Have you ever had a grand idea? One you you were really excited to put out into the world? (Of course you have.)
Did you ever have an idea you loved so much that you were equally excited and afraid to put it out there? What if someone didn’t buy it, this idea you loved so much?
It’s a funny relationship we have with our favorite ideas. We love them and want to share them, yet sharing them puts them out in the open for others to judge. And then others may judge them unworthy…. And ouch, that hurts.
Last week we discussed how to reframe failure-thinking so you can deal with inevitable failures without the freak-out.
Now, imagine not having the loaded pressure of success on your beloved ideas right from the beginning, so you can put your work out into the world with ease. Even better than just dealing with aftermath stress, you simply avoid it altogether. Nice, right?
This week you’re going to learn exactly how to experiment your way to success in business. You’ll see how to test, try, fail, rethink… and succeed with your ideas, without any pressure or panic right from the moment the idea pops into your head.
Here we go, in my famous, step-by-step style.
How to Experiment in Your Business
Step 1: Pinpoint an idea you’re excited about
Is there a service you’ve been itching to sell, or a product you’ve always wanted to create? Think about those dreams you’ve had on the back burner. Pick one to play with right now.
Preferably, if you’re new to business, you’ll pick a small-ish idea, not something requiring thousands of dollars of upfront investments. (I’ll talk more about why it’s best to start experimenting with small things in a future post.)
Step 2: Put on your scientist’s mindset
Like we discussed last week, your mental reset button is to use a scientist’s mindset.
Tell yourself: “I’m just going to see how this goes.” Remove the pressure, and don’t let the idea of failing hold you back. Instead, know that this is a learning experience, not a must-succeed-no-matter-what scenario. In fact, it’s that kind of pressure that will cause the stress you want to avoid.
You’ve also reduced the pressure by starting with a small-ish idea to experiment with, not something that will land you bankrupt if it doesn’t work out.
Remember, if things don’t work out perfectly, you’ll know exactly what mistakes to avoid next time and what aspects actually worked well. This knowledge is priceless, and you can only get it with experimentation.
Step 3: Put your best out there
Although you’re no longer putting a massive amount of pressure on yourself to succeed, don’t let that make you complacent. Never experiment with anything less than your best work.
Put your best out there. Your best product or service. Your best marketing. Your best sales skills.
If your experiment doesn’t work out but you’ve only done a half-assed ob, you won’t know the exact reason why things didn’t work. Instead, you’ll just be left with more questions — and that’s not at all helpful for learning.
Step 4. Watch what happens
Carefully observe how the experiment unfolds.
Did you enjoy making this idea happen?
How did your people react?
Was the response positive or negative?
How did you feel about the whole thing?
There are clues as to why things are working or not working. You’ll have to be a scientist to uncover the real reasons behind your successes and failures.
Step 5. Take notes
Not every experiment goes perfectly. Sometimes you hit the jackpot, sometimes it totally bombs. Either way, you’re going to learn valuable lessons from what happened.
If it went well, awesome! Take notes. Write down a detailed description of all the steps you took. Note what you think specifically worked and why. These details will help you recreate or expand on your successes in the future.
If it didn’t go as planned, also take notes! And, don’t sweat it. As I like to say…
“Clarity comes from taking action.” Tweet that!
You won’t know what works or doesn’t work unless you take action. And since you took action, you’re that many more steps ahead of where you would have been otherwise. After all, it was a learning experience!
What to Do When Things Don’t Go Perfectly
Let’s say you tested out a really promising idea and didn’t get the response you’d hoped for.
What happens next? It’s not to rethink everything; it’s time to tweak.
This is your chance to rework and reassess your plan, so you can (hopefully) get better results the next time around.
But exactly how do you do that? What are the steps you should take to make smart shifts?
Those are exactly the questions I’ll be covering in the next post in this series, where you’ll learn how to evaluate and learn from failures (and wins) to create more success in your business
As always, I want to hear from you!
What do you think of this concept of experimentation?
Have you ever tried it in your business? How did it pan out?
What stories and experiences do you have to share around this topic?
Tell me all about it in the comments below. I love reading your insights and experiences.