The funny thing about having a lifestyle business is that you have to actually do the work that gives you the lifestyle. One of the things I love about Failed Normal is that I can do it from anywhere. The problem is making sure I do what needs to be done.
Right now I’m sitting in a gorgeous camp in the Adirondacks. A number of my wife’s friends have come up to stay with us. I cooked a tasty meal that everyone enjoyed, and it’s been a very good and busy day. The issue is that I’ve done everything in the world other than write a blog post. I hiked 3 miles in the morning. I helped clean up the camp to get it ready. I baked a batch of cookies. I cooked an enormous amount of chili, and made sine surprisingly good vegan cornbread. I really feel like it’s been a busy day, and frankly I’m ready to turn in. Sadly until this very moment I did no writing.
A blog post takes me between 30-60 minutes. Logically you’d think it would be very easy to find a bit of time to knock that out without any worry. The issue with having a lifestyle type business is that too often you end up burning all of your energy on the lifestyle, and then end up putting off the work until tomorrow. Tomorrow comes, adventure awaits, and the work is put off for another day. Rinse and repeat this cycle until you have a lifestyle that is unsustainable because your business is dead.
This is an issue I see with many entrepreneurs. They get so involved with living the startup life they forget to ship any product. You do it for a day or two and you’ll just get a bit behind the ball. When 2 days turns into 3, and then into a week you risk any claims to actually running a business.
I’m typing this right now even when I feel disgusting. My cloths are sweaty. I have mosquito bites in places I can’t reach. I’m tired. I’m cranky. I want to curl up with my bed time tea, a chihuahua and watch an episode of Brooklyn 9 9. I don’t want to be writing…
I’m writing this post because the value proposition of Failed Normal is a new post more or less every day. People pay for ideas, motivation, and random kicks in the butt. The product I ship is content. To be a content creator I therefore have to publish content. It doesn’t have to always be my best work. I don’t always have to drop mind bending ideas. I do have to say something that’s worth a few minutes of your time.
So the kick in the butt for you today is to ask what product have you shipped? Have you shipped product today, or have you simply meant to ship product? All the good intentions, excuses, and random activities in the world do not equal a product being shipped.
So before you go to bed tonight you owe me one shipped product. At the very least one thing you can point at and say you can bill a client for the work. Because if you can go to bed tonight without shipping anything and sleep well, then tomorrow you’re likely to do the same, and then the day after. I know I can be a hard ass sometimes, but just ask yourself the question, “How many days can you go without doing billable work, and still call yourself an entrepreneur?”
With that I’m going to go and take a long hot shower. This may not be the best post I’ve ever written, but it’s a post, and for today that’s good enough.