Do you have multiple businesses or lots of business ideas? Are you struggling with figuring out how to focus when you are multi-passionate and enjoy many different types of endeavors?
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Have you ever gone on a trip and felt like there’s no way you could do all the activities you want to do in the time you’re there? This is similar to how we often feel as multi-passionate Christian women. We have so many ideas and so much we want to accomplish, and it can be really hard to narrow down and focus on one thing.
In this episode, I want to walk you through a process that I’ve used for myself to learn how to focus even when you have lots of ideas and passions you could pursue. This will be especially helpful if you are an entrepreneur or if you have business ideas, as I’ll be focusing on this from a business angle.
2 problems with trying to promote multiple businesses:
- It’s very challenging to try and build or grow more than one business. It’s difficult for more than one reason, but one of the biggest reasons is that people have a hard time knowing who to refer you to. What is the MAIN thing you are known for? If you have 5 businesses, you will likely not be well-known for any one thing. People may be confused and unsure who to send your way
- We can spread ourselves too thin and end up being ineffective leaders. As Christians, I believe God wants us to use our gifts and skills. But I also believe he wants us to take care of ourselves and make sure we have rest and margin in our lives so that we can continue to lead and love others for the long run.
How to Focus When You are Multi-Passionate:
Step 1: List out all your ideas
If you already have a business or several businesses, write them all down. If you have ideas for a business or passion project, get them down on paper.
Why? It helps to just get them out of your head! It’s helpful to see them in writing and be clear about what you’re actually considering doing… or to get clear on what you are already doing.
Step 2: Become self-aware
Grab another sheet of paper and write down the following:
- Your natural and spiritual gifts
- Your personality type including your strengths – I like using strengths finder and any other personality framework you prefer like 16 personalities (Myers-Briggs or Enneagram)
- Your past experience
- Your passions
- Your people
- Your values
- Your dreams
In the Confident Leader Catalyst, I help you through this process of figuring these things out, and then we use the Purpose Chart to put these things all on one piece of paper. It really helps when you can see the big picture, because you can start to make connections and see themes and patterns emerge. (By the way, I’m not running the Catalyst live this year but it is available to grab as a self-study course).
When you start to consider all of this information, it can help you to determine what direction to go in your business or passion project.
Step 3: Put it all before God
Bring him your ideas, your dreams, your current work or business situation. And ask Him for direction and guidance. You see, in the middle of the Purpose Chart, I have a circle. And in that circle is you–but you also have the Holy Spirit. He will guide you in the direction you should go.
Sometimes we do get ahead of God and sometimes we drag our feet. But if we are continually seeking him and submitting our ways to him, then we are less likely to get off track. And if we do get off track he can re-direct us.
So you bring it to God and you ask him to help you decide.
One caveat to this: Sometimes God does give us a very clear dream or a very clear direction to go (like with my friend Tembi Secrist in episodes 83 and 84).
But sometimes, we do not get the voice from heaven! Sometimes we have to look for smaller clues and sometimes… I think God just says to us: what do YOU want to do?
Step 4: Ask yourself: what would you really love to do?
Maybe that doesn’t sound very spiritual but if none of your ideas go against what God has shown you or against His word… and if the ideas would not compromise your commitments such as marriage or kids… then it’s very possible that He is okay with you choosing any of them!
In Jenny Randle’s book Getting to Know God’s Voice, she goes through 7 questions you can ask when making a big life decision. We discussed these in episode 117 if you want to check this out.
I want to highlight one of the questions as my next point for you.
Step 5: Get input from trusted mentors or advisors.
Jenny’s question in her book is: “What do my trusted friends and family say about this?”
Now for this episode I’m focusing on a business or passion project so I’m going to say that I would recommend getting some input from a trusted advisor or business mentor versus just general friends and family.
In episode 136 I shared a bit of my own story of choosing to narrow down what I’m doing this year. And one of the key players in this journey was my friend, client, and business mentor Natalie. Natalie asked me some questions that truly forced me to consider what I was doing in my business and if I was being as effective as possible.
When she asked me these questions, my eyes filled up with tears. While it might not have been a direct voice from God, I believe that God used her speaking into me and my business to help guide me to my next step.
In a separate conversation with another mentor, God spoke to me in a similar way and confirmed what He was leading me towards. This input and insight from other Christian women in business was invaluable for me to make my own decision about what direction to head this year.
Remember this: it is OKAY if some of what you do is purely for fun, as a hobby, or as a side passion project and is NOT your main thing.
Step 6: Run your options through the ‘ideal business’ filter
I shared about this process of determining your ‘ideal business’ on the Christian Woman Business Podcast episode 30, but I’m sharing it here as well in case you didn’t hear that episode.
The are three things you want to consider when deciding what service, product, or skillset you want to focus on for an ideal business:
- your area of expertise (your skills, experience, education; what you’re good at)
- your passion (something you actually enjoy doing, and could do long term)
- what others will pay for (if people won’t pay for it, it might be a hobby, but it’s not a viable income option)
So go back to your big list of ideas and cross off anything that does not align with what you looked at with your self-awareness step… for example if one of your ideas is to start a YouTube channel but you are a massive introvert and hate public speaking, then maybe you can cross off that idea for now.
You can also cross off anything that you sense God saying NO to or that a mentor or advisor has provided feedback on that might indicate it’s not a wise path.
Then, look at the factors above: which of the ideas on your list meet all 3? Things that you are passionate about, you have experience or expertise in, and that other people will pay for.
This might require a little bit of research… check out what else is out there in a similar vein.
Step 7: Decide and take action.
Now hopefully at this point you have narrowed down to just a couple options. Ultimately this comes back to prayer and then just making a decision. Because once again, God might be saying to you: just decide.
Sometimes our lack of decision making is just procrastinating on taking action. Sometimes we are letting the fear of making the wrong decision hold us back from doing anything at all. So it might just be time to take one step towards what God is putting on your heart!
Join the free Communicate & Connect Challenge. This challenge will help you to communicate effectively about what you do – your business or your passion project AND connect with the types of people who need to hear what you have to offer.
We’ll work through this together so you feel confident when someone asks you what you do, have the words to create curiosity instead of confusion, and can keep the conversation going to lead people down the path of working with you!
Sign up for the challenge at estherlittlefield.com/challenge.
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