I’ve been meaning to chronicle my path to entrepreneurship for a long time, but somehow I always seem to get lost along the way. So this time, while I once again find myself in earnest about spinning up a business, I’m going to take the opportunity to start off right. This time will be different. This time I will do the most important things, instead of just planning them. And that includes documenting the journey.
One of my biggest hang ups has always been my tendency toward perfectionism. So as a way to attempt to get past it, I’m not allowing myself to do anything the way I’ve done it before. At my day job, I’m a senior-level web developer, so I really know how to built sites—how to make them work wonderfully and how to make them look beautiful. But that takes a lot of time. I’m starting a business on the side. I don’t have a lot of time. I need to focus on the essential tasks, stay on the path, and not get off in the weeds again.
To make things very clear, I set a number of rules for myself.
Russell’s rules for avoiding the perfectionist trap
In this case, that largely translates to a number of don’ts:
Don’t build a Drupal website.
Drupal is a wonderful system, and I’m an expert at building sites with it. But it’s really best suited for complex sites, and I’m not building a complex site—it’s meant to be simple.
Don’t create or buy a template; just use a free one.
Start generic, and get moving. The brand will develop over time, and that’s when I’ll want to invest in making things look their best.
Don’t try to launch everything in the beginning.
Just start with the blog, and make it consistent.
- Don’t create a new Facebook page.
- Don’t create a new Google Plus page.
- Don’t create a new Twitter account.
- Don’t mess with Instagram.
- Or Pinterest.
- Or SlideShare.
And a few dos:
Do use a free, cloud-based blog service.
I’m starting with a blog, so just do it already! Don’t even bother to install something on my own servers. Reduce complexity, and focus on the content. I know there are a number of platforms out there that I can set up and start using in under 5 minutes, so just pick one and start writing.
Post blog entries twice per week.
Probably on Wednesdays and Saturdays. It can be short. The point is consistency.
Post links to my blog entries into my existing personal social network accounts.
Try to do this in an automated way, but don’t spend time figuring that out in the beginning.
Go ahead and buy the domain names.
$20 is pretty cheap to insure that they’re available when I want them. If I change my branding later, I can release them back into the wild or auction them off.
There’s a little more to my list, but they come later, after all of this is complete (or intentionally avoided). It’s not time to focus on them yet. I’ll add the rest when what I have above is working smoothly.
Please note, these are my rules for me. Your mileage may vary. They may not even apply to you. But I know myself, and I need this kind of game plan if I’m going to keep my momentum up.
And with the initial planning complete (you noticed how short that plan is, right?), it’s time for action. Of course, since you’re reading this, you know I’m already part way through it.
In my next post, I’ll focus on the new-to-me method I used to start this blog. You won’t be impressed, but you may be surprised.
This article originally appeared on my Introvert Fatherpreneur blog, which is now defunct.