It’s time to put your money (time) where your mouth is.

We’re a week into 2017, and I’m feeling inspired to talk, push, and grow myself (and you) to new heights. Yes, yes, this could come off as very “resolution-y”, but hey, that could be a cop-out either way if you ask me.

For the next 52 weeks, I’m committing to writing and publishing a blog post every Sunday. These will most likely be short, to the point, and hopefully something that will inspire on topics like design, business, product development, entrepreneurship, fitness, family / relationships, and general concepts I do my best to weave into my existence.

You’re talking again…

It’s a simple premise, right? We as humans, were created as creative beings. Everyone provokes thoughts about doing things “differently”, inspired by some experience. But few jump into the unknown…talking is easier.

Have you ever asked yourself why you don’t start that big idea you’ve had for a few weeks, months, or even years? Can you pin-point why something scares you and why that out-weighs putting in the hard work to counter-balance that argument in your head? That point where you take the giant leap?

This is something I’ll probably dive in on if you continue to read my stuff, but here are a few tips I’ve found help when trying to motivate myself to acting, rather than just talking…

 

1.0 — Do your research

This is the part where you probably should talk about your small/big idea with others. Take interest in whether or not this is something you find worth your time to invest in.

If you have a mentor, or simply someone in your life you really respect, invite them to coffee. Bounce your ideas off them, and no matter what they say, they’re right; they’re perspective matters as an outside user/customer, etc.

 

2.0 — Write it down

I’ve heard it said that if you don’t write an idea down, you can’t own it, no matter what. Your idea is simply a string of random thoughts, and probably one you can’t fully envision without putting pen to paper (or a Google Doc, etc.).

Map out your idea fully to better gauge whether or not you’re going to commit. At this point you don’t have to know, but as you round out the picture of your idea, you’ll begin to figure it out one way or another…and that’s exactly where you want to be.

 

3.0 — Set a goal(s)

If you’ve mapped out your idea, product, design, or whatever, ask yourself what your ultimate goal(s) is for this idea. You never want to be in a position where you don’t know where you’re going with an idea. As it’s known, if you “aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time” (not sure who said that).

In digital product development, and in my day-job as an experience designer, we preach that as a team, you always have to understand the problem we’re trying to solve, and to map it to a goal. Without a goal, we can’t effectively decide on what to craft and/or how.

Why, you ask?

Most products are made to solve a certain problem at hand, usually backed on a business goal. If we can’t align to that goal, or if we simply don’t have a goal to begin with, you have a self-serving opinion.

Opinions are great to understand at an intrinsic level, but if your whole idea stems on something that only you understand/feel, you might be wasting your time, and missing the mark of how your users think. This goes back to doing your research, and religiously asking yourself what problem you’re solving.

 

4.0 — Set a schedule

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Make mini-goals within a larger one, chunk it up, and aim to cross them off one by one as you move within a set amount of time.

When my wife and I started our business (Northwest Beard Supply LLC), we came up with a date that at the time was about 2–3 months away. We knew we had a lot of things to accomplish if we were going to hit that date, so we came up with smaller tasks to complete each week until we crossed everything off and launched.

Doing the same will not only give you a sense of focus (multi-tasking is BS), but prevents your mind from getting distracted on how much you have to complete! Getting this backwards can kill any good idea, or de-motivate, resulting in furthered talk about ‘what if’s’ and ‘if-only’s’.

 

5.0 — Progress, not perfection

Remember, “Doing something well doesn’t exactly mean it’s important”; the difference between effectiveness and efficiency via Tim Ferris. Focus on what matters to accomplishing your goals. A lot of the time we can fumble around, looking for things to do, while mis-understanding that just because you’re working on your idea, doesn’t mean you’re getting closer to launching.

Ask yourself, is this something I need to do right now, or should I prioritize this in a different manner? Am I truly engaged with solving the problem at hand, or is this just making me feel good?

Depending on your goal, either might be okay, but if you’re crafting something for the sake of earning more money, ask yourself: “Is what I’m doing right now going to get me closer to making money or converting customers?”.

You won’t get this right every time, however, nobody does. Technology is so good these days that while we have the means to launch our ideas to literally the whole world, crafting something that speaks to somebody well enough to make a purchase, join a cause, or support your big idea, is still a hard-earned journey. But as many who’ve traveled this path know, it’s soooo worth it.

Stop talking so much, and start showing what you, and your big idea, are made of. With enough focus, diligence, sought out answers, Google, and hard work, you can do anything.

 


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