I suck at prioritization sometimes.
I know this because I’ve had 36 years of learning the hard way. Oh, and also because Daniella told me so earlier this week.
That’s not to say that I don’t prioritize things at all. I do. It’s just that I get caught up with something that feels important in the moment instead of following the plan.
It’s pretty easy to do. Sometimes it’s a coding problem I feel compelled to solve. Other times it’s a new client request that I know should wait, but the temptation to jump on it and cross it off the list is just too great. And recently, it may or may not have been the creation of this blog. (Note: it was, but it was totally worth it!)
Shuffling things up like this works out ok when you’re a one-person business. I’ve managed to do it for years and still get by. But it can really screw things up when you’re supposed to have two people working towards a collective goal.
Lesson #1 in our new business endeavor
- Make a list of the most important stuff to get done.
- Actually stick to that list.
- If for some reason you don’t stick to the list, have a good reason why and communicate it.
It sounds simple, but it’s actually really hard.
The important stuff is almost always either difficult, long, boring, scary, or not urgent. Or in many cases, or some kind of evil Voltron combination of these un-fun qualities.
The not-so-important stuff is usually fun, exciting, quick, easy, or time-sensitive.
So what are the most important things in our business right now?
As the person who’s supposed to be the leader of our business I feel like I should have more clarity on this. The “business” part of running my business has never been my strongest suit, but I’m going to give it my best shot. I’m not going into much detail here because all of these deserve a full post of their own:
- Complete existing projects so we get paid.
- Update my old, dated business website to create something representative of the two of us.
- Fully integrate Daniella into the business so she can start doing meaningful work.
- Develop a set of business processes for marketing ourselves, on-boarding clients, and handling our projects.
- Market ourselves to new and existing clients to secure new work.
It feels like a lot, and some of these items like completing projects and securing new work feel like they will always remain on this “important” list.
Is that bad?
I don’t know, but I think the sensible thing to do would be to talk to Daniella about it and make a plan. She’s better at this stuff than I am. That’s why I hired her.