As an entrepreneur, freelancer, consultant or a professional in any field, for that matter – try and stray away from dipping your fingers into too many flavours and always be aware of the shiny pennies that might arrest your attention on your journey.
Take it from me, I’ve had to learn the hard way.
While it has certainly been a great journey in self-discovery and personal growth, I’ve found myself quite deep-down certain rabbit holes and it goes without saying that I have my regrets. (Now my fingers are sticky and my pockets sag with those heavy pennies.)
Take Caution When Delving Into Rabbit Holes
In the previous business that I owned, I became known by friends, family, staff and the food manufacturing industry as “The Atchar King”, where I was renowned for my excellent product and the great service that my business provided in that industry.
At the time it was certainly convenient for my identity, as that level of credibility can take you and your business to great levels and leave lasting impressions of you.
And I’d be lying if I told you that being dubbed a king at something wasn’t pretty damn cool.
However, that doesn’t quite carry through to my current occupation and the business coaching that I provide to my clients today. It would be great if it did, but it instead takes away from the image and identity that I’m cultivating at this moment in time.
When I started coaching in 2012, I began gaining traction in the media, communications and technology spaces, slowly becoming known as the guy that provides great entrepreneurial advice and insight to business owners in those industries. I had just started building a name for myself, when I made the mistake of chasing a shiny penny.
For those who are unaware of the concept, a shiny penny is any form of distraction from the original destination that you’ve chosen to move towards. When your business is heading to a particular destination, shiny pennies often pop up along the way and realign your focus onto other ideas, concepts or projects that you might believe are beneficial to your company at the time, but end up affecting the resources and effort that should be spent on moving towards your intended goal.
So I found myself a shiny, new penny: the freelance space.
I Got Distracted With Writing The Wrong Book
It had interested me for quite some time that the freelance space was one that businesses could utilise to cut back on the expenses of having permanent staff and that particular roles could be outsourced whenever it was required – and so I went down a deep rabbit hole.
As an interesting and insightful piece of content, I landed up interviewing 64 agency owners around their use of freelancers so that I could better understand how well the strategy worked for them, what their frustrations were, whether certain things didn’t work and all of the pros and cons that come with this approach to running a business.
With all of this great information that I had accumulated, I came up with a report and it ended up gaining plenty of traction and interest – to the extent that I wrote a book about the freelance space and how to successfully run a freelance business.
It was a 2-year long project that I undertook, with a lot of time, money and effort spent on the process of writing and self-publishing it.
It didn’t end up being such a bad thing, as it was transformed into an engaging set of course material, where it was lectured and taught at a few tertiary institutions and I had even done some talks around it in a few different environments – but it ultimately took away from the identity I’ve been aiming to achieve.
People started referring to me as “the freelance coach”, which isn’t what I do, or advocate.
The shiny penny that I had picked up and took with me on my journey was becoming a part of my identity and started to define the clients that I would attract. Truth be told, this works wonders if that is the particular niche, or double-niche, that you want people to recognise you for, but it’s not what I wanted.
I don’t want to be known as “the freelance guy”, or “the freelance coach”; it’s not what I offer and it takes away from the core of my business, who I am and what I do.
It takes time to change the narrative around the identity that you’re given surrounding a product or service that you’ve offered or sold and I’m still working towards changing people’s views on what I actually provide to them as a business coach.
Rubbing Salt In My Wounds
As if writing and publishing that book wasn’t enough of a reason to distract people from the service that I actually provide and what I yearned to be recognised for, I decided to share my Business Bikes And Breakfast Radical Accountability Program (BBBRAP) with the world.
It was still in-line with the direction I wanted to take in coaching and included a great passion of mine, but people started to attach that niche that I created as a label around what I do.
Taking a slightly different approach, I published a lot of what I did in BBBRAP as visual content on the different platforms that I was on and soon became known as “the guy that does bike events”, or that I “coach bikers.”
This was, again, something that I didn’t want to be exclusively known for and I’ve had to learn the hard way to avoid making mistakes like this.
Stopping to admire and pick up the shiny pennies that constantly draw you in becomes problematic when developing an identity or image that you’re trying to make stick in people’s minds.
So I implore you to be careful of the distractions that come your way and always be aware of quick-sinking rabbit holes, as well as the glimmering shiny pennies that might detract from your core business identity and main source of income.
Try and keep away from these types of distractions if they aren’t going to enhance the image, label or personality that you’re attempting to cultivate around your business, product or service.
Like I mentioned earlier – I’ve had to learn the hard way and find it quite difficult to redirect the narrative people have of me and what I provide as a business coach.
For some real business coaching, without the labels of ‘freelance’ or ‘biker coach’, then feel free to get into contact with me for advice, strategic planning, understanding the market and growing a powerful and profound business.
I can assist you with all of that and plenty more.
Don’t be under the assumption that I’m just a badass biker freelance wizard coach – I have so much to offer you and your business.
It’s easy to find me, chat to me and set up the meeting that will change your life and business for the better:
+2783 253 3339
But, I mean, if you are interested in that book of mine or keen on biking and business – I’m still your guy!