Are you resisting (or ignoring) the obvious?
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.
You are making perfect sense here. I get irritated with the “ideas are a dime a dozen” crowd, too. Because, no, CREATIVE ideas are not a dime a dozen.
I love the idea generation part, too. But I find it hard to focus because of it. I like thinking, writing, dreaming. But the implementation? Not so much. I’m thinking I need to find someone to help with delivering the programs. Because I want to move on to creating some more.
Perhaps writing is so appealing to me precisely because of that. “Here are some things you can do. Now go do them.” : )
So glad you figured that out for yourself. Huge step.
Must have been all that mindless wii stuff that freed up your brain.
Yay, Patty! You’ve done an extremely courageous thing here: listened to your gut. You knew something wasn’t right, and by taking a break, engaging different parts of your brain (yay wii!) and being open to outcome, not attached, you and the answer were united.
Yes, thank you, Byron Katie, for the “Is it true?” question. So profound, and so often completely overlooked. Why? Because it’s simple. We jump through hoops to make things complicated, when most of the time, we know exactly what the simple truth is; we’re just avoiding it and/or afraid of it.
And as someone who has experienced your skills at idea generation, YES, great ideas are extremely valuable! Mediocre ideas are plentiful, but great ideas that bring together unlikely pieces to create something that makes our lives better/happier/more prosperous? Rare and priceless!
Now that you’ve had this breakthrough, the universe will start to put all sorts of opportunities and yes, ideas, in your path (Pronoia=it’s conspiring on your behalf). You go, girl!
Oh YAY You!! I was yelling in my head ~ forget all the stuff you don’t like, figure out how to do (and get paid for) the parts you like best. I had this exact same conversation with myself a couple years ago.
It can be done, and it is soooo fun when you figure out how to make it work for you!!
Oh my god, I just did the same thing and completely thought I was the only person that insane. Go us!
And I had that little Byron Katie voice in the back of my head too. “If it needed to be done right now, you’d be doing it right now. You’re not, so obviously it doesn’t… right?”
Lots of love. And kudos!
@Judy – YES. Writing/blogging is a great outlet for ideas. It makes your blog interesting and sparks discussion. Getting help delivering programs and doing the part you don’t want to do or don’t have time to do makes perfect sense to me. I have (wait for it) ideas for you. We’ll talk.
@Beth – Hee hee. Yeah. The Universe is already on my side. Lots and lots and lots of ideas…only now I see them as little friends, rather than enemies hell bent on distracting me. Thanks for your encouragement.
@Jackie – Yay! So glad to hear it worked out for you…that’s so encouraging. Thanks so much.
@Shannon – This is what I love about the internet and our online communities. So nice to know we’re not alone in these adventures and decisions. (And that Byron Katie is one smart chick.) Love and kudos right back at you. Go us!!
Patty – I salute you for having the presence of mind (or heart) to know what you did and didn’t want, and for acting on it.
I love planning, but I always say when I am helping people plan that the plan will change when life walks in the door, and it always will. When we plan, we think through scenarios that help us reach our goals. We measure what does and doesn’t fit with those goals.
What you did validates your planning: you realized that your plan would not help you reach your goals.
And so now you can plan with something different in mind.
Just think of all the time and agony you spared yourself??
I just love planning, and I am excited to see what you cook up now that you have clarity AND resolve to do what you are brilliant at doing.
It reminds me that I have way too many things on my business plate . . . I wonder which ones are hollow “I should do this” versus solid “I love doing this and it contributes to my biz.”
Reminds me of Barbara Sher’s book: Refuse to Choose. You’re a “scanner”! I love your blog, Patty K. You lay it all out in a wonderful, readable way and then I don’t have to spend so much time with “what in the heck is going on here?” I just have to wait until YOU figure it out! :+) Onward and upward!
I just have one word for this: WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
@Barbara – You make a really good point about the planning. You’re right. The planning process is what alerted me to this change. And I only lost a few weeks instead of a few years! I also hear you on the too many things on the plate. I feel a big energy difference between “things I should do” and “things I want to do” (and for me, right now, these are showing up as Facebook and Twitter respectively)
@bailey – oh yeah. I’m a scanner, alright. And I think I’ve finally found my scanner-friendly calling.
@Simone – 🙂
Go Patty! I absolutely, wholeheartedly think this is a brilliant idea. I’m guessing that you feel deep in your gut that it is, and that you want some validation that, yes, you aren’t crazy.
Well, you’re not. Not at all.
I can absolutely see that this would be a great thing for you to do. And I could totally see myself calling on you for this kind of service someday. Go you!
Patty, I know you’ll be good at this!
I’ve had the same conversation with myself about whether the things I’m resisting are just things I’m afraid of or if they’re really things I just don’t like doing. The trouble for me is knowing whether the reason I don’t like doing them is because I’m afraid.
You’re ahead in your process in that you’ve already figured out that those things don’t scare you anymore, and yet you still don’t want to do them. I feel like I still need to try them out and see how I feel once I’m past the fear.
And I totally agree that there are many people looking for an original idea that they can call their own. When you look at how much sameness and repetition is out there, the need is clear.
This is marvelous! I love the planning part best too. I used to beat myself up (there you go with the planning-but-not-doing again) until I read Barbara Sher’s Refuse to Choose. She talks about this exact thing!
