Confused with little focus, I’ve sat in my office chair frustrated many mornings. I’ll be humbled to say that my lingerie website Allure of Kate has only had one sale on it since I’ve launched it in November. Checking the traffic, carts, email lists that are supposed to help capture some of the health of the site has not translated much in the way of sales. While frustrated, I do understand it’s a learning process. In my feelings of self doubt, I often find myself unfocused, unmotivated, and often find it hard to keep showing up at 5am to my office chair and work on something that might not bear any fruit. Days I can become irritable feeling as if I failed, but mostly I like to take away that I’ve learned so much since our release in November. This often leads my mind to wandering and different projects and it often seems to be a pattern.
During my lunch time hour, you can find me walking around the city of downtown Grand Rapids. Being one that can’t sit for eight hours and for a bit of a health benefit, I’ve solved more problems and came up with more ideas on these walks than I ever could have sitting in the lunch room at work. I use this time to sharpen my mind by listening to pod casts, resolve problems I’m having with code, and come up with new project ideas. The latter hasn’t help in focusing but has created a few list items I feel are always worthwhile to try to accomplish.
During these times I’ve come up with the following projects:
Writing a Book
*Having expertise in writing single page applications from web service to the front end, I haven’t found much out there in regard to books. There plenty of blogs that speak to this, but I haven’t found much in regard to starting from the service to the front end and which patterns could be used.
Swoll Bro Word Press Plugin
If you’ve been following me for some time, you’ll know that I spent some time working on an app to help track your workouts. While this was particularly segmented to the iPhone, I feel I could port this over to a Word Press or Angular plugin so that fitness folks could use it in their sites easily for their clients. The reason I stopped was the lack of feedback I received from people.
Build An E-Commerce Platform
I’ve actually done this before, from scratch. Numerous times a business partner of mine and I have released a number of different web sites that were selling t-shirts, uniforms, hockey sticks, and lacrosse shafts. I do have one more site running on that old platform and has been for years. The funny part about it, I was so concentrated on making sure things would render quickly and have a great speed score (how quickly the page was shown to the user) that it still stands at a 97/100. My current site for Allure of Kate has a score of 67/100. This had me frustrated and thinking, I could do better than that.
Single Page Marketing Site
One of the best things a business owner can do is alleviate the risk of losing money. This is done through research and low cost methods to gain and check market interest. I frequent the entrepreneurs reddit page often and I see this story. Someone who wants to sell their product because they have demand for it through instagram or facebook. I feel these platforms are lacking in customizable landing pages to serve these users and provide a pitch to customers on a page and allow these entrepreneurs to accept payments.
Allure of Kate
My wife and I started this site as a way to provide another stream of income. It has a lot of work, and as I mentioned the speed scores for it were low; however, there’s been a lot of work put into it. Products were loaded, copywriting was created, and visitors are becoming familiar with the site. Where it lacks, is consistent/automated marketing messages and content that isn’t from just one supplier.
Code Writing Code
Several of my projects, including the Swoll Bro App project, have benefited from the speed of development when I created a program that would write boilerplate code. Having several projects that support the app, this saves me time from creating eight different files among seven different projects. It also has the ability to spin up projects for developers for a C# Web Api application in an Onion Architecture format. Did I lose you? Are you eyes glazed over?
Essentially, this would speed up development for starting a project with this software for development teams.
Where to Focus?
With six different projects that can have some validity, where do I shift my efforts. How do I spend my most limited resource, time? Some of these already have progress. This is where satisficing can shift focus appropriately to accomplish these projects.
What Is Satisficing?
Satisficing is searching available options that meet a certain threshold of Criteria.
How to Satisfice
For my projects listed above, I came up with six different criteria that I felt would help determine which to concentrate my efforts.
- 1. Time to Market or MVP
- 2. Up Front Costs
- 3. Continued Costs
- 4. Continued Upgrades
- 5. Current Progress
- 6. Ease of Implementation
Next, I weighted each of these criteria from 1-6 since I have six criteria, 6 being the highest priority, and 1 being the lowest. I ranked them like this below.
- Time to Market – 6
- Current Progress – 5
- Ease of Implementation – 4
- Up Front Costs – 3
- Continued Upgrades – 2
- Continued Costs – 1
For each of the projects, I created a scale of 1-10 with, 10 being easiest and 1 being hardest. The satisfice score looks like this:
((time to market x 6) + (current progress x 5) + (ease of implementation x 4) + (up front costs x 3) + (continued upgrades x 2) + (continued costs x 1)) / 6 criteria.
Using the criteria, projects, and scales I created a Google Satisficing WorkSheet.
|Project||Time to Market||Current Progress||Ease of Implementation||Up Front Costs||Continued Upgrades||Continued Costs||Satisfice Score|
|Write a Book||1||1||10||1||10||8||~14|
|Code Creating Code||7||7||6||10||10||10||~27|
|Swoll Bro Plugin||5||5||3||7||3||4||16|
|Single Page Marketing||3||1||2||4||3||5||9|
|Allure of Kate||10||8||5||1||2||1||21|
Now the highest satisfice score indicates which project I should focus on based on my criteria. At this point, I now know which project I should be focusing my efforts. In the end, I’m hoping I’ll create some momentum from this and create a satisficing snowball effect** and get some things pushed out the door and into the wild.
So to recap on all the steps I took on how I came my decision:
- 1. I defined which projects were important to me to be included in this list
- 2. Created criteria on how I would choose which project to concentrate my efforts
- 3. Order the criteria on which were MOST important for each project
- 4. For each project and criteria, I asked my self on a scale of 1-10, 10 being easiest, how would I score each criteria
- 5. Using the criteria and the scale, I performed a weight average to create a sastisfice score
If you do these things, hopefully you’ll also be able to focus and concentrate where your efforts are most needed.
Are you having trouble making a decision on where to focus your efforts? Anything to share? Leave your comments below
*NERD ALERT – DON’T FEEL BAD IF YOU CAN’T FOLLOW ALONG. Maybe you’ll buy the book
**Maybe this was inspired by Dave Ramsey’s Money Make Over snowball effect?