Even in a down economy there are many opportunities, and those with a creative mind see them everywhere. These entrepreneurs often suffer from Entrepreneurial Attention Deficit Disorder (EADD).
For years I had posters on my wall to help those suffering from EADD. The first was an island golf hole with the word “Focus” on the bottom. When I started teaching, it was an important tool when counseling student and alumni entrepreneurs. Over the years, the picture faded but the need for the message did not.
EADD is a blessing and a curse. In my own career, some of my best ideas came out of episodes of EADD. But an ability to focus on one business at a time also led to very trying times.
On Entrepreneur.com Scott Belsky wrote an article on the need to balance creative thinking with successful implementation. His approach offers three key steps (more than that would overwhelm anyone with EADD):
Hire killjoys. One of our partners played this role for us. He tended to worry about the downside. At first we thought he was, well, a real killjoy. But over time we realised that his caution balanced our enthusiasm in a very important way. Hiring people who can and will say “No” to some of your ideas can also work.
Work with bias toward action. Focus on getting things ready for market and then focus even harder on building customers. No matter how tempting that next idea might be, leave it alone until your current business is nicely cash flowing.
Change your vocabulary. Celebrate implementation and business milestones, not creative free-for-alls. Over time it will alter your culture to one of action and not just ideas.
Dr. Jeff Cornwall is the inaugural recipient of the Jack C. Massey Chair in Entrepreneurship at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. He also serves as the Director of the centre for Entrepreneurship. He has published six books and numerous articles on entrepreneurship. This post was originally published on his blog, and it is republished here with permission.
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