Stop gambling with your business and start challenging conventional thinking. Look for and develop new ideas of doing business. Ask "why not," instead of "why." This will help to pave the way for new ideas to emerge.
What industries will change and who the winners will be in this era of exponential technologies are uncertain. The only things that are certain are that we are in for dramatic changes, and that the old rules don't apply any more.
Everyone reading this knows a host of former lawyers, bankers, consultants, academics, or doctors for whom the work or environment was not right, many of whom eventually left the profession or stuck around halfheartedly.
As an outside observer, it sounds like their business is not setup to effectively handle projects they would consider small in comparison to their ideally-sized projects. Sadly, few businesses exhibit the discipline to define when they should walk away from business.
In my work launching new businesses (or fixing businesses that have plateaued), one place I see entrepreneurs in every industry get stuck, frustrated, or misguided, is in attempting to apply old models to new business.
When something needs to be accomplished I would rather stay up late and get something done in one day rather than spend two days doing something. This is why I didn't fare well in an office setting. And now I know why.
We all want to build a sales pipeline. You know -- plant the marketing seeds, nurture them, and watch them bloom into lucrative clients six months, or a year, or five years from now. But what if you can't wait?
Being self-employed can be rewarding, but it's often challenging when you're starting out. To get a new business off the ground, you need customers, but customers aren't easily willing to put their trust in a newbie. It's a catch-22 -- and nobody wants to be the guinea pig.
Each time I approach new projects and venture out of my comfort zone, I have a renewed respect for the way the artisan works. Sometimes we need to win trust by taking on risk rather than finding a way to distribute it.