There's a reason it's hard to land on the right idea sometimes.
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If you read my story on the blog yesterday about how I started making a full-time income as a blogger, then you know that I’ve done a ton of idea switching + procrastinating in my life.

Now, I'm not bragging, but I've even heard others say I'm something of an expert when it comes to inactivity due to overwhelmtion. <<< Don't look that up in the dictionary. You won't find it there.

If you relate to one of the three symptoms below, keep reading. If you don't, then I'd like to hire you to show me how to be as awesome as you are.
  1. You have really great product + content ideas that you keep putting off.
  2. You constantly change your mind about which idea you want to pursue next.
  3. You haven't launched the brand/blog you're really passionate about yet, but it's been like 17 months.
Let's get this out of the way >>> whichever of the three categories you fit into (I've fit into all of them at the same time before--now I'm mainly #1 and #2), it's not that your idea isn't good.

Your idea is actually perfect. But somewhere in the back of your mind (or deep in your heart if you wish me to be cheesy) you absolutely understand that it’s going to require a lot of work to take your idea to the level of success you want it to go.

And here enters the one problem, some people call it fear of success, that holds you and me back from it all. Here enters:


 
The Pedestal Problem

 
You see, my lovely friends, you are wonderfully in tune with your world and this causes you to think up really useful + entertaining stuff. BUT. Being the humans we are, we either:
  • Option 1: Put our idea on a pedestal and subconsciously feel that the only way to keep it safe and perfect is to keep it conceptual. As long as it's a glorious idea inside our heads, and we haven't put in the crazy long hours just to find out it didn't work . . . as long as it's as big and grand as we can imagine, and we haven't launched it to a place where people could possibly reject it or criticize it . . . as long as it's in our creative minds, it's safe. [No one can call your idea names if you never launched it. You can't have "failed" with your product if you never made it a reality.]
  • Option 2: Put someone else's similar idea on a pedestal and feel there is no way we can ever make our product as amazing as theirs. So, as long as we keep our concept in the privacy of our notebooks, it will never pale in comparison to someone else's idea.
Think about it: Without an actual product on the market, you don't have to really ever disappoint yourself with sales numbers or feel like people are saying your product isn't as good as SoAndSo's. Without an actual product, there is no failure. So yes, the fear of that failure, the fear of not living up to the pedestal we place things on (unnecessarily place things on, to be exact) causes us to either (1) procrastinate, (2) change our mind to a new product, or (3) never launch.

You are afraid. I am afraid. We're all afraid.

We're all unsure of how others will perceive our content until we make it available and see how it's perceived. I once launched the signup for a workshop that no one signed up for. I scratched the idea a few days later out of fear. I've also launched stuff on a whim that wasn't fully planned out yet, and had people sign up that same day. The truth is, you never know. So I have three "if . . . then" action items to help you.

 
ONE: If you have the tendency to procrastinate, and you want to stop doing so, but you also want to mitigate risk, then:
  • ask your friends and your audience what they'd like to see from you--let them vote or make suggestions
  • find a mentor or business coach to help keep you on track
  • launch the idea in beta and let people know that they are helping you improve it to its final form
^ Because you are all so wonderful, I was able to ask what you wanted to see first, then write my recent post based on your feedback.
 
TWO: If you have the tendency to change your mind rapidly, or get distracted by shiny new projects, then:
  • before you have time to change your mind again, pick the idea you're currently on and host your own 3-Day Create or workcation (take a weekend to make it happen--a lot of us did the #3DayCreate challenge and made some truly beautiful stuff; here's the workbook we used: it's a 57-page workbook to help you plan an information product, if that's your cup of tea)
  • realize the product/brand doesn't have to be perfect at first; simply make it useful, make it purposeful, then release it--and remember, if it really doesn't turn out the way you want it to, you don't have to put it out there, but I'd encourage you to get feedback from a secret group of volunteer testers before you scrap something
  • (orrrr) decide if these shiny new projects are really just distracting you from fixing some problems in your main brand--if that's the case, read How Creative Flex is Messing with Your Brand and 5 Steps to Fix It

THREE: If you are still waiting to launch that one brand you've had on your mind for 3 months, or 3 years, or whatever, then:
  • set a launch date that you make known to the public
  • write a mini business plan
  • work backward from your launch date so you know what needs to happen, and when
  • rest assured you will not embarrass yourself by not launching something that you said you would; you'll surprise yourself and get it done
If you never set a launch date, it's not real. And you're probably not gonna do it. It's kinda like young adults in relationships on Facebook . . . it's not real until you change your status and update the world.

I leave you with three secrets:

(1) Unless you publish your sales numbers for the world to see, no one will know how well something did or did not sell. Unless you publish your web traffic statistics to the world, no one will know your exact traffic numbers.

(2) If it doesn’t work out quite the way you wanted, it’s not wasted time. You learned something. Believe me. The cleaning business I started 7 years ago has nothing to do with blogging, but I learned how to really research what I needed and I learned how to start a business for real. Even though I went to business school, actually starting a business was how I learned the skill. And consulting people on how to start businesses is how I made $$ for several years after that.

(3) You may have been perfecting your craft/idea/brand so long that when you build a product/blog around your “know how,” you feel it is very basic. Travel back in time to when you didn’t know anything about your field. Wouldn’t it have been useful then? The product doesn’t have to amaze people like you, it needs to be valuable to the people you make it for.

Talk to me via social media (links below). Do you feel any of these holdups apply to you? If not, what is holding you back? If you're moving forward, what tips do you have for the rest of us?


Photo: Â© pathdoc - Fotolia.com

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