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Entrepreneurial ADHD

March 5th, 2010 by Bob Bly

Do you have a dozen different projects going on all at once?

According to MaryEllen Tribby, that may be an awful mistake.

Example: An entrepreneur is selling health information. Her first product is a special report on vitamin C.

Then she reads something interesting about vitamin D. And starts to write a vitamin D report, too.

Before you know it, she has four or five information products in various stages of completion.

You know how much money a project in progress makes you? Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zero. Zip.

MaryEllen says it?s far better than to start and finish one project, and get it out into the marketplace.

That way, you can start earning revenues that fund the development of project number two while keeping your cash flow positive.

How about you? Are you good at completing and launching products and projects? Or do you just keep starting more and more without ever finishing any of them?


This entry was posted on Friday, March 5th, 2010 at 10:21 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

71 responses about “Entrepreneurial ADHD”

  1. William Reynolds said:

    Another advantage of the “one thing at a time” approach is the brand recognition factor. “A report on Vitamin D…Ah, it’s by the lady who put out that Vitamin C report I liked so much.” If those five products all come out at once, none of them has the chance to pave the way for the next one and build buzz about its author.

  2. Lou said:

    Here’s a very fine article on the myth of multitasking written by Christine Rosen.

  3. I.A. said:

    I find this problem very agonizing too…

    Especially the part where the project gets an “unfinished” status, the deadline is passed and the income generated is zero.

    That’s what it used to be for about a year… 2010 is a little bit different.

    I finally got my Quit Smoking squeeze page up along with about 20 articles and 10 videos and got them all posted into directories… and finally know how much the squeeze page is converting at… 10.0% (off articles and video traffic – posted with help from assistants)

    Also, I’ve finally got my direct mail promo out to local businesses too… got about 20% response from the lead gen. So I know there’s demand for the service which I’m providing… BEFORE creating the service lol! (I used to do the reverse, spend months creating the product and then having a wait and see if anyone buys strategy) – update, just about 1/3 ways through the salesletter for the new service…

    AND – Finally contacted the big boy companies, who advertise half page ads, full page ads, there are 15 big boys on my list and I want to make them my clients, I’ve already contacted 10 before hand to ask first if they would be interested…all said YES… then…created video presentations for them….

    All this thanks to.. “DO ONE THING FIRST, THEN MOVE TO ANOTHER”.

    I’m going to combine this with “…STICK WITH ONE THAT’S SUCCESSFUL… AND DON’T HAVE A.D.D. ABOUT IT”


    P.S.: I’m using your “Magnetic Selling” book as a guide when I’m creating the presentations… Thanks Bob

  4. Fiona Fell said:

    I have ‘service ADHD’; always creating new services, sometime before finishing the last.

    I must take a look at my current load of personal/products and get them to market before taking another item from my ‘ideas list’ and adding it to the ‘doing’ list.

    See if I can sue that to make more money and get to some of my goals faster.

  5. Govind said:

    Hi Bob,

    I know what MaryEllen means—and there’s something there for sure—but perhaps simultaneous projects only become unproductive when you cross a certain number?

    Until you reach that point, multiple projects actually make things go *faster*. I believe (the phenomenally prolific) Isaac Asimov said he doesn’t face writer’s block because every time he gets bored of one project he switches to another that engagaes a different facet of his mind. Plus, most of us couldn’t work on one prject at a time even if we wanted to 🙁

  6. Jodi Kaplan said:

    A couple of good ways to get stuff done:

    –Pick the thing that’s giving you the most trouble and do that first

    –Set a public deadline and announce it. I will “ship” on XX date! Get a friend or colleague to hold you to it.

  7. Mele said:

    Bob, I LOVE this post and so needed to hear it.

    There are two reasons I personally behave this way: 1) Lack of confidence, Or
    2) Lack of capital to fund the initial idea.

    I usually get over #1 pretty quickly by just doing it, failing at it, and then learning from my mistakes and moving on.

    But sometimes, my ideas are just too big for my pocketbook at the time (at least if I want to launch it properly). That’s why the idea that income generated from Project One can fund Project Two is MORE than practical.

    @I.A.: Congratulations! It sounds like you’re doing great. You’re an inspiration to say the least.

    Thanks, Bob!

  8. Codrut Turcanu said:

    I’m actually god at the opposite – starting too many projects [as I’m flooded with ideas] and finishing almost none that bring positive cash flow

    How do you do since you have hundreds of little reports out there?

  9. I.A. said:

    Thanks for the kind words Mele…

    I would like to know how Bob Bly does what he does too… I mean 77 books!!


    I’ve read that you really LOVE writing and that you’ve got just one assistant…

    And that you work on multiple projects at the same time…

    Could you share with us your basic schedule Bob? How do you DO so much?

  10. Zama Zincume said:

    MaryEllen is quite right. For good planning I have to complete the project at hand and then continue with a new one. However, at times there migth be two projects at once.

    One has then to prioritize which one to complete first so as to generate income.

  11. music recording said:

    I think MaryEllen made a good point here.

  12. Chris rrod said:

    I have this tendency to start off different projects all along the same line and ending up doing nothing..Thanks for sharing your perspective with us…

  13. cipherex said:

    MaryEllen Tribby is quite right. Great post. Thanks.

  14. The Myth of Branding: Why Entrepreneurs Should Focus on the USP… | said:

    […] Entrepreneurial ADHD – blog – direct marketing blog […]

  15. CopyStratic said:

    ADHDers…take your Ritalin, for goodness sake. Working on multiple project simultaneously is not only good, but vital – especially if one copywriting project stalls or runs out of funding. Hire someone to catch to overflow. Better yet, marry or date someone who’s a capable copywriter, editor, business partner. That’s what I did. 😉

  16. Omar said:

    I had to push a project to the side. It’s overwhelming and stressful

  17. LynnStone said:

    Great article. It is definitely beneficial to work on one project at a time, rather than many at once. This is the mistake many people make, and then they end up failing in their entrepreneurial efforts.

  18. Discount cat supplies said:

    Good post. Usually lack of confidence in the idea or lack of capital or high risk is the reasons that cause me to be like this.

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