As an expat with an online business, I've learned the hard way that the secret to success is focus. Singular focus on one business model and to stop getting distracted by shiny object syndrome.
You need a singular focus because you can't build and scale anything without it as you're going to spread yourself too thin. You only have so much time and energy. You'll get life-changing results by saying no to business ideas that are actually good and profitable in order to double down on one thing.
Yes, building faceless YouTube channels works.
Building a portfolio of niche websites works too.
Creating a branded email newsletter and an audience base on social media also works.
So does running an online store with paid ads...
...or building out a consulting agency.
What does not work?
Trying to do two or more of these things at the same time. This is why you don't see travel vloggers also running a personal finance website. One audience, one brand is the way to go.
In a way where everything you do online supports itself. Like having a YouTube channel, blog, email list, some time of product or service all working together in tamden.
This mistake I've made for some time is spending too much time here on Edge of David and my niche website on teaching abroad and online. These two brands are not related at all to my main thing, my online business Website Creative Pro.
In fact, they've crossed that line into where they have become a bit of a distraction and are taking time and energy away from my main thing.
Here are 3 steps I've been using that have helped fight shiny object syndrome
1. Flow chart.
You can use your tablet or flowchart software. Literally, create a visual map of what you're working on and where your money is coming from. Doing this alone made it painfully apparent that my main thing is 90% of my income and is where all the potential business growth is.
With this visualization in hand, it's easy to recognize what I need to do, which is to scale back on side projects.
2. Use a calendar app.
Simple but for whatever reason, this really helps me allocate time as needed. After the flowchart, it made it easy to reason how much time MAX should be given to a task.
For example, that niche website about teaching online/abroad niche? It was once quite profitable, but not so much anymore. The site still earns money ($10-20 a day), and I use it as a case study in my paid courses. However, it really should be put on the back burner.
So I established a simple process. Once every 10 days I spend 20 minutes to an hour max on the site. Then, set in my calendar to check back in another 10 days. I do this with Edge of David too. Once every 10 days, no more no less. With vlogs, I'll only create a vlog after I've made 3 videos for my main channel that drives my income.
3. Write or ponder on the consequences and the upsides
Sometimes it's good to have something to run away from. This is really why you want to lay out the potential consequences of not scaling your main thing to the level it could be at.
My main thing can literally make me a millionaire. I could actually become a guy making $50K a month. What does life look like if I achieve that? I also think about eventually settling down with someone and raising kids.
Life would be great if I was a truly high-income earner. But it's not going to happen if I don't do the work and focus. I don't want to look back and see that I squandered an opportunity because I was too focused on a casual vlog or a niche website that is past its heyday.
Shiny Object Syndrome - Why The Secret To Success is Laser Focus
You're probably doing too much. I know that me building three different brands was too much.
From now on I'm making the main thing the main thing that pays the bills and allows me to do my fun side thing which is this travel, vlogs, and creating content for this membership website.
As for my teaching site, I'm going to do the minimum to maintain it which at this point is 20 minutes every 10 days. Maybe 1 new blog post a month. Topping out the site content at 150 blog posts and 10 pages.