I’m going to guess you’re something of an idea machine. Am I right?
Fabulous! Now tell me: What happens after you’ve been inspired to do something great?
If you’re like most business owners, you have a notebook full of ideas you haven’t had the time or energy to implement.
But fresh ideas are vital to your business. They keep you creatively inspired and they keep your clients engaged.
That’s why I’ve honed a series of steps that are guaranteed to give those amazing ideas a fighting chance.
You can use these steps for something small, like write a free opt-in ebook, or you can use it for something big, like creating a multi-media digital program. (I’ve even had someone use these steps to plan a retirement party!)
If you’re ready to bring one of your ideas to life, here’s how, in my famous, Steal This!, step-by-step fashion.
Step 1: Get Crystal Clear
I’m sure you’ve started down the path of executing an idea only to realize much later that it hadn’t been the best one to work on. Learning how to pick the best idea to work on can save you a ton of time and mistakes in the long run.
Start by asking yourself this question to sort the so-so ideas from the spectacular:
Where did this idea come from?
When it popped into your brain, how were you feeling? Anxious? Afraid? In nervous flurry while watching someone else pull off a great launch?
If so, it was likely inspired by fear, not clarity, and those aren’t the best ideas to act on.
However, if you were in a clear frame of mind, pay attention. That’s probably an idea with serious staying power.
After you’ve found a shining star, get out a pen and paper and write down your answers to these questions.
What do I want to do?
Why do I want to do it?
Who is this for?
How is it going to work?
When and where is it going to happen?
When you answer those questions, you can see the full potential of your inspired idea.
If you have multiple ideas and can’t pick between them, answer the above questions for each one and see which one makes you most excited. Then follow-through with that one before you start working on another one.
Step 2: Figure Out the Steps
Now that you’ve clarified which idea you want to make happen, it’s time to outline the steps it’ll take to bring your idea to life.
This may sound a bit much, but I promise this tip is work gold:
Grab a big stack of index cards. (Yes, like the ones you used for flash cards back in school.)
On each card, write down one step required to make your idea happen. Only put one step on a card. This may sound excessive or silly, but I promise you that it will make idea execution 357 times easier if you do it.
Once you’ve brainstormed all of the steps, revisit each card and jot down the answers to these questions (if they apply):
How many or how much?
This way, you can uncover all the tiny, in-between tasks that need doing. This will save you TONS of time at later phases in the project, so it’s not a mad scramble to tie up loose ends.
You may end up generating a dozen or more new task cards as a result. That’s actually a good thing! Every new task card is a potentially stressful OMG-I-forgot-that! situation you’ve avoided.
Step 3: Put Them in Order
Now you know all of the steps you’ll have to take, it’s time to put them in order. I think this is the most fun part!!
Give yourself time and grant yourself some patience, and you’ll figure it out. It may also help to work through it over a few days.
Also know that there isn’t always one single correct order. Do your best to work through this puzzle, and in the end, you’ll have a big ‘ol plan, clear as day!
Step 4: Get Help Where You Need It
Now that you see every step that needs to happen and in what order, you may look at a few index cards hoping you could skip that step altogether. Well, you can’t skip it, but you can outsource it.
This isn’t the time to be shy about asking for help. If you have a big idea you want to make happen, reach out where you need to.
Which of these tasks do you not know how to do or would rather not do at risk of repeatedly slamming your head against a wall? Great. Put a little star by that task. Keep putting stars on your index cards, and after you run through them all, you’ll have your “must delegate” list.
Next, it’s time to start the hunt for help.
Ask for referrals on social media. Phone a friend. Scour the web. Don’t stop looking until you find the right person to help.
Short on cash? Ask friends and colleagues with the skills you need if they’d be open to trade. For example, your badass life coaching skills could be traded for their website coding wizardry.
Step 5: Take Action
Proper planning arms you for action and helps you avoid surprises, so you can make your ideas actually happen.Click to TweetProper planning arms you for action and helps you avoid surprises, so you can make your ideas actually happen.
With all of that planning under your belt, it’s now time to take action! (I love this part, too!) Start working through your steps, one at a time, and make your idea actually happen!
(Quick question: Now that you’ve seen all that goes into proper planning to prevent potential problems, is it possible you’ve jumped a little too quickly into taking action in the past? Just curious…)
Keep the Momentum Going
For some, it can be difficult to work through the bajillion steps required to see a huge project through to execution. When that happens, here’s how you can stay motivated.
First, I like to display my index card list somewhere visible and accessible, so I can check off each task I complete. The more tasks I knock off the list, the more momentum I get! It’s also a great reminder of how far I’ve come and a great motivator to keep going.
Second, I’m not afraid to bribe myself. Seriously.
If you’re dragging your feet on a particular task, give yourself something you’ll enjoy while you tackle it or after it’s complete. Struggling to write that sales page? Give yourself two hours to make headway on that sales page, then treat yourself to a mocha latte at your favorite coffee shop. Or reward yourself with a long-overdue massage once you’ve completed that ebook.
Do whatever you need to do to FINISH that great idea and bring it to life. We will have no half-finished works of greatness around here!
It’s Your Turn
Now it’s your turn to bring your ideas to life. But first, tell me…
What idea do you have in the hopper that needs a good ‘ol plan to make it actually happen?
Where do you get stalled on the road to making your ideas actually happen? What tips in this article are you going to implement to get you moving?
Declare your genius in the comments below. I can’t wait to see you get your big ideas out into the world!