About 3 months ago, I started mapping out a serious business plan for myself.
By early December, I had the whole thing laid out. Outlines for courses, workshops and info products ranging from entry level all the way up to exclusive mastermind program. All in order of priority for development and release.
The marketing plan was in place. Sales pages drafted. The new web site was almost complete.
I was on track to announce my shiny new business at the beginning of this year.
Instead, I’m ditching the entire thing.
I should have known something was up. The end of the year has *always* been a time of reflection, planning, goal setting and general excitement about the upcoming year.
I pick a word. I set intentions. I get all fired up and ready to go.
This year? I took a digital sabbatical and played Wii. I chalked it up to mental exhaustion and decided I just needed a break.
I expected my usual yearly enthusiasm would kick in after a few days.
A few weeks ago I was excited about my new venture. Now I had completely lost interest.
Hello pattern. Flaky Patty flakes out again.
For the past (yikes) 15 or 20 YEARS, I’ve done the same thing over and over again. Had an idea. Schemed up how to make it go. Designed some courses and programs (or products or books or software). Written up some marketing materials. Created a website. And then stopped when it came time to implement. (Or shortly after starting.)
I’d simply lose interest.
I used to say mean things to myself: Flaky Patty can’t stick to anything. Flaky Patty has no discipline. Flaky Patty is allergic to doing actual work. Flaky Patty gives up when it gets hard.
Now I get curious.
What’s with the resistance?
A year ago, I would have said it was fear. Afraid to attend networking meetings and talk about my business. Afraid to propose joint ventures. Afraid to do any marketing.
Except those things no longer scare me. Weirdly enough, those were the pieces I was actually looking forward to.
Nope. The resistance was coming from somewhere else.
I just didn’t want to do any of this.
Maybe it was the second part of my plan
To *stop* doing things that get in the way of me being productive:
1. To stop reading so many blogs and learning new things.
2. To stop coming up with new ideas for workshops and courses and ebooks.
3. To stop thinking about new business ideas.
4. To stop attending live events (unless my purpose was strictly business networking)
5. To stop writing anything for my blog that is “off topic”
It all made perfect sense, business-wise: Quit fucking around and get down to work.
Make something and ship it already, as Seth Godin would say.
Here’s what I was setting myself up for this year:
Doing work that was hard and unsatisfying for me: Implementation. Details. Writing on demand. Being consistent.
Eliminating all the things I actually enjoy doing: Reading, learning and scheming up new ideas.
All in order to create a business that will be boring to me: Running the same classes over and over again. Promoting the same things over and over again.
I’ve held jobs that were more fulfilling than that! And I got paid well and on a regular basis.
Why on earth would I go into business for myself in order to do things I don’t want to do?
I ranted to Joe in the kitchen the other day: “You know what? I just don’t *want* to be the person who actually does this stuff. I’d rather just come up with the ideas for other people. They can implement them, make more money for themselves and offer more value to their clients. Then I can come up with new ideas for someone else. Everyone wins.”
Then I laughed at the ridiculousness of that statement.
Sure, it’s admirable (and marketable) to help other people make money. But selling ideas? HA!
Because, of course, everyone knows:
Ideas have no value. They’re a dime a dozen. All that matters is implementation.
And then came the big BING.
I asked myself: “Is that true?” (Thank you Byron Katie.)
When I look around, I see it’s obviously NOT true. Because I see people missing opportunities every day. And good ideas have to come from somewhere. (You can’t implement anything without having the idea first.)
Followed up with: “Could it be that these things that I look at as flaws might actually be my strengths?” (Thank you David Rendall.)
Could one person’s garbage be another person’s treasure, as the saying goes.
My knowledge of Myers Briggs assures me that there are detail-oriented implementers out there who struggle to come up with new ideas. And others that struggle to organize their thoughts.
There are plenty of people who don’t have the time to invest in learning and applying new information. And plenty more who are more than happy to offer the same profitable programs and services year after year.
Can I find people willing to pay for my ideas and plans? And/or my ability to organize information and create structure and frameworks? Or my ability to quickly learn and apply information?
I’m betting I can. (And the people I’ve talked to so far have agreed wholeheartedly.)
I’m curious. What about you?
Too many ideas? Not enough? (Or not the right ones?)
Maybe more importantly: are you trying to make yourself do things you don’t want to do…instead of mining the things you *like doing* for gold?
PS – if you are a helper who works with shy people, I have some unused ideas sitting around. Shoot me an email and we can talk.