Many of us have a great idea or a new solution to an everyday challenge lingering in the back of our minds but don’t act on it. Having a good idea is great. Acting on it is even better. It takes a leap of faith combined with plenty of legwork.
The reason many us don’t move forward is not because of roadblocks that stand in your way. Often it is the emotional barriers we create. Here are five mental hurdles you may have and how to scale them to make your leap:
1. I don’t have the time. If not now, when? If you can make time for a weekly mani-pedi, spin class, laundry or posting endlessly on Facebook, why can’t you take the same amount of time to work on your new idea? Flexing your mind is as important as flexing your body. Tip: Put the “Do not disturb” sign up and add just one hour in your week for “project development.”
2. I can’t afford to do it. Hey! You can’t afford not to. Taking action costs relatively nothing compared to living with the price of regret for not trying. If money is tight, take baby steps to get started. Start saving in other areas or trading off to give yourself more spending power to spark your idea. I traded dining out for eating in and stopped buying stuff that was simply filling up my drawers and counters, often rarely used.
3. I don’t have the skills. Well, you probably do and just don’t know it. First, look at what talents you have and think about using them in other ways. I host two radio shows and never took a class called “How to be a radio host.” I knew I loved to write, had a gift for gab and an inquisitive mind and just repackaged my communications skills to use them in a fresh new way. Want to learn new skills? Volunteer your time and talent with organization which aligns with your goals to gain hands on experience.
4. I lack the proper education or degree. That didn’t seem to stop Bill Gates. You are smarter than you think. Our bodies are designed to give birth which is pretty amazing! But our minds are equally able to give birth to ideas, which is awesome!
Tip: If you feel you need to deposit to your brain trust, there are many online courses and Apps you can download. Just jump in with that extra hour a week you just gave yourself. I am a big fan of free webinars and tele-seminars. Usually there’s a no-obligation sales pitch at the end. But you can learn plenty just by listening for one hour free. For some jobs like teaching, an advanced degree is necessary. Many programs offer payment plans for slightly more money or provide professional discounts to certain groups.
5. It seems like everyone is already doing what I want to do. Sometimes I wonder if any idea is truly original anymore. Here’s the reality: There is a market for everything if you identify your niche and audience, understand their needs and figure out how to reach them and with a compelling message. Just give your idea a new twist.
Some of the best ideas are better solutions to everyday problems. Do your homework by drawing on your own experiences and by talking to others. There were a ton of breast cancer books written by survivors on the market when I was pitching “Getting Things Off My Chest.” I read many of them and knew how I wanted my book to stand apart. I was able to sell this message and my plan to promote it to a publisher who listened and took me on. If I had not done the research and pitched how my book filled a niche for a specific audience and would be different from the other books, my manuscript would still be sitting in my computer.
If you want to pursue something for pure joy (dancing, painting, singing, jewelry making), there are many courses and apps to help you get started without making a huge commitment. I like www.craftsy.com
If your idea is a business, start with a simple outline. Ask yourself these ten questions:
What is my idea and what is its purpose?
How does it work?
What is the need and how will my idea fill it?
Who is my target audience and what do they like?
How can I reach them?
What am I offering them to engage their interest?
What am I selling to make money and how am I doing it?
How much money do I need to get started?
What other services/products like mine exist and how is my concept both similar and different?
What resources can I draw on (tech support, financial, friends, family, etc) to help me?
Taking the first step with a new project, enterprise or direction requires a leap of faith. You have to believe in yourself, your potential and your possibilities. Do it with an open mind and a willingness to listen to your gut, to advice from people you respect and to the people you want to reach. But ignore the naysayers who discourage rather than encourage you.
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather act on my dreams rather than sleepwalk through life. Is it time to schedule your wake up call?