Where Good Ideas Go To Die – How to Start Acting and Stop Planning
Turning planning, into doing, scared the hell out of me.
It’s frustrating to have many great ideas die because we get overwhelmed from negative findings in the research stage or burnout before we can make real progress.
Over-research is a form of procrastination that is actually worse than doing nothing.
I’ve learned how to start doing instead of planning and it’s a lot easier than you may think.
If you’ve been planning an idea for a while now, take a step outside of your little comforting circle of friends and family and put it in front of the cruel public eye. Allow them to tell you what to change. They are your potential customers.
When you give your idea to the public market, you allow yourself to watch it do great, or watch it fail. Either result is better than keeping your idea to yourself and letting it die there.
I’m calling the phenomenon of learning with no action procrastilearning.
Hi I’m Connor, and I was a serial procrastilearner.
Here is a sad fact for you – From a rough calculation I found that I spent 330 hours in the gym in the last year. I’ve still spent more time “learning to work out” from articles and YouTube videos than I did actually working out.
To further this, I already knew what to do and how to do it from the previous six months I spent watching the same videos and reading the same articles. In reality, I spent most of that time lying to myself that I was actually being productive.
Have you ever spent so much time learning about something that you burn yourself out before you’ve made any real action? I did that all too often, but luckily I’ve figured it out.
With one tweak we can turn ourselves into action oriented powerhouses.
Reverse the order of “research” and “action”.
This will put you on a fast track to act. When an idea comes to mind try it immediately after you have enough knowledge to make a genuine attempt and learn from every failure in the process.
This idea is borrowed from The Lean Startup, a must read to anyone interested in learning more.
What I should have done when I started working out was this:
1. The thought of “I want to get fit” crosses my mind
2. Go to the gym and buy a membership
3. Workout immediately after buying the membership
4. Find out what I’m doing wrong through trial and error and fix the weak points through real research
Apply that formula to the ideas that you’re researching. What is the worst thing that will happen? You could fail. Failure doesn’t feel great until you learn that it’s an opportunity to fix the things the internet can’t teach you.
Overcoming my fear of failure has been my secret to success.
Luck has a genuine effect on your success too. But if you never put yourself in luck’s way, it will rarely find you.
If you want to have the most successful year of your life turn everything you’re afraid of failing into an attempt. Golden ideas hide in the places that most people avoid.
I was afraid of creating a website and putting my writing in the public eye.
I was also afraid of becoming a freelance marketing consultant and content writer. Today I built a short list of businesses in my area that I know could benefit from my services.
My next step is the real scary part, though. I’m going to walk into those stores and ask the owner if they’ve considered outsourcing their web marketing and social media advertising.
Something I’ve heard before is “It’s easy for you to say when you don’t have ________ stopping you.”
If you’ve read my article The Boxer Mentality, you might be happy to hear another analogy from my father. I’ve heard this hundreds of times from him while growing up and can’t believe I’m perpetuating the saying.
“Excuses are like belly buttons. We all have them.”
We all have issues and challenges facing our successes and this includes the people who you’ve been reading about. Mostly, the people who make it in business aren’t exceptional compared to you and I. They have been able to overcome their exceptional excuses and challenges along the way.
In my last article I wrote that statistically you will never be the best. There is something amazing about realizing that we’re not special, these success stories can be replicated by you too.
Stop procrastilearning and reverse your research cycle. Start being an action oriented powerhouse now.
I’m challenging you to pick up your phone and cold call a potential customer about a product or service idea you have and ask them if they’re interested in it.
If you get a “no” ask them why and learn from the people who know better than anyone on the internet.
I’m happy to announce an extension of this blog I’ve been working on. At the Startup Line will interview business owners and company founders for a peek inside the brain of entrepreneurs of all levels.
If you, or anyone you know would like to join me for an interview please send and email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your business name and industry.
Thank you for reading this. If you liked this article please do me the favour of sharing it. I greatly appreciate your support.
Marketing consultant, blogger and personal performance strategist.