As creative professionals, we are naturally prone to ideas. Some are wildly out there, but others are real formidable business concepts that make us want to jump into hyperdrive to make it happen. Yet, entrepreneurs are already busy managing their existing brand—how could you possibly fit in the demands and expectations of another one?
Don’t worry—the answer isn’t that it’s impossible. In fact, it certainly is! Many serial entrepreneurs are serving their clients in multiple directions. With the right forethought and planning, so can you!
So, what’s the secret to juggling multiple brands with ease? There are two big keys: staying organized and setting boundaries. Let’s dive into each of them so you can start bringing your big dreams to life.
You must get organized.
All of the workflow hiccups and inefficiencies that you might get away with in your existing business is not going to fly when you have two brands that need your attention. Before taking any steps on your new venture, start by getting squared away in your current company. Launching a new brand will take up a lot of your time and energy for several months, so you need to be certain that your existing business can sustain a drop in your focus.
That’s not to say you must drop clients or pull back dramatically. Instead, you just need to find a way to keep your business running as usual while you set your sights elsewhere. For some, this might look like implementing new automated systems that can put your business on autopilot. Others might consider starting or growing a team to fill in while you’re occupied with your new project.
Once you’re confident that your existing business has a foundation built to last, it’s time to get super organized for your exciting new adventure. You will be fielding ideas and inspiration left and right—some of which may not come at the most opportune times. I’m a big fan of notetaking to keep all of your thoughts in one place until you can apply them at a later time.
Find a note-taking method that feels most comfortable for you. Perhaps you’re a pen-and-paper type of person who prefers to jot things down at a moment’s notice. Or, maybe you’re more of a voice recorder since you always have your phone handy. Whatever it is, make sure it works for you and your thinking style so you can keep all your thoughts together while on-the-go.
Then, when you find time to focus on your new endeavor, you’ll have all your notes in one place to jog your memory and get the gears turning again.
You must set firm boundaries.
You’ve heard it before and you’re hearing it again. Boundaries are a business owner’s best friend. Taking on more than you can handle will put you on the fast-track to burnout before you know it. You think managing one business is hard in the throes of burnout? Try two!
Establishing strict boundaries will help you protect your time and energy, allowing you to focus on the tasks that will drive you toward your goals. That means you need to start using that two-letter word that feels so difficult for people pleasers: no.
Saying ‘no’ is a way to reclaim control of your life, your schedule, and your business opportunities by committing only to the things that propel you forward. No more wasting precious hours on a fruitless Instagram partnership or sacrificing your evenings for the neighborhood watch group. It also means setting boundaries with yourself. Forget the time-sucking habit of scrolling through Instagram in your free time or skipping a networking opportunity because you don’t feel like it.
Only you can say what’s most important to you and identify the goals that will help you live the life you want. Save your creativity and motivation for the projects that fill you up and make you excited to get out of bed in the morning. Everything else is just noise!
Managing multiple brands can be a fulfilling opportunity to pursue different passions in your life, but it’s also a smart way to diversify your revenue streams. More money from more directions means you don’t have to worry so much if one stream dries up a little. However, be mindful that launching a whole new brand is a good idea only if you have the systems and parameters in place to position you for success.