In my previous post, Ideas colliding in the ether need an idea coach, I ended telling you to stop dreaming and start doing. I hope this inspired at least a few of you to jump start your ideas. For the rest of you, who still haven’t acted on at least one thing last week, here’s my list of 5 things you should be doing right now.
1. Write the idea down
Don’t get hung up on the details yet. Don’t worry about the medium. Whether you choose to capture these thoughts via digital or analog – just make sure you keep it with you. Keeping them close to bed is very important. When you find yourself not being able to sleep or waking up thinking more about the idea, you’ll be able to write it all down, right away.
2. Tell the people you trust
Float the idea by your inner circle. More often then not, this will spur on sub-ideas and details that you may have not thought of yet. Most importantly, this is your first commitment on the road to making it happen. Ask your trusted circle to hold you accountable and ask you next week how this idea is progressing.
3. Google it
Take a journey over to Google, and search for every variation of your idea possible. Spend at least 3 straight hours doing this. If you find that your idea has already been materialized, you’ll need to figure out if the materialized idea has failed, or succeeded. If it’s failed: learn from the failure and decide to continue, or wait for a new idea. If it’s a success: learn from the success and align it with your notes. Learn as much as you can from this as well, because it will help with your next idea. If after Google, you decide your idea is still worth pursuing…
4. Plan your first iteration
Extreme Programming Explained: Embrace Change is a book I read over a decade ago. Back then, it inspired us to quickly develop software solutions in short bursts. Today, I apply the core concepts of XP to develop business in short bursts. So, for your first iteration, make sure you plan to put something in front of potential customers within one week. Make sure you can accomplish this by yourself or with the right partners.
5. Find your partners
In older business models, this is where you would be finding the vendors you need. In an agile business model you need to find partners – those people or companies who you will need to help this succeed. Align yourself with people and solutions that can quickly accomplish your first week iteration. Be creative with sharing potential revenue streams if you have to.
Run! Run! Run!
Every day make sure you accomplish at least one thing that gets you closer to finishing your iteration. Cross it off your list. Write more on your list for future iterations. Keep committing to running with your idea. If you trip, get back up. If you fail, don’t be discouraged. Failing happens – don’t be afraid to start the race again.