Have you ever thought about forming a new group for your practice, writing a blog, or submitting an idea for a conference presentation? Of course you have! You’re an entrepreneur. You have big ideas and bold goals, but you also understand that achieving these aspirations may be difficult. Life and day-to-day routine can easily get in the way of your entrepreneurial dreams, but you may be oblivious to other factors that could be stopping you from achieving your goals as well. Sometimes, we talk about our entrepreneurial ideas as a way to prevent ourselves from working on our ideas. Sometimes, we have trouble getting motivated because we’re stuck in a mental trap. Jack Zerby, an entrepreneur and designer, writes about four common traps that entrepreneurs face when motivating themselves to start working on their big ideas:
The Research Trap
Validating your idea is important. It feels great when a colleague says, “Wow, I love your idea!” However, you can only discuss your idea with so many people before the feedback becomes redundant. At a certain point, you may be chasing personal validation instead of constructive feedback. Take a serious look at these conversations to see if they are validating your idea or if they are validating you.
The Money vs. Passion Trap
It’s hard to tell what will make money. It can also be hard to tell where your true passion lies. Many times we vacillate between ideas we’re passionate about and ideas we think are profitable. Stop evaluating ideas through this lens. Instead, try to focus on doing the ideas that will fit naturally into your day-to-day routine. This way it will be easier to take action, it won’t be a chore to get motivated, and you won’t be second-guessing your choices.
The Focus Trap
Do you have a lot of ideas that all seem great? Too many ideas, maybe? Sometimes, ideas seem better when they’re only half-baked. Try focusing on one idea you love best. Take an hour and write out the details. Is it still a good idea? If it is, run with it! If not, move on to the next idea.
The Fear Trap
What if your idea doesn’t work? What if it does work but it’s too much to handle? It’s scary to imagine wasting so much time on a failed idea. It can also be scary committing yourself to something that might be overwhelming. If it seems like a good idea, run with it! Don’t try to look too far down the road; there are too many variables. However the future turns out, it’s a good bet that it won’t be exactly like you’ve imagined. Have confidence in your ability to handle things as they come. You’ve earned it.
So keep moving forward with your ideas. If you feel stuck or experience doubts, it’s no big deal. Every entrepreneur has felt this way. The trick is to identify the trap that’s holding you back. Then you’ll have a plan for springing yourself free. Go get ‘em.
Tell us about the mental traps you’ve faced when trying to create your big idea. We’d love to discuss.