“Am I crazy to have all these different business ideas?” A friend and client asked me this question over coffee recently. No, she is not crazy. She is just full of ideas – and those ideas all happen to be business opportunities.
Multiple ideas leads to multiple income streams
A LinkedIn contact challenged her followers to think about how many income streams they had and offered some suggestions to consider. My first thought was to think only about my business. But she said to consider ALL income, including your spouse, selling items on Facebook, as well as any investments.
And in chatting with my friend, we talked about the value of having multiple income streams in our individual businesses – and the additional sense of security that brings as an entrepreneur.
What’s the connection?
But when you are thinking about adding income streams to your business, you need to make sure there is a connection to your business. If it doesn’t make sense to your customers, it is going to be a hard sell. Think about Target. As they grew in popularity, it made sense for them to expand into groceries. It aligned with their vision for the business and it made sense to their customers.
I frequently am asked if I can design a logo, develop a website or manage social media. I could do that and it would make sense to my clients to offer it. BUT it doesn’t fit my vision for Austin Marketing.
Know your through line
As you think about acting on all those business ideas swirling around in your head, think about what connects them to the vision of your business. That connection is what I mean by a through line.
A through line is a connecting theme, plot, or characteristic in a film, television series, book, etcWebster’s Dictionary
Calling this connection a through line became more clear to me when I listened to Maya Shunker’s podcast, A Slight Change of Plans – specifically the episode titled The Science of Quitting with Annie Duke. In 2002 she recognized the conversation between cognitive science and poker, and poker informing cognitive science and cognitive science informing poker. She says in the podcast “So it looks like I’ve changed careers a lot – from academics to poker player to speaker/consultant to author back to academic. It seems like I’ve done a lot of zigging and zagging, but there’s a through-line through everything, which is learning under uncertainty.”
Hiding in plain sight
If you are feeling as though you have too many business ideas, concerned that people may not understand the connections, or maybe you haven’t recognized the connection yet…. I’m guessing it is there, hiding in plain sight. It’s likely already visible to those around you. You just need to step back and allow it to become visible to you.
The benefit of having someone else look at your business or all the ideas you have for it is they aren’t connected to it. They aren’t worried about how your past actions match with your future actions or your present actions. They are only looking at whether it is the best decision or direction for you to take.