Have you heard of this ‘affliction’ called M.B.I., Multiple Business Identities?
Conflicting messages about having M.B.I. If you’ve been around for a while then you’ve been introduced to the idea of the benefits of having multiple streams of income. It’s encouraged by many and yet, it becomes a double-edged sword for some. If you thought you were doing the ‘right’ thing by having a few sources and then were criticized by others who felt you were too scattered and probably unsuccessful, then you may want to read on. You’re probably reading this because you either know someone who fits this title or you are in fact the person who does.
As a business coach and a fellow ‘victim’ of M.B.I., I know many people who have it. They either have a job and a business they are building on the side or they literally have several businesses that they run simultaneously. Depending on who the observer is, this could cause the person with M.B.I. to feel shame or as if they are ‘doing something wrong’ because after all, most people focus on one business at a time. (I don’t know how they do it and I don’t want to) So, when I say are you ‘suffering’ from M.B.I. it’s because many who have it are suffering from what they think about it, hear about it or the way they manage it. Not because they have it.
I personally have several business identities of which I am proud of, think of as my ‘babies’ and am building at the same time. Part of the reason I have M.B.I. is that I research online businesses for my clients and I like to provide resources, educated advice and even opportunities when needed. The other reason I have M.B.I. is that I fall in love with great ideas, projects or concepts and I am not willing to let them go just because I already have 10 others.
Multiple Business Identities, while very common, are usually kept secretive due to the fact that most do not want to be distracted by outside influence – hey! we are way to busy to be distracted!
Before we go on, let’s find out if you truly suffer from M.B.I. Because while you may ‘think’ you are afflicted, it may just be a passing fancy. A person with TRUE Multiple Business Identity will recognize themselves in one or more of the symptoms.
Symptoms of M.B.I.
- If you have several business cards with your name on them and they are all current
- If your LinkedIn Profile looks more like a lifelong resume
- If you have several Facebook groups/pages and multiple twitter / social media accounts in order to profile all of your businesses.
- If you wake up in the morning and say ‘Which business should I work on today?’
- If you go to a Networking Group and you hesitate for a moment when someone asks what you do. (trying to figure out which of your business identities best suits the person you are speaking to)
- If your coach is telling you to choose ONE business and build only that one, but you don’t know which to choose and your heart tells you not to.
- If you are wildly passionate, talented or just plain interested in many things
- If your friends and family are worried about you and might even think you have a ‘serious problem’
- If you are REALLY taking the ‘you should have multiple streams of income’ statement very seriously.
Causes of M.B.I.
The causes of M.B.I. vary among those afflicted. It occurs mostly with having a particular mindset similar to those listed below.
- Inspired by others with M.B.I.
- Loves money and wants several platforms for earning
- Passionate about so much, not willing to choose
- Multitalented and doesn’t see why they have to choose only one
- Wants to be a disrupter in the world and doesn’t want to choose (are you seeing a pattern here?)
- Doesn’t think living 85 years is enough time to get it all done so they must overlap
So, obviously, the common thread in the cause of M.B.I is the fact that those who have it, want it all, and are not willing to choose.
Treatment for M.B.I.
While there may not be a cure for M.B.I. mostly because those afflicted don’t want to ‘recover’ from it. There is a way to live with it more comfortably.
- Stop listening to those who don’t GET YOU! – You won’t change their minds and let’s hope they don’t try to change you.
- Unless it’s bothering you, there is nothing wrong. Be proud of your M.B.I.
- Know that it’s possible to manage them all and make money
- If you are suffering from overwhelm, lack of support, structure or knowledge on how to manage your M.B.I., find a fellow M.B.I.’er who can share their experience, strengths and hopes with you and help make M.B.I. more doable, lucrative and fun.
Final words for those with M.B.I.
While it may not be fully supported in the mainstream, yet, M.B.I. is becoming more and more common among entrepreneurs. Maybe you have M.B.I. or maybe you just need to earn with one business while building another. It can range from having a Main business and a network marketing business to having several of each. I myself manage my consulting business, an e-commerce store, an affiliate marketing business and a few network marking businesses and I have a few more in the pipeline. Whatever your reason, I would like to say, it’s OK. For some, that’s all they need to hear. It’s OK and you are not crazy. (OK, I really don’t know if that’s true)
So my advice to you is to come out of the closet and seek out others with Multiple Business Identities There is nothing to be ashamed of, especially if you are muli-successful!
Fran Asaro is a Virtual Partner bringing humor and companionship to entrepreneurs and multi-preneurs who don’t want to do it alone. Along with a lifelong entrepreneurial bank of resources, wisdom and secrets, having Fran as a Virtual Partner will help provide many levels of support to your personal and professional life
Contact Fran if you’d like to find out more about her and to see if having a Virtual Partner is right for you.
A message from a fellow M.B.I. – After reading this article, a friend/colleague of mine wrote the following comment. I asked her if she’d allow me to post it here and she agreed. I thought it was important enough to profile it and not lose it among any comments.
From Patricia Hartfield Thanks so much Fran Amendola Asaro I read this entire article it was very helpful as a few weeks ago my mom advised me that her friends supposedly see me on FB and won’t do business with me or buy from me cause I’m all over the place. I’m like Really-and it was hurtful in a way as I don’t advertise a lot about my businesses that I’m involved I mainly share Wellness info as a Self-Care Wellness Educator… I’m in doTerra and used to share that but now only use for Personal aspects of things not as a business. I’m in Nikken but I work and share it Part-time something I could not let go and now I’m in training and starting a Skincare and Facial Exercise business. One thing that I have noticed that no matter what businesses I have been plugged into they all have been consistent in ways of Wellness and Fitness is what it all comes down to. Now if I go from Wellness and Fitness to doing jewelry then I can see the complaint but at this point, I don’t. So your article of being an MBI person was well-needed today-one of my dosha’s in Ayurveda is Creativity-and that I can definitely agree with thank you.
~ Patricia Hartfield – Nikken Site