Do you ever talk with someone who has so many great ideas and business concepts, who would thrive as an entrepreneur but then they never do anything with their ideas? I do. I am someone. Someone is me. Me is someone. I know I’m not alone so this is for all of we out there.
One of the books I reread last year called Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert looked at ideas as their own living entity. They would “float” around and would go from person to person until they finally landed on someone who took their idea from thought to action. This concept was used to sort of explain why some people would often watch informercials and exclaim “They stole my idea!” or why past scientific discoveries didn’t just happen in one place by one person.
I would say fear is probably the biggest contributor to the great divide between thinking and doing. Fear of failing (money lost), fear of getting it wrong somehow, fear of unknown and just all the false imagery we create in our minds as to why we can’t do something. Fear can be powerful but it can be overcome. Having a really good support system can help push and propel you. But also looking at yourself and taking control of the narrative in your mind and fighting fear with facts.
Write down everything that you fear about bringing a particular idea to fruition and then follow each item up with an opposing and encouraging fact.
There are also some other players in this great divide too, like being comfortable where you are, serious barriers like lack of money to put into an idea, and lack of/limited market for your idea. Being comfortable where you are isn’t necessarily a bad thing because we should learn to be content with what we have, but if you do have big dreams or ideas for other businesses you would like to have or where you want to be, you have to get out of that comfort zone. And this doesn’t just refer to money and business. Maybe you’re sitting too comfy in your relationship and it’s gotten stagnant.
Here’s the thing: you can’t complain about being stagnant if you’re not willing to make a move.
Now here’s how I (semi) squash the money excuse. For many people not living in poverty, “having the money” is often a matter of priorities, and I’ve seen this in myself. For months I’ve been postponing paying for an online membership and certification that I should done last year because I keep prioritizing other things before it because I have spent the cost of the course and then some other things. We pick and choose what we want to spend our money on which are often the things that bring immediate reward satisfaction. We don’t like giving up our little rewards for the bigger one because it means we have to sacrifice and sacrificing doesn’t feel good. The word sacrifice doesn’t even sound attractive. It sounds like pain and discomfort and no one likes those things.
But it doesn’t have to be all or nothing to find the money to invest in our ideas.
- Learn how to budget and identify where all your money is going.
- You don’t have to cut out EVERY bit of pleasure, but you can certainly cut back and reroute those extra funds into your idea. Eg. Buy Starbucks three times per week instead of five.
- Pick up a side hustle. There are a million stories and videos on this so I don’t even have to go into detail. Living in developed countries I feel like it’s easier or if you have certain transferable skills. I haven’t figured this out for myself yet so I judge not. If anyone wants to hire me as an idea consultant (if that’s a thing), hit me up.
- Leverage the money from your current job (if you can). Eg. any bonuses, tips, raises that you may receive could go straight to funding your idea.
Being from The Bahamas where our population is less than half a million, it can feel like there’s no space for certain ideas and businesses and that’s why we have so much brain drain. But often, with the right idea, you may start out small, but if you get in early and are willing to endure those struggle months or years, you’ll find yourself a leader of the pack.
A few years ago while in undergrad, fun photo booths with props and on-the-spot printing were trending. I thought it would be a cool idea to bring back home especially for wedding parties and things like that. I researched the heck out of the idea. Pricing, websites, printing…all the things, but of course, I didn’t actually do anything with the idea. Fast forward to now and there’s a few popular photo booth companies at home that seem to be dominate.
So…what else can I do?
- Break ideas down in to the smallest tasks possible. Today, I wrote down the idea. I watched the business Youtube videos for 1 hour and took notes on the resources. Tomorrow I will sketch out the rough plan and look into pricing. By next week, I will have a digital mockup.
- Work with someone. You don’t have to do it all alone. Talk someone just to get feedback or they can be someone to help keep you accountable to your goals and give you the nudge forward that you need.
- Just start. It won’t be perfect. It won’t be 100% right. But 6 months from now, you can look back and seeing that you’re closer to the end point, than the beginning.
It’s still January (good Lordy!) and maybe some of that New Year, New Me stuff is still in the air but for me in this Life of Neu, I want to push myself to achieving more, doing more. Bringing more of my ideas to life if only just for me. I could say that I did it. But also, maybe some of what I have to share could help someone. I heard someone on the internets say something like,
Someone out there is waiting on you to walk in your purpose. They’re waiting on you to manifest your vision. Someone is waiting on you to live out your dream.