I have a reputation for confidence. I am the one who knows what he wants and pursues it relentlessly until he achieves it. I will not rest until every single genius idea in my brain has come to life.
Except… Well, no. Not really.
I’ve achieved a lot of accomplishments, true. This business is one of them. But for every amazing venture you hear about me starting, I’d estimate that at least a dozen others get a stuttering start followed by a lot of frustration that boils up until I throw the project aside and declare I’ll never start another venture again.
Until next week.
This is a serious problem, actually. Many ideas I’ve had were met with widespread support and excitement from other people and potential clients. But those projects never saw the light of day.
I don’t yet know how to get around this problem in a way that works for me, but I do know what’s currently getting in my way:
Excuse Me, Do You Have the Time?
Time – or lack thereof – is possibly the biggest obstacle to finishing a project. Any brand-new venture needs plenty of time put into the brainstorming to make it a success. It also needs time to ask people for their feedback about the idea, time to get the website up and running, time to write the copy for the website, time to develop the product or service the website sells, time to beat your head against the wall until the voices quiet down . . .
You get the idea. Every venture takes time, and usually more than I plan to spend on it.
The other problem with time is that the longer a venture takes to complete, the more time I have to become disenchanted with it. Time starts to drag. The venture is no longer exciting; it’s just a drain on my energy.
Momentum Gets The Ball Moving
Momentum has more to do with how you really feel about a project than anything else. When you first get a brilliant idea, it’s like someone lit a firecracker under your chair. You can’t wait to get started – go!
After a little time has gone by (see above), you aren’t as excited anymore. The fuse has burnt out, the fireworks are over, and now you have to figure out what happens next. It’s starting to feel like work. The idea of getting anywhere near the same amount of excitement and energy going again seems impossible.
So the great idea starts to lose its luster, and pretty soon I’m starting to think maybe it’s not such a great idea after all. Well, sure, it’s a good idea. But is it good enough for me to spend two hours a day for the next ten weeks accomplishing it?
Do You Think This’ll Work?
Lack of confidence in myself is not generally a problem (I am James. I am King).
Lack of confidence in a new project, however, sometimes is. Once I’ve lost my initial excitement for an idea, I become very objective about the merits of that idea, the pros and cons, the balance of risks versus returns. I often decide it’s not worth my (very valuable) time to bring a project into existence.
Deciding I’m not confident a project deserves my time isn’t a problem. That’s just entrepreneurship. The problem is that I sometimes misjudging the merits of an idea based on my lack of enthusiasm.
I can name at least three brilliant ideas right now that I’m absolutely convinced would make me a great deal of money. But I convinced myself awhile back that they weren’t worth the trouble. I lost confidence that the ideas were good ones and decided to go out and make up a better idea instead.
You can guess what happened to that one.
What keeps you from finishing a project? Can you name three obstacles? And what can you do about overcoming them?