7 Steps to Manage Your Ideas and Stay Focused
By Linda Hoeksma
Learning how to manage all those funky and brilliant ideas properly is vital to the success of your freelancing business.
Ideas are good for your business. Many businesses was built on great ideas. And the same goes for successful strategies to build your business. Many businesses failed because not all ideas are good ideas for that particular business. To be a successful business owner you need to discern and determine which ideas will be right for your business.
Do you get so excited about it, you literally drop everything and start working on it immediately? Until the next idea pops into your head, and you become frustrated because you never seem to make any headway? This is one of the biggest pitfalls one can get caught up in, especially when starting out.
Do you get frustrated with having loads of ideas to implement and don’t know where to start? I used to. You need to write them down and I’ll show you a little later why.
Are you a victim of “bright, shiny object syndrome”—always chasing the next great idea, but never getting anywhere? The key is to vet your ideas, channel them through planning.
Why You Should Manage Your Ideas and Stay Focussed
Ideas are necessary to blow life into your freelancing business. Problem is, if you don’t channel them properly, they will distract you—cause you to procrastinate, or worse, bring your business and your dreams, to a dead standstill. Thankfully there is a way out!
Let’s look at a simple, yet effective way to get organized and channel your ideas. Here’s 7 reasons why you should try this:
- be more productive.
- earn money faster.
- stay focused.
- be able to discern between distractions and profitable ideas.
- stop wasting precious time.
- be a more successful business owner.
- be the person people come to, you because they can trust you.
Managing Your Ideas
Take charge of your business.
It is so easy to become distracted, isn’t it? Having your own business is fun, but it also requires hard work, focus and responsibility—especially when you’re first starting out and need to establish credibility as a go to service provider. Jumping around with ideas, and not following through with it, doesn’t bring results—neither does the wrong ideas.
Worse, it destroys your reputation. You need to take responsibility, and charge of your business.
Passion fuels action
What sets successful people like Steve Jobs apart from the rest? They are fueled by their passion for their idea or belief. Steve Jobs was passionate about making a dent in the universe with breakthrough technology. What lights your fire? Are you passionate about making a difference in your particular niche?
According to author and speaker, Simon Sinek, “the goal is not to do business with everybody that needs what you have, the goal is to do business with people that believe what you believe.”
Not only will your passion fuel you into action, if you are passionate enough about something it will drive others with the same passion to you. If you are not yet sure what you are passionate about, evaluate yourself honestly. What makes you happy? Can it help someone else succeed?
Determine why you are writing, what your business is all about.
Laura Posey from Simple Success Plans, defines four pillars for your business blueprint:
- Your Foundation: This includes your vision, e.g. making your six-figure income, as well as the core values that define your business. One example could be relentlessly creating value, etc. Try to come up with at least 8 core values that will define your business.
- Your Short and Long Term goals for your business. Break them down in 1-year (short term) and 3-5 year (long term) goals.
- Identify 4 or 5 areas of focus. These are key areas that you need to change right now in your business—areas where you need to invest time, money, resources, etc. It can be anything that you can identify as a key aspect that will move your business forward, e.g. Marketing, Developing your Client Base, etc. Also identify focus areas for your long term goals.
- Key Drivers. This adds something to your plan to help keep you on track. It can be any three or four things you can use to measure your progress. You can also include an annual theme, or your passion.
Write out your basic business plan on one page, to which you can refer to often.
You can download your free template here, or design your own. The idea is to have it all together in one place. Read it every morning before you get started with your day. This will help you to reprogram your subconscious mind, which, in turn will help generate the right type of ideas over time that will square with your business plan.
Evaluate your ideas according to your goals.
Ask yourself the following questions:
Will the idea help your business grow now?
Can I use it at a later stage?
If you answered no to both of these questions, discard the idea. Learn to say “NO!” to distractions.
Start an IDEAS-File
Take a blank page for each idea you want to implement. You can come back later, as the idea expand in your mind, and add details. When you are ready it’s all there, and save you time. File your ideas according to your key focus areas.
Implement your YES! ideas and follow through.
Repeat steps 5 to 7 for great results.
Ditch the time wasters and eliminate procrastination. Free yourself so you can focus on the important things that makes your business grow.
Which other measures are you taking to stay focused on your business? Share your tips with us in the comments.