Many of my students just can’t make up their mind about what to focus on for their career. Between so many career paths, they can’t decide. They want to do a bit of everything that they have an interest in. Then, they wonder why they aren’t successful yet.
How Too Many Career Paths Can Leave You Broke
There are two reasons why most businesses don’t ‘make it,’ and they both have to do with attempting too many career paths. Even I have made this mistake, so before I go into the two reasons, let me tell you a little story about my own life and see if you can relate to it.
My Story of Too Many Career Paths
I was living in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I was broke until I started doing pretty well selling pen watches. Then, I made $4,000 a month working only two hours a day in the flea market! Not bad, yes?
I worked for an extra hour going back to the shipping yard to pick up another couple of boxes of pen watches. I was happy with that, except for one thing.
A friend of mine at the yard asked me, “Do you know what just came in? These watches look like really high-end watches, but they’re not. You can buy them for $40 and sell them for $100 or more.”
My first hunch was that it wasn’t a big market, but the watches were legal, and even I wanted one. He was convincing, saying how he made $1,000 a week hardly doing anything. So I bought and sold a few here and there, doing okay with that.
Next time I hit the shipyard, the same guy said to me, “I have a shipment of T-shirts coming in. You should see these T-shirts. You’re already going around to the jewelry stores to show them the watches. You should sell these T-shirts.” Then it was hats.
About a month later, I noticed I was selling all this other stuff, but my pen watches weren’t doing as well. I ended up running four businesses at a single time, and none of them fully took off yet.
Within six months, I went from making $4,000 a month for two hours a day to making literally no money for 15 hours a day.
How does that happen? The answer answer is actually twofold.
Why Having Too Many Career Paths Will Sink You
I was clueless in business and personal development at the time — I didn’t know what I was doing to myself. I was chasing after every opportunity because of two reasons that end up being huge pitfalls to a lot of would-be entrepreneurs:
- Wanting to make money faster — In terms of making money faster, let’s just put this reality check into perspective: It takes every bit of energy and focus you have for you to succeed in any one thing. Your first million dollars ain’t happening overnight. That might work for a lucky few, but not for most. That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with wanting to achieve maximum results with as little effort as possible.
- Wanting a backup — I wanted a “backup” in case what I was doing didn’t work. In my mind, I thought that if I had more than one business, it would be “safer” — it would assure me of some kind of success because I’d always have some sort of backup. What if my pen watches didn’t work so well? I should get into this and this in case that doesn’t work so that, well, I’ll have a fallback position. But I went from doing decent, to being completely broke again! How can having more be less?
The fact of the matter is, when you overextend yourself by trying to follow a number of career paths, you end up not being able to succeed in any of them.
Having Too Many Career Paths Will Drain You
Here’s the deal:
At the time I didn’t understand something called energy.
It takes an enormous amount of energy to get something going, especially at the beginning.
If you don’t use 100% of your energy to get something off the ground, you’re not going to make it over the chasm. You’re going to fall into it.
Let me give you an example that I mention in this video.
Imagine a rocket launching and all the power it takes to get it off the ground. All the thrusters have to be facing in the same direction — especially at the beginning for the rocket to escape Earth’s gravity.
Now imagine that one of the thrusters was facing outward, in a completely different direction, instead of facing downward. What would happen? Obviously, that rocket would crash and burn.
Why? Because it takes massive energy — a 1000% focus in one direction — for the rocket to launch successfully.
Many people ask me:
“Harv, what about multiple streams of income?”
That’s a great idea after you have one stream going beautifully. Yes, rich people are diversified…but only once they are rich! You don’t get rich by being diversified, you get rich by being focused.
It’s hard enough to be successful at any one thing. Do you think you could be successful at two or five things all at once? Are you kidding me? I can’t.
Instead of Multiple Career Paths, Choose to Focus
At the start of anything, it takes a lot of time and energy to get it off the ground. It’s called momentum. It takes everything you’ve got to get it going.
It takes every resource, every inch of energy at your disposal to launch successfully.
I learned the hard way so hopefully you won’t make the same mistake I did. Don’t fall into the trap of multiple career paths early on. I see it everyday and wish I had someone tell me this 30 years ago.
Focus on the pot that is going to make you rich, leave everything else UNTIL you “make it.”
Does any of this sound familiar to you? What interests are you juggling right now? How did you decide between these competing career paths? What’s keeping you from making a choice and sticking with it?
We’d love to hear from you! Let us know what might be keeping you from taking that 100% leap into a more prosperous future.
For Your Freedom,