For the last couple of days, I’ve been taking you through the 3-step process of handling your overload of ideas.
Here is the third and final key in this process, and you must remember this most important point: 24 hours is never enough time for a creative thinker like you, with too many ideas.
As an owner, you already feel like you work all the time. You don’t, but if you did, it wouldn’t make things much better. Here’s why: As you get past the 8 hour mark, up into the 10, then the 12, and finally to the 16-hour mark of working, your productivity drops off, and you start being not so nice. People respond less well to someone with blood shot eyes who is screaming with too much caffeine in them. Working too much will also cause your family, your dog, and those who were helping you to quit responding. And let’s not forget those employees. They’ll still show up for that paycheck, but have you ever seen unresponsive and uncommitted? You will.
Think back a few days on my earlier blog post and remember how some of you had another person helping you, making it not just you, but you and someone else? When you work all the time that person will leave, call you names, and you will be stuck with only you. Just you and your caffeine, wide awake and alone. And your situation will not be improved. It will be just you, and you will still have too many ideas.
So here’s my advice. In your big pile of ideas that you’ve sifted through, look for ideas that will IMPACT SALES IN A HUGE WAY!
This is the key to handling too many ideas!
Sure, this seems logical, but there is power in putting this into practice.
You must learn to identify those great ideas that you can put into place, with your limited amount of time and sanity, which will significantly change your business for the better by increasing sales the most.
These ideas have to be the BIG ones. They will be the ones that change how you do business. They are ones that could reinvent your business into a different revenue-generating entity that spins off much more cash and pulls in many more customers.
You must use your good judgment, and look at the remaining ideas, and say: “If I put this into practice, how much will it move our overall sales number?” And if your answer is “A little” or “Not much”, put those ideas off to the side.
Let’s practice one idea together. You pick up an idea from your pile. It says “Hold another Open House”. Will this really impact your sales and possibly reinvent your business? You say No? Yes, you are right. This is not that BIG idea.
The best ideas will often create a disproportionately large increase in customers or immediate large sales for your business, or move your business forward with such momentum that the new sales might begin resembling an entirely new branch of your company.
Once you find these ideas, you must focus your limited energy, resources, spouse or partner, employees, and remaining team that doesn’t hate you, on these tasks, every day. In your day-to-day operations of your business, you must find time to implement incremental steps in these move-the-needle, BIG ideas.
Here’s another hint: You will find that ideas of this magnitude aren’t the ones that most of your peers at the tradeshows you’ve been attending have been repeating. If your peers really do have BIG ideas like these, they are quietly keeping them to themselves. I have found that the really BIG ideas won’t be found in your industry, but in an adjacent industry or a totally different industry and you will be able to apply the concept to your industry, where it will be brand new.
I have found this is one of the primary reasons that our Destination BootCamp works so well. It’s not just me teaching you, but it’s also what happens when you take smart, dissimilar, dissatisfied business owners, all motivated to change their businesses, and the process that happens when they come together for three days of strategic over-thinking. They exchange ideas under the 14-step framework of becoming a Destination Business and they begin to hear ideas that they’ve never heard before. And then it clicks. Light bulb! And as Einstein said, that’s a Eureka moment in the world of adult learning. Yea!
Summing up and moving on: There is only one you, and yes, you are like a snowflake, unique and one-of-a-kind, as your parents said. Unfortunately, your ideas and mode of operation have become stale and like everyone else in your industry. Then, there are too few hours in a day, and you have too many ideas. Working on too many ideas for too many hours and your business begins lacking the focus it needs.
The alternative to doing what you’ve always done is to find BIG ideas that will move your sales needle in a big way. Break down the BIG idea into smaller steps and plan the steps out month-by-month, week-by-week, on a calendar. Finally, work the plan with you, your partner, and your employees, and delegate to those who can help. Oh, yeah, and find mentors that have done this before.
Doing it alone feels right, but it’s not. It feels right to plow forward, work longer, and make it on your own. This is your inner entrepreneur on a misguided quest to right your course. Instead, you must step back and rethink your business strategy.
If you have more comments or questions, post them on this blog. Or, make your way to our Destination BootCamp next month on June 21-23, 2011 (www.DestinationBootCamp.com) and watch the Eureka moments find you.