BOUGIE: I do that..and that…and that…and that too..

How to Spot a Schizophrenic Entrepreneur

On the train the other day, a chick complimented me on my hair.
Since I admired hers as well, we struck up a conversation, and it naturally came out that she did hair herself. As a sales/prospecting approach it was perfect—I actually was in the market for someone to do my hair.
The conversation was natural, the needs analysis was organic. If she had a card or flyer with a rate sheet that was in my neighborhood and price range, she’d have just won a new customer. And don’t have a website—I would’ve probably told two friends about her too.
Alas, she didn’t have any of that. In fact, after she asked if I had a need for hair services, she went on to say that she also

· Kept kids

· Designed clothes

· Gave cooking lessons and was a personal chef

Yeah, that’s a lot to lay on someone. I am one of the main proponents of having multiple streams of income, and one way to do that is by having multiple hustles. But laying it out all at once just makes you look schizophrenic. We’ve all gotten business cards from a DJ/Plumber/Actor or some other outlandish and unrelated set of occupations.

How Not to Be A Multiple Personality Disorder Entrepreneur


Separate your branding: If some of your businesses fit under one umbrella, it’s okay to group them. For instance, I do PR and writing as a consultant/freelancer, so I group these endeavors under one website. But my lifestyle brand will need its own, standalone site. Of course, you can include links to your other identities, but don’t let them distract from the main goal of your site. Likewise, don’t be afraid to create multiple business cards for your multiple businesses.

Watch Your Mouth: “I do that. I do that too. Did I tell you I can do that as well?” It doesn’t look ambitious when you’re talking to someone, and this is your response to everything they say. Introduce into conversation the project that is hot right now or that best answers the other person’s needs, and wait to let people know about your other capabilities. Many of my friends have no idea I write for national magazines, because it’s really not relevant unless it comes up in discussion. Once people know and trust you, they’ll be delighted, not suspicious to hear about your other skills and talents.

Jack of All Trades, Master of None: Make sure that your multiple ventures don’t take you in too many different directions. For the train hairdresser/chef/babysitter/designer, I would recommend she rebrand herself as a Concierge—someone who offers multiple services in-home. She’d be perfect for a celebrity seeking an assistant under that title. Without it, to the everyday Jane, she just sounded schizo.

It’s hard to be a doctor AND an Indian Chief. Those paths might require such different skills that you could spread yourself too thin and be no good at either. Try to keep your efforts in the same vein.
I think of myself as an author, coach, consultant, and entrepreneur. They are all related to the sharing and synthesis of information related to being an urban lifestyle expert—which gives me a big enough umbrella to cover all of my ventures.

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