You’ll Never Change!

Change ahead arrow
Never say never! Maybe you’ve tried starting a business or changing careers before, and it hasn’t worked out. Or maybe you’ve considered it, but talked yourself out of it because of your responsibilities, the risks, the time involved…who knows? One thing is for sure, unless you approach it with a plan of action, just like any other business endeavour, you’re doomed. The first part of the plan is to figure out what kind of chance you want to make. Here are five tips to get you started on the right path again:
  1. Envision the future. Give yourself a long runway, maybe five years. Where would you like to be? What will you be doing? Who’s with you? What’s your message? Who’s listening? Painting a clear, detailed picture will let you get a handle on what you want and need from the change. This will help you focus on what you’ll get, and that’s important to keep yourself going when the hard parts of the change begin (because they will).
  2. How did you get there? Look backward from the success you’ve achieved. What skills or talents did you use to get there? These are the tools in your toolkit that you want to use. It’s important to know whether you’ve got everything you need – or whether you’ll need to build regular learning into the picture. (Hint: if you’re not learning and stretching, you’re not thinking big enough – and it won’t feel like you’ve changed anything when you arrive).
  3. Why did you want to go in the first place? Author Simon Sinek recommends that you start with “why”, and then work on what and how – but sometimes it’s difficult to get your brain around the motivation before you figure out what it is that you are motivated to do. If you’d rather start with the purpose, because you already know you want to educate kids or save kittens, go for it. Start here, then backtrack to Step One.
  4. If you tried before, what didn’t work? Don’t do that. Seriously, evaluate what it was about your first effort that failed. You’ve probably done plenty of thinking about that already. Now figure out the actions and attitudes that did work – and work on those. You’ll get a much clearer picture of actions that were helpful and harmful than you had, the last time.
  5. If you’ve never tried, start now. Honestly, start anywhere. Work on your business model. Interview some people in your ideal role. Profile a customer. It doesn’t matter. As soon as you break them logjam and start moving toward the change you’ve been looking for, you’ll start to pick up momentum. Make time to commit to a few steps every day, and just keep going. Eventually, it will all come together. Just dreaming about it won’t get you anywhere.

I’m Megann Willson, and I’m one of the Founding Partners here at PANOPTIKA. Are you experiencing a specific challenge with your new business, or your dream business? Let’s talk. We help our clients find, know, and keep customers – so they can build strong businesses that stand the test of time. You can find more advice from us on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook. Subscribe using the button below for special news and offers from us. 

What if we can’t come up with any ideas?

Wall with many post-it notes

Worse yet, what if we can? 

It’s a funny thing, idea generation. Once the first idea comes, it can sometimes feel like a floodgate has been opened – and it leads to another, and another. Before you know it, you’ve generated more ideas than you know what to do with. How will you ever rein them all in?

Next time, you might want to start by putting some constraints on your ideation process. Take time to frame the session with any limits that are non-negotiable:

1. We only have a thousand dollars to spend
2. There is a one-week timeline to complete the prototype
3. We have to be sure that students can complete the projects without parents’ help

Each constraint allows for a bit of sorting along the way and, surprisingly, often result in even more imaginative solutions.

That’s not the problem at hand, though, so how can you prioritize? This is where frameworks come in handy. Using something like Product Tree will let you use metaphors to narrow down that overwhelming pile of ideas. As an example, the trunk of the tree can represent the job to be done. Branches can stand for approaches, and leaves for ways of implementing that approach. Where the tree really becomes useful, is when you start looking at the roots – they’re the resources, effort, or infrastructure required to actually bring the ideas to fruition. We’ve found that getting people back down to ground level, looking at the roots, is one of the most effective ways we can think of to eliminate ideas that are not possible (or not possible for now).

Every great idea has limits – so the next time you’re planning for creativity, you may want to make life a little easier, by using a framework to establish some constraints.

We’re Megann and Steve Willson, the Partners behind PANOPTIKA. We help you see everything you need to know to make better decisions, so you can find, understand, and engage with your customers. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. If this blog was useful for you and you’d like more ideas like this, subscribe using the handy button, below.