7 Steps to Moving from Idea to Action

When I first started my own business, I was excited!
I had spent 15 years in corporate America and had “escaped”.
I was still sane, not all my hair had turned grey, and now I
had the chance to pursue my dream to be a professional coach,
and help people realize their own dreams.

Business started out better than I had expected. I was making
great contacts, connecting with people, getting clients, and business
was growing fast! With all the momentum and excitement of a
growing business, I started coming up with many great ideas on
products I could develop, workshops I could teach, and articles
I could write. Daily and weekly the ideas would come fast and
furious, and they were brilliant! I would literally feel overwhelmed
with excitement of ALL the things I could do!

But as the days and weeks went by, I noticed that the ideas were
coming, but the action was NOT. It was exciting, but then I realized
that this flood of brilliance was actually paralyzing me. How could
so many ideas containing so much opportunity be paralyzing me?

The ideas were so creative and forthcoming, but I couldn’t decide what
to do first, nor focus long enough to develop and implement a plan.
I started to feel scattered and was becoming less productive.

It wasn’t until I explored this further that I realized this is a
common phenomenon with new entrepreneurs. It’s a phenomenon I
call “Idea Overload.” The bottom line is, while our never ending
well of ideas could be an incredible asset, many entrepreneurs end up wasting so much time in the idea generation phase, they never end up getting anything done. Soon they are falling further and further behind.

To help get control of my “Idea Overload,” and use my ideas to grow my business, I developed 7 Steps of Moving From Idea to Action. They are:

  1. Keep an idea journal – Get your ideas out of your head and onto paper. This will free up your mind to receive new ideas and allow you to focus on the ones that are most important. It will also take away the fear you may forget those ideas because now they are documented for when you are ready to pursue them.
  2. Accept that you DO NOT have to act on all your ideas NOW – You will then be able to release the stress of that urgent feeling to act immediately because you KNOW your ideas will be there when you are ready.
  3. Get clear on your “what” and “why” - You have to be clear on what you want in your business and why. This will open your mind to bring new ideas that tie to these goals. When you can tie your ideas to your bigger goals, you can focus in on what you should pursue.
  4. Prioritize – Choose one or two ideas that best align with your “what and why” and stick with them. Don’t panic! Your other ideas are still there and you can pursue them once you have accomplished the others first.
  5. Make a plan and GET TO IT - Don’t wait for your plan to be perfect to take action. In fact DON’T ALLOW for it to be perfect before you start. It’s going to change anyway! Yes, it’s important to have some idea of where you are going, but only to act as a guide. If you wait for it to be perfect, you will be stalled in the planning phase and won’t move into the action phase. This is the key! Get to it RIGHT AWAY! The longer you wait, the less likely you will act!

  6. Schedule time in your calendar and do something everyday – Commit to doing something toward your ideas everyday. It is imperative to put it in your calendar, in INK, and treat it as a high priority item.
  7. Expect obstacles and DON’T GIVE UP – We all know that anything worth having is going to have its challenges. Challenges, however, can be the killer of action. When we hit a road block, the frustration and additional effort to overcome the road block could be the one thing that stalls us. Resolve to expect challenges, meet them as they come, and don’t give up.

These 7 steps will shatter your “Idea Overload” and take you from inaction to action. Make up your mind to do something with your brilliant ideas!

When you act upon your ideas, you’ll gain confidence, inner security, self reliance, and a willingness to take action again when future occasions arise. When “Idea Overload” overcomes you and you don’t act, you lose confidence and will be less inclined to take future risks when opportunities arise. Activity feeds one, inactivity feeds the other.

NOW is the magic word of success. Resolve to go out and do something with your ideas TODAY.

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