Here’s to marvelous planners!
[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Fabeku Fatunmise, Wendy Cholbi, Beth Buelow, ACC, lhoasis, Joe Griffith and others. Joe Griffith said: From @PattyK_ Are you resisting (or ignoring) the obvious? http://bit.ly/eZ74Gs < ooooooooooooh, smart! […]
I’m back. 🙂
As a creativity coach, I find this post fascinating, so I came back and reread it. It hadn’t quite registered on first read that you’ve not only come up with the ideas but done nearly *all* the work: sales pages, marketing plan, etc. HIGHLY valuable.
When you think about it, being an infopreneur/coach kind of thingy online requires people to wear a lot of different hats–too many, really. There’s the administrative/technical part (which a VA can do), the ideas/content/marketing part (lines are blurred these days between those three), and there’s the delivery part.
Different people are drawn to different aspects of the process. And really, it doesn’t make that much sense to expect ourselves to be interested in all of it. Realistically, we *can’t* do all of it well.
I’m sure there are a lot of people who still have a day job or are juggling this with kids or both (like me), and in order to get the business off the ground, they need to outsource some parts of it simply because of a lack of time. I’m going to go the VA route because I love content development, but many people will want to outsource the part you love to do.
Ready2Go Marketing Solutions is an example of a business that sells the content for other people to implement. You might want to talk to Kim Clausen over there to see how it all works out for her. She’s selling a different kind of content than you are, but it’s the same concept.
Ah, Patty, you are a woman of wisdom! Doing what you enjoy — not doing what you dislike — imagine that! I am going to keep this in mind as I finish up a couple of projects and decide which of my many ideas to pursue! I am like you — lots of ideas! Only want to actually *do* a few of them!
@Kylie – thanks so much for the validation and encouragement. I appreciate it!
@Sue (comment one) – You know…I’m wavering over whether I agree with you or not about needing to get past the fears first (before knowing whether the resistance is fear or dislike.) The one thing it (getting over fear) did was put *everything* on the table for consideration. I didn’t ignore options because I was afraid of them. That brought a sense of spaciousness.
And at the same time, I instinctively *knew* that I would like public speaking after I got past the fear. I was pretty sure “unstructured schmoozing in large crowds” would never really be appealing. And I was right on both counts. (And I think I could write another entire post on this subject!)
@Do Mi – I love Barbara Sher too. Yay for scanner planners! The world needs us.
@Sue (comment two) – This: “done nearly *all* the work” still has me giggling. Don’t you really mean: “done the 20% of the project that is fun stuff and not really work”? 🙂 It’s so interesting how we all perceive the easy/difficult parts of a project from different perspectives. And you are so right about people having limited time…and that we can’t all be good (or efficient) at all aspects of a business. Thanks for your encouragement. And I will look at Ready2Go.
@Teresa – Yeah. Imagine that. Choosing from a list of “too much to do” by picking the things we like/want to do/are good at/challenge us/make us happy. Captain Obvious strikes again!
I feel a little silly offering this comment because I don’t have anything of substance to add, except Ditto, Ditto, Ditto! 🙂
As I was reading your article, especially at the point where you were ranting about your great idea that you didn’t think was a great idea, I was like “Duh, Girl. Do THAT.”
Congratulations on finally discovering and articulating what jazzes you (and what doesn’t) and as the cliche goes ‘following your bliss’!
(By the way, I second that you check out the Kim Clausen Done-for-You-Ready2Go model.)
Comment #3, LOL.
Re: Comment 1, I think you’re right. I don’t really have to do it to know whether it’s just fear. It is just fear. I know I will like it once I get past the fear.
When I think, “Do I really even like this type of work?” what I’m really saying is, “I don’t like feeling afraid of this type of work. Maybe I’d prefer work that didn’t make me take risks or grow.” And of course, we all know from experience that work that provides no challenge is lethal to the soul. 🙂
Re: Comment 2, right again that it’s not all the work. (Are you always right or something?) LOL. But it’s a good chunk of it, and much more than just the idea.
@Tshombe – thank you! I appreciate your support!
…and the award for “most comments on this post” goes to…
@Sue! 😉 Yeah. There’s plenty of non-challenging, non-growth-oriented, boring, tedious, soul-sucking work out there. And we can choose that route if we really want to. One of the big take-aways from my 4 years of counseling is that the feelings of fear and excitement are located awfully close together in my tummy. If I’m not feeling a bit of that fear on a regular basis, I’m not really living.
Thanks for validating that what I want to do is indeed valuable. I appreciate it!
These sound like the same questions I’ve been asking myself. I moved a few years ago to better my family’s life. And I have. My kids are in a terrific school, my husband has a job he loves and then there is me. I am the quintessential INTJ that sees the big picture, can plan, organize and intuitively just “know” what needs to be done. But when it gets down to the details of actually doing it? I get lost in them. I’ve still not found my place in this world via my career, but made the New years resolution to “stop lying down and taking it”. Just because I’m the quiet introvert; I do have value, and my thoughts have value. Even though I’m not a great idea person, I am a terrific planner and organizer. We’ll see where this revelation gets me. Thanks for the blog, I saved it awhile back and had to sit on it for awhile before responding.