Since I started this blog in October 2013 the frequency of the posts decreased to intervals of two months due to the other things I’ve done next to it. So I hit the mark with 25% degree of performance of my original goal to post “at least two times per month” for projecting my entrepreneurial journey. In the process of maintaining this blog I was taught three lessons:
1. Sunken costs & Cost-Benefit-Ratio
There exists a concept which is called “sunken costs”. By definition these are costs which are lost either way. Whether you go on or you break off. For example people who buy a ticket for cinema and recognize after 10 minutes of the movie that they don’t like it, tend to remain seated because of the money they spent for the cards. But this amount of cash is lost anyway. So it would be much more logical to get your butt out of the show and do something you really like. To stay watching the film won’t bring you back any of the dollars you’ve spend. Usually you still keep your seat.
We face this kind of moments quite often but most of the time we cannot see them immediately. What we can do to avoid staying with sunken costs in big moments of life, is check for the cost-benefit-ratio. Just compare the costs of something (whether it’s cash, time or energy) and its benefit with each other. As soon as you notice that the costs are way bigger than the profit you get, it’s time to change something, or at least trace it for the next time. If it’s not getting better than alter the course. The benefit from writing every two months was high enough for me to move on with it.
2. Forget about the 100%
Before I started to write my first article, I spoke to an experienced blogger who told me that I should be aware of the fact that it’s very hard to provide content in short periods. Not mainly because of the subjects (that’s another reason) but simply because of the time it costs. However, I wanted to post as often as possible and already after the first few posts I had to admit that I couldn’t handle that frequency. That was frustrating because I missed my goal. Then I remembered that my initial drive was to practice English and write down all the lessons learned to keep track and retrace my journey later on. And that can also be done with more infrequent posts. So never mind.
I read some time ago that the perfect rate of completing your goals lies at about 66% or 2/3. Everything below can demotivate you very fast; all the numbers above are too easy and could be formulated tighter.
So high goals can bring you to new heights and better results but before setting them, you should accept that it’s ok – and maybe even well – to not reach the 100%.
3. Don’t diversify too much – Set priorities!
It’s great to be interested in many things and to try out various different activities. But sometimes there are so many that it’s hard to concentrate on all of them. And it can be very, very difficult to set priorities and decide which ones to spend time on regularly and on which ones far less or none at all. I have learned over the last year that starting too many things at the same time can cause to rock the whole concept.
At the end of the day it’s about cash in business/earning life. With this perspective many things and cool projects get a new status – also this blog. Sooner or later you have to concentrate the greatest part of your energy on the cash-generating things to ensure that your basis is as safe as possible. With the cost-benefit-consideration you can balance fairly well which ones of your activities should get the most attention. What helped me a lot is a real spreadsheet with the top 3-5 things I want to keep up with and keep track of them. If one thing, which basically shouldn’t consume so much time, prevails, you can strictly let it out and pursue the other ones. This can sound a little bit too strictly but without a routine it often slips out of your mind after some days. Another way would be to focus on the one most important thing and go ahead with it for a longer period of time.
Finally, even if this shouldn’t be used for all parts of your life, a rational approach often helps you to get a clearer view and reveals weak spots. So prevent sunken costs, set challenging goals and focus on your priorities 😉