Welcome back to IB University , our free programme to help you build the skills you need to run your own business.
We’re continuing with our blog series by our founder Gerald Vanderpuye, sharing five things he wishes he knew before he set up his first company. This is number four, and we’ll be posting the rest over the coming weeks. So make sure you keep an eye out!
FIVE THINGS I WISH I KNEW BEFORE I STARTED MY BUSINESS
4. DITCH THE WORK AROUND THE WORK
In the early stages of setting up a business, most first-time entrepreneurs spend far too much time on the wrong work.
We say yes to too many things, get easily distracted and let our calendar control us – not the other way round. We are constantly multitasking, with too much to do and not enough time to do it all. When I started my first company I felt overwhelmed; always busy and stressed because my to-do list seemed endless.
Paul Graham, the founder of Y Combinator, is the reason I changed how I approach my day and stopped using a to-do list. He explained that to-do lists assume everything on the list matters equally, when they don’t.
Most things on the list are what I call the work around the work. I’m talking about things like answering endless emails that aren’t directly relevant to your goal, posting content on social media when you could be spending your time building your product. All of these things can feel important, but they just mean that you procrastinate on the real work.
In the beginning there are only two things that you should focus on – and even when you’re years into your journey, when things are getting busy, you should remind yourself that these are still the only two things that really matter.
Building the product and talking to customers.
Everything else is the work around the work.
To read more of Gerald’s writing, head to his blog, Virtue Collectors Club.
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