Are you tired of telling everybody that you’re working on something, but it never gets done?
Or tired of getting excited about a new idea and then, poof! Nothing happens.
Are you tired of not knowing what to work on, AND if you are working on something, you’re not really sure if it’s the most important way to spend your time?
That’s because, my friend, you need a CRYSTAL clear and actionable strategy
This problem is common among my very creative and innovative entrepreneurial clients. You have so many ideas and so many things you could be working on, but then you get stuck in your thoughts. You get excited, share it with a few people, maybe even post if on social media, do a quick mind map, then...
Poof... here comes another idea or another “top priority.” You let that last one swirl around too long and now you have a new shiny object. Then the cycle starts again.
There are typically a few reasons why you are getting caught in the idea cycle. It could be that you are not REALLY clear on the value of your idea, or specifically what problem it solves or desire it fulfills. Or it could be that you’re not sure of the first steps, or what comes next and next as you work on it. This uncertainty can easily make you feel like you have a “fear block” or major ADHD. Before you reach for the pharmaceuticals keep reading...
The truth is you need to organize your ideas into an actionable plan! One that you design based on an approach that works for you and play to your areas of strength. It needs to feel so logical and simple that it propels you into action and removes that “fear block” from your path!
That’s what I want to talk to you about today. How to you get your stuff to market. How do you ship it? How can you get it done?
There is a simple 5 stage framework that you can follow. It is based on one of the project management processes often use to develop software in the corporate business world. It is called the Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC). It literally moves you from and idea cycle to a life cycle. Your ideas come to life!
Here is how it works
Strategy Creation Step #1: Define what you really want
Identify the objectives of this idea. What is behind your desires for creating it? Make the vision for it very clear so you know the value it will provide to the people you want to serve. How will your audience or customers feel when you deliver it? How will you feel? Is there truly a need for it now? Once your write or draw out the goal for this idea. Then map out your first few 3-5 steps. Write it down and schedule it into your week. This part is key, once you have the first few steps and its scheduled it becomes real.
Bonus tip: Don’t beat yourself over the head, it’s okay if you decide to go in a different direction after you start researching or working on the first few steps. You may come back to it later or decide it wasn’t the path you wanted to follow. That’s okay, now you know its not about you having fear or some other mindset issue. Following this process for your meaningful idea will help you learn so much more than sitting in the land of second guessing and frustration.
Strategy Creation Step #2: Analyze what it will take to get this done.
Here you figure out the best way to actually create your thing. Is it an app? What will it take to create it with the features you envision? Is it a course? What will be the best way for you to deliver it and for your people to receive it? Will you use audio, video, text, a mix of all? You really want to be thinking about what is commonly called the use cases or user stories in the phase. These are a series of snippets describing how your product will be use, what value it will provide, what will it enable? This is a good place to further validate your idea by looking at your competitive landscape, what are others doing and how can you add your twist and perspective on it, or how can you make it even more valuable and priceless to the people you want to serve? This validation is commonly called a product –market fit, it’s where you make sure that before you go into creating it, there is in fact a need, and that what you are planning will solve the needs that you identified as a market gap. You want to be original, yet relevant.
Strategy Creation Step #3 – Design your product/offering
This is the creative part, where you actually get in there and write the code, record the videos, and create your workbook etc. This is a very important step and one that is best done in phases, so your first time out try to keep it simple. If you are doing a beta test, just create the minimum viable product version (MVP) that will still provide a great value and experience to your clients. Don’t get too fancy your first time out. After you test the product in the market, your customers will give you the feedback you need to create more robust and all-inclusive product for later rounds. Your price will also reflect your updates and value-added changes.
Strategy Creation Step #4 – Share it! Ship it! Sell it!
Develop a go to market strategy and gets it out in the world. This is the exciting part! It’s like you created a gift for your best kindred friend aka potential customer and now you get to serve it to them on a platinum platter. You do this by offering it to them with your sales and marketing process. Here you will implement your marketing funnel and track the results to make it more and more resonant so they will purchase it. This is all about knowing where your ideal people are and offering to them, getting feedback and moving from minimum viable product to maximum value product i.e. more and more money. Taking us into Step #5.
Strategy Creation Step #5 – Next you track, monitor, and optimize
As your audience engages with your product or offering, you will start to get feedback on how they are using it, what they love about it and where they get confused, so you can make it better. This is where you are doing what is commonly called “User testing” except since you are not in a traditional corporate environment you don’t have to wait for complete feedback before making money. You are getting paid to learn and improve on your product. Yes, it is a fair exchange with your people to charge for your beta, especially if you give them access to future updated versions.
You will also get valuable feedback after you complete this process. You’ll know what worked really well for you, what registration forms worked, what kinds of people responded the most etc. You’ll get clear feedback for what to do better next time.
So, my friends, no matter where you are in the process of business building or brand creation, if you have an idea, but you are not really sure how to execute it, leverage these five stages and get on your way. This is a simplification of the SDLC, but the truth is you can make it as complex or as simple as you need it to be. Start simple and build it up over time. This is the best way to get past fear and perfectionist tendencies, so you can build and scale your sustainable business.
It’s your turn, go through the five phases of the software development lifecycle and bring your big, bold and bad mama jamma idea to life in the market.
If you need help with creating or finalizing your plan check out the 10x Master Plan Intensive. It is a 90 minute session designed to help you get clear on your desires, develop a strategic plan and set you up to receive the accountability you need to elevate your business to the next level. Check it out here.