One of the inherent challenges of entrepreneurship is that some initiatives you launch will require time to have an effect.

For example, I spoke with an agency owner last year who was developing leads through LinkedIn. He said that he posted for almost a year before he started to see any business from that channel.

What makes time a challenge is that often the initiative you launch leads to a dead end. There are many marketing channels that the agency owner I talked to could have invested in that would not have had any impact after a year.

And it’s even trickier to navigate because it’s easy to slip into sunk cost fallacy where you assess whether to keep investing in an initiative based upon how much you’ve already put into it.

It’s a gamble. Knowing it’s a gamble is helpful, because gamblers have rules to manage risk. They decide in advance when it’s time to get up from the table and cash in their chips.

For anything significant you’re starting, it’s helpful to set some boundaries. Answer questions like:

  • How much will you invest and for how long?
  • What signs do you need to see to merit further investment?
  • When will you move on? 

Just understanding that you’re stepping into the casino will help you to better navigate the data you collect as your investment resolves.