When I start working on an idea, it’s riddled with unexpected problems.
Seriously, the most cool thing about one’s mind and ability to creatively dream can also be the biggest obstacle.
No, I’m not going to tell you to get out of your own way.
I am saying that everything inside your head – for as long as the knowledge resides there – is perfect. Behind the scenes all sorts of ideas are incorporated … to the extent that the brain possesses the information.
Things going awry once work starts is due to one singular problem, to which there is a straight-up answer:
Ask more questions and talk to other people during the dreaming and thinking phases of your work.
Regardless of the thinking approach (i.e. big picture or incremental steps), questions are vital. Take your amassed information and dig in further. Where does your brain go when working on your project? What else could you find out? Who else works in this area whom you haven’t discovered yet? What might be relevant to this project that hasn’t been included yet?
Then comes the next logical step: talking the project through to solidify concepts and expose missing pieces … in fact, this is where most unexpected problems pop up.
Conversations expand thinking, allowing you to:
- Gauge understanding. (e.g. Is the concept to complex to explain?)
- Test the idea out and gauge interest. (Is the timing right? Is there a need?)
- Find additional information that makes the concept more complete and desirable. (How can this be even better?)
#TalkTheTalk: inquiries and dialog can lead to surprising, informative concept reveals!
It’s about questioning and observing.
Influence is everywhere. The words used, the length of sentences, the way we approach others, all impact an individual’s the ability to receive information. Getting notions out of your head and into the world builds better ideas that feel easy to implement.
Be mindful, however, of not dwelling too long in curiosity and conversation.
Because there is a point where research, thoughtful discussion and questioning become obstacles in and of themselves. Choosing information from which to learn from will uncover trends you can use to discover, over time, what that tipping point is and when the time frame is perfect for jumping into an idea.
Otherwise, the momentum of – and your excitement for – the idea will start to diminish. Avoid that by making an educated guess and/or trust your gut to recognize the right moment. Your brain will catch up!
Unexpected problems, as well as opportunities, will still crop up. But you are equipped with a strong launching pad to figure out a way through, over, under or around without losing momentum because of the preparation put into the idea. Also, you don’t have to have every detail resolved. Concepts and milestones defined in the prep foster fluidity and the ability to adapt throughout product development and release.
Need some additional help? Perhaps a mentor, coach, consultant or advisor may be useful to your workflow and project. To identify the specific person who can provide the right type of assistance read Your Business Begins and Ends with You, which offers a good overview of the aforementioned roles.