Just enough projects, and good systems to manage them


On Friday, 13 March and Saturday, 14 March I made notes on the problem of having too many projects.

The last few days I have been thinking again about my failures, especially the overall failure to generate a more decent income, and about my few successes – especially one that is glaringly obvious, namely my writing, which, if it were commercially successful, it wouldn’t have been necessary to make this note.

This brings me to a question that I have reflected on so many times that some professionals might say I am obsessed with it. Two things stand out as reasons why I am stuck on my current income:

1) Since 2006 I have continued a trend that started in 1999, and that is to take on too many projects (as I have already mentioned).

2) I don’t have good systems in place to manage these projects and even have them run 90% on auto-pilot.

At first I thought it was one reason or the other, but then I realised even if you only have one business or project, if you don’t have a good system to manage it, it will not be successful in the long run. And even if you have a good system for one or two different projects, you cannot continue taking on projects because good systems don’t fall out of the sky when you need them – they usually take time and effort and perhaps money to develop.

Thus, for each project or income-generating endeavour that you take on, a well thought-out system is required to increase the probability of success to at least 50% if not better.

Thus, two: Good systems take time, effort and probably money to develop. You should therefore refrain from taking on projects if you do not have a good system to manage a new project and eventually put it on auto-pilot (if possible).

Thus, three: Focus on developing good systems, then work one project after another into the system machine, and then consider paying someone as supervisor or assistant to make sure the machine runs well.