As an entrepreneur , we want to do everything and do it now. Mostly entrepreneurs work alone or in really small teams. Pressures of revenue generation lead them to multiple directions. They of course want to live their own dream of creating something that astonishes the world but on the ground they need the money to fund their next month expenses.
Often dreams and reality coincide. Despite being successful on a few front, entrepreneurs don’t gain much on monetary side. This is because
a) They are new in the market
b) Their ideas are yet to find acceptance and thus revenue generating potential is limited.
As a result they often end up doing multiple things which consume their time away from the core business. Here prioritization of activities are essential. Literally it is not possible to give your time to everything and be successful in most of them .
80% of the effort and resources should be devoted to 20% of the work. This is corollary from the famous Pareto Principle. Pareto saw that 80% of land was owned by 20% of people . Out of that 80% of farmland 80% was further owned by 20% of those 20%. In the end he realized that a very small population owns a very large portion of land http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pareto_principle
Work needs to correspond to this.
I have learned this after a long process of trial and errors that sometimes, I need to stop doing my best job but to do only that i necessary. For example I recently started my youtube channel on Web Technologies. Though I could make it more appealing by adding more music and animations, I realised that it would take a lot of time to do so. The purpose was to get the product shipped asap ( in this case put up videos as fast as possible ). So I concentrated my efforts on editing the video better and keeping the animations to a minimum. Later on when time permits I will add more whistles and bells or hire someone to do them for me.
Prioritization is flexible and depends on the new circumstancesPrioritization is the key
If you are learning music you may learn more by devoting your 80% time on effective practicing of exercises ( that means doing repetitive stuff) and 20% on improvisation or creation. Without good coordination on musical instrument your playing would seem sloppy. Of course other days your priorities may change but that could be because of new things that you learn on the way.
The prioritization will happen through trial and error
Of course in entrepreneurship , trial and error is essential. Small entrepreneurs can never plan big ( though they can think big ) because they can’t garner resources equivalent to huge enterprises. They have limited resources but almost infinite passion. Thus it is important to focus on tasks that are most important and leave out perfection for later on. That minor beautification of web page can wait while you look for marketing your stuff.
Steve Pavlina has a great method on prioritization http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2007/05/how-to-prioritize/.
Whether you do it in your head ( like me ) or on a piece of paper, prioritization is a must. Identify things that matter and work on them.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net