Nine months. His mastermind group had listened to the same flurry of scattered ideas over and over and over. This was a business that nine months ago was predicted to easily hit half a million within a year, and yet some 270 days later, nothing’s changed. And that half a million is a pipe dream as the talented business owner wastes his time, energy and money going from thing to thing to thing.
The mastermind group finally had it and said for the 8th time, “You Have to FOCUS on something and move it forward. STOP spinning around and get something done.”
But he can’t. Because he’s addicted to the ideas. He gets a rush in the creative energy, the fun of the future, and lives solely in the possibility. Things like putting opt in boxes on websites and follow up marketing is overwhelming and confusing to him, so it never gets done. That means marketing efforts are not leveraged, time is wasted, and the business that would set him free and allow him to do the great service he provides…never gets to where it should be.
Do you struggle with this as well? I call this man an “idea junkie” because ideas are great, but if your ideas are costing you money, something’s gotta change!
Let’s face it, for most of us the draw of the new, the shiny, and the challenging is what feeds the entrepreneurial fire. Grinding away at the mundane or the details is why we left our jobs, right?
But if you find yourself always in idea mode and aren’t moving things forward, you are out of balance!
There’s certainly a place to vision and plan the future, but if you aren’t then spending equal time mining the gold that’s right in front of you, money is lost and clients aren’t showing up.
Here are a few reasons people are idea junkies. See if you find yourself in here (and feel free to share your own.)
- It’s fun
- There’s an element of ‘newness’ to it
- Passion and creativity are energizing
- You may not know how to do other things, so ideas are easier
- Staying in ideas can be an avoidance technique so it seems like you are ‘working’ but there’s no real risk if you never roll it out. (Usually this isn’t conscious for people.)
But if you keep rolling along like the fellow mentioned above, what happens is that not only do you not get the growth, but people stop taking you seriously. You become the business owner who cried wolf. We’ve all seen those folks. The gal you meet at the networking event that’s always got that new great money making thing….until next month when she’s onto the next. And you don’t want to be THAT GAL!
So if you are out of balance with too many ideas and not enough implementation, follow these steps.
Dump the Denial -
What do they say about the truth setting you free? If you notice yourself in this story, you must get out of denial about the cost of not getting your work out in the world. Are you hiding out? Afraid to go to that next level or risk rejection? Not sure how to make the technology work or pull off the marketing?
I encourage you to get real with yourself here. If someone was watching you for nine months would they see growth? Or would they want to shake you up a bit because you are spinning your wheels? Do an assessment or even ask folks around what they see because the first step in this process is awareness.
Find Some Focus -
I know…for some this is hard and painful! Trust me, I’m the first to check email 57 times a day, but I have trained myself in how to stick with a project.
Without focusing on a specific task and setting up systems to move it forward, you’ll be spinning around in the crazy popcorn of ideas. Pick ONE task that if you just put some sustained effort into it would yield you some nice results. It could be a prospect calling campaign, a writing day, or something else, but grab something and make the commitment to it.
Feed the Beast -
Auntie Therese isn’t going to make you go cold turkey however! Feeding the beast means to allow yourself some time/space to dream or play or wander around in idea land. The trick though is to balance it and control it. Let me give you an example.
A client of mine was very creative yet also had a huge need to research her projects deeply. Because of this, she was spending at least 3 hrs a day researching because it never felt ‘good enough’ if she didn’t. So we gave her an idea time limit. She then played with it and discovered that if she did a bit of ‘right brain creative thinking’ then moved into some ‘left brain analysis’ she could move something ahead and feel really good about it. Skipping either step left her feeling unable to really produce, so we let her feed the beast but limited the amount of time she was spending. It worked great for her.
Get Support -
This is a biggie! Because it feels so gooooood to be in idea-land and can be so hard to either do tasks you don’t like or know how to do. Nothing works better than having some butt-kicking coach or mastermind group gently remind you that you have to commit and stay focused. This is why we created the Get it Done Day. The accountability and ‘public’ element where the community is involved and help is around works wonders!
Other tricks? Reward yourself for what you did get done, or set up little punishments for what you didn’t. Years ago I was not being very successful at going to the gym. So I decided that if I didn’t show up, I’d have to send money to the presidential candidate that I couldn’t stand! Heck, this one kept me working out for quite a while. Until I was tired and blew it off, so had to pony up some cash for his campaign. Yuck! The point is that the ‘negative reinforcement’ working in my case. Some people may be more motivated by getting a massage or treating themselves if they do focus and implement.
Here’s the deal….I want you to be even more successful! And to do that you have to buckle down, shut off the new ideas from time to time, and just GET STUFF DONE! You can train yourself to be a lean, mean ‘action’ machine when you balance ideas and implementation.