Getting More Unproductive As Your Business Grows.

Although it may appear from the outside looking at a company as it moves forward, and becomes more successful that stuff is now getting done faster and faster.  And in some respects they are, but in a lot of aspects they really aren’t.

Unfortunately I have noticed a decrease in overall productivity in the last 1-2 months and only until now I’ve really started to ask myself why and found the root core reason why it is.  I’m staying busy sure, but being busy, and being productive are two completely different things.  The core reason I’ve found now that I’ve been unable to develop as much as before, as the company has moved forward there are a lot more obligations to take care of, and we are actually a smaller team than before as well.  But even as general, there are more people to talk to now than ever before, and all of that takes away from what I need to focus on.

At the early stage of any your startup there is won’t be much demand for your time.  Your flexible and you don’t have any customers to respond to or big contracts you need to keep track of, and because of that you can just focus on doing that one thing you need to do, for me it was programming the first beta of Tracking202.

I moved to San Francisco on about a passive income of a little more than $1,000, barely enough to live.  But it forced myself to succeed, because I had to, and not knowing anyone in the city and not yet having any customers to talk to, or anyone else really for that matter, I was able to go to work, and be productive and not just bus.

But now the complete opposite is true, as we have moved forward it has been becoming increasingly difficult to get even just the simplest of things done.   Where as before we were bootstrapping and all we had to do was code all day, now, we work with many people, we have customer support posts/twitters/aim/emails to respond to, affiliate networks want to work with us, we are going to events, we are putting on events and simply talking to a lot of people.  After we have gained momentum the world load, more so the relationship maintenance has gone up considerable and has taken us away from our business, which is developing software products.   Going on AIM any more is a disaster, as with over 400+ affiliate marketers on a single AIM name you can expect to get nothing done when logging on anymore.  That is why starting next month I’m going to probably remove AIM completely and switch entirely to email.

There are many distractions attacking for our time every-day.  I’ve only now in the past two months realized the core reason that I wasn’t getting anything done, its not that I haven’t been busy, I’ve been working, but talking with everyone has replaced programming, which is what I should really be focused on.

So what is the point of this post?  That as you start to move forward your going to get distracted, more things come up to do, and you are only one person, you either have to scale out the team, or go-back in a cave and focus on that one thing you do best, which is generally the best route.  Make sure to focus on what you can be the absolute best at in the world.

Stay focused on what your doing, you can really get 200% of the work done, in ½ of the time, lately I’ve been distracted, but starting next month all AIM is going off, and we’re going to launch a new product.  That is what we need to do.  And I hope you can focus on what you need to do, I’ve lost 2 months of productivity, maybe this post can share some insights into the future distractions that will arise for you and you’ll know about them in advance and be able to adjust better than I was.

  • hi Wes, completely agree on your post. But why not just starting an IRC channel? Users can help users and you’ll still have the option to step in if a user needs help from you/your team.

  • Thanks Ricardo, we are moving as far away from live-chat as possible now as we did that heavily to begin with, and I believe IRC is more like a chat-room? We are doing alot of forum, and email support now. Some users do that on the forum (although I can see if other users were in the chat–they’d jump right into posting more help if it was live).

  • shotsix

    lol, I noticed you’ve been on AIM less and less lately… don’t blame you 😉

    I just noticed you had a meetup in Seattle yesterday… bummed I missed it!


  • Hey Wes,

    Totally agree with you, that’s why I try to stay out of those blackholes unless I need to directly communicate with an AM. If you haven’t done so you should definitely read the Four Hour Work Week.

    It’s opened up a lot of good ideas in regards to productivity.

  • Wes,
    Great post I can identify with this in a big way. I’ve been doing affiliate marketing for just over a year and I have a full time passive income coming in from it. I don’t have to touch it, it just comes in.

    I am currently frustrated (although I should be happy right?) because I’m not succeeding at scaling the business or starting another one.

    Truth be told I spend more time these days watching videos, chatting and reading IM sites than actually working. As an example I am currently doing The 30 Day Challenge, Black Ink Project 2 and Affiliate Uprising (Hexatrack’s affiliate training) all at the same time… I also train people on how to do Keyword Research… all of these things are really just distractions so that I don’t have to worry about my real goal. Growing my business and making more money.

    I definitely need to slim down my time wasting…

    thanks for the post.