about productivity linked to happiness called “flow” came about from a speech rendered by the founder of mindvalley.com Vishien Lakhianni.  Vishien emphasized that productivity is tied with happiness.  We get stressed whenever we set big goals for the future but feel unhappy about the present. We can get any job done if we are happy in the present while being hopeful of what’s ahead.    [watch video here] 

“You must have goals.  But your happiness should not be ties with your goals. If your happiness isn’t there, your impact is lost.”

– Vishien Lakhianni

Being happy with our job or business is a gift.  Whenever we are working on a project that we are passionate about, the thought that “I’m doing too much” will not even cross our minds.  We are at peace and relaxed (“in the flow”) in carrying our our tasks.

And if you are being unhappy and overburdened, it can be a signal that you need to cut down tasks.  Focus on performing the things that makes you happy – it tells whether it’s worth it or not.

Difficult tasks can be happy tasks if you learn how to condition your mind and understand its value.  Not all seemingly pleasant tasks are happy tasks, again this depends on your personal value. – Flaring Felicity

For example, writing and checking students’ works can be daunting tasks for some.  But since I love writing and teaching, doing this extra mile to my seminars makes me happy. Even if I don’t earn from it.  Accepting jobs and goals need a sort of “value check” from our end.  You should be able to answer how performing it means to you on a personal level.

How do I know if my workload is enough?

The last year ended with about 9 personal business ideas on my plate (whew!), two of these are in conceptualization phase.  I reflected and became honest to myself with regards to how much I can take in, then eliminated four.  Plus, in each of the remaining businesses, I’ve set only realistic goals and postponed expansion plans two or three years from now.

After I resigned from my last full time job to focus on my personal goals, I received three invitations from companies too.  I checked if joining any would make me happy, then had to say no, no, no.  Believe me, it took me some courage to do this.

In a day, I balance small and large chunks of work on my to do list.  Most of the time, only three tasks are doable (sometimes I have 7 or 10 tasks and get frustrated at the end of the day when I can’t accomplish them).  I also make sure to insert an activity that I love (like blogging at the start or the end of the day) to keep myself in a happy and grateful state.

So where will you put your eggs now?

 

Today is an aha moment for me.  And I pray that I’ll be able to practice this principle I learned from over the years.  This realization may be for me, but I encourage you to think of your view regarding this matter.  Here it is, ladies:

I have two hands, and I can only manage two baskets at once.  The one basket has big eggs (a business or job that has bigger returns but needs longer time for reaping); the other basket has small eggs (smaller income and easy returns).

I may have multiple projects but these are spread out on my calendar for me to be able to supervise one or two at a time.

What’s your work strategy for 2017?

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