You’ve got a great idea! You’ve been thinking about it for a while, you know it’s something that people will love, and it’s going to be awesome. All you have to do now is get started…
I’ll be the first to admit, my biggest hurdle is just getting started.
If you’ve listened to my podcast, (Sales Throwdown), or if you’re familiar with DISC, I’m a pretty high corner C. I’m a very detail-oriented guy who hates failure, and man, those things can hold me back if I let them.
Before I start something, I need to know EVERYTHING about it! How to do it, how it’s going to work, what the results will be, where it could go wrong. I mean, every single detail I can get my hands on. And I never know when to stop looking for information because I’m always assuming there are still things I don’t know.
Which is true. There always are.
Which is why it’s a rabbit hole you don’t want to go down if you’re ever going to do something with that big, awesome idea.
Let’s take cooking for example.
My partner has been doing almost all of the cooking for the entirety of our relationship. She learned to cook when she was just a kid. And even though she’s a lot like me in that she wants to know the details for everything she does, she has enough experience and practice that the recipe is all she needs. Even if she’s never cooked that recipe before.
Me, on the other hand, a recipe might as well be gibberish. This might sound ridiculous to the average person who cooks even sporadically, but if a recipe says to “saute the chicken for 5 minutes on each side,” I literally don’t know what it’s actually asking me to do.
What does saute really mean? What is the chicken supposed to look like? What pan do I use? Etc., etc.
That is what any new venture looks like for me. I’m not a ‘dive-in, try it out, and see what happens’ kind of guy. Never have been.
But I wanted to cook more because I wanted to go on a diet that my partner wasn’t really jazzed about. And I just wanted to help her out a bit by doing the cooking occasionally, especially since she was still working a lot of nights when I made this decision.
So I researched. I knew and respected some guys that are big advocates of some gadgets that make cooking easier/quicker. I kept researching for the best brands, what I needed to know before I started… you get it.
I bought the gadgets, (a sous vide circulator and a steamer, in case you were curious), and then I did more research. Meanwhile, either my girlfriend was still doing all of the cooking or I was eating too much fast food on the nights she wasn’t home.
Eventually, I felt ready to try them out. When it wasn’t a total disaster the first time, I started cooking more often. Not every night, and definitely nothing super exotic, but basic foods like chicken and steamed vegetables. I felt great because I was contributing and making real food for myself and my family, and my partner was super grateful!
Here’s the thing though…
I still made some mistakes. Some things didn’t work quite right, and I had to make adjustments. And I just simply didn’t like the taste of some of it, so I had to try something else.
If I’d just gone into the kitchen with a basic working knowledge, I probably would have done just as well as I did with ALL of that research, overthinking, and angst. Mistakes would have been made, some of it would have tasted terrible, and I would have figured it out.
As I’m sure you suspect, this applies to pretty much anything in life. Especially when it comes to those big ideas!
I’m not saying don’t do your research. Please, do NOT go into starting a business or developing a product without doing your research!
But, I am telling you that you will never know enough starting out. The biggest difference between the Bill Gates’s of the world and “Big Ideas Ben” over there who’s all talk and no action is that the Bill’s just decided to start.
Wherever you are in your big ideas, at some point you have to take the leap. But some preparation can make it a smaller leap that might not destroy you if you fall.
- Take your big idea out of your head and put it on paper. Is it something people will want? How will it help, and who will it help?
- Make a list of what you absolutely NEED to know before you start.
- How much money do you need?
- Who is your target market?
- Can you do it alone? Who can help?
- Do you need licenses, patents, and other legalities?
- Figure out where you are most likely to struggle, and start thinking of ways to get past that.
- Look for people who have done something similar, and follow their footsteps. At least in the beginning.
- Develop a plan of action.
- Focus on the things you can control, not the results!
- And accept that you will make mistakes, and you will learn and get better as you go.
Ready, set, GO!
At the end of the day, no amount of research is going to cover every potential snag you might encounter. And you’ll never learn everything you need to know from research alone.
You can’t learn to ride a bike by reading about it. You have to get on, fall down a few times, and then keep pedaling until suddenly you know how to ride a bike.
So stop stalling, stop researching, and Just Get Started already!