What is your PROBLEM?
Problems are your opportunity to formulate ideas and create something that nobody has thought of yet but have been busy complaining about.
Instead of sweating out the small things, the real warriors raise the sword and take on the mission to solve the problem.
In today’s world, these people are not called Gladiators but Entrepreneurs with a vision.
People you can say no to, but they won’t accept that as an answer.
A few problems can also be left in the too hard basket as you might not have the resources to solve them yet, such as having somebody to code your next million-dollar robot slave, or you may not have somebody to invest in your revolutionary concept.
Reflecting upon my life experience, if I had 50 problems to solve or 50 things to do, I used to struggle. There were too many ideas, not enough consistent direction which killed the motivation and then the whole idea.
A thought to myself about finding a better way to turn around at least some ideas on my list did help me filter it down to the below.
Based on my personal experience, I believe you only need three key points to get you closer to your targets. It does not matter how big or small they are, the three key points still apply:
- Keep the motivation as high as it was on day on
- Have a deadline to complete your idea or task
- Have a process you follow religiously
Keep the motivation going (The WHY)
Take a step back and have a look at the examples we have of people turning their ideas into reality and changing the world. The Wright Brothers did not take a ‘no’ for an answer until they could fly and people like Alan Turing who have set the basis for computer science and artificial intelligence.
Just normal people like us who had the fire burning inside them and they channeled it to make it what they needed to. The real issue we have is finding a story to relate to our own.
Motivation is asking yourself what fuels your fire and knowing how much you want it. If you are willing to do anything for it, then mean it and do anything for it.
If these people and examples are not enough, then think about those who never believed you could do anything. Keep them in your mind and remember you must prove them wrong.
The only way to do this is to do something that dazzles them. Otherwise, no one will remember what you could have done.
Have a deadline (The WHAT)
Adding a deadline helps with focus so that with time you don’t lose yourself and what you wanted to achieve.
Time is the most precious thing. My parents always told me that time means more than money and I always ignored them. Now I hate that I have to admit they were right, and I was wrong.
Time catches up on us and before we know it, it’s too late or somebody takes the idea and turns it in to a reality. An idea that was meant to be your baby gets taken away.
I’ve always tried to give myself a deadline and having that clock ticking in my head reminds me of the promise I made myself. I am accountable to one person I cannot find excuses with – MYSELF !
Just like this article for example, I set a deadline for publishing it prior to the end of August 2022. If I miss the deadline, the message and rules are clear. It was clearly not that important to me and I must make peace with it. A simple discipline principal.
Also, it helps if you set a target of keeping aside 2 minutes every day (YES just 2 minutes) to think what you achieved in the day today or what you wish to. It can be while you’re preparing your dinner, brushing your teeth or before you sit on the chair at the start of the day. This reflection piece helps realize how you are tracking with your goals and what you are doing to work towards them.
All in stages, block by block – day by day. More like sprints towards delivery in your marathon to keep you in the race.
It’s important to tell yourself and then remind yourself what you want to achieve while you are alive. Similar to a Bucket list but slightly different — a small list of action items you wish to achieve in the day of the week.
I strongly believe this could be something that could play a major role into turning your dream into a reality. Something you’ve been craving for, something unique you came up with or something you went through with when everyone said it was impossible and you delivered with a smile. Something that’s worth everything for you to the point that you would rather die trying to do it than not try at all.
Follow the process (The HOW)
Once you’ve got the motivation pumping at 150miles/min through your veins during your sprint time and you have a realistic deadline with your reasons to do something, the only thing you need is how to do it now. This is the recipe or process you follow which you follow with commitment.
One of my favorite processes for getting to a solution or working on an idea is using the Double Diamond theory.
It’s 4 simple D’s to follow:
- Discover the problem
- Define it with your focus
- Develop it and test it
- Deliver it
Discover the problem
Question yourself on everything around the problem you are trying to solve or idea you are trying to implement.
Once you’ve done that, question yourself why you want to do it so that you have your reasoning in line.
Get some Post it Notes and start writing down each component on a single post it note. Once that’s done, you’ll get it out of your system and will be able to think further.
Then, take a break and when you come back to it, question yourself again and try to think of more problems to write down.
Define your focus
Now that you’ve got all the notes, you can move to the next stage. There will be more along the way, but you should have a good enough starting point now.
Remember you want to solve a problem or achieve a goal, but you don’t want to keep delaying it with the hope for perfection and be the last one to do it.
Market Viable is a fancy name for good enough to go out if you didn’t know. A lot of companies start with this and then make changes based on User Feedback which adds to the depth of personalisation and polishing it further.
Define the need you meet. Who are you trying to target with this solution? That is your target market.
Get a big sheet and start drawing it out and make it visual. Get the hidden Leonardo Da Vinci out from within, your Mona Lisa is yelling for you.
Brainstorm with your trusted network you can be vulnerable with. Start thinking about other solution options and their viability. See if any of the other solution options are better than your initial one. This will help you validate your idea and you’ll face the fallers earlier which is always good.
After this, you should be in a position with a definition for your goal and how you will measure it. You can now define what the successful outcome will be.
Once these two steps are done, things can be more Agile as you proceed further.
Develop it and test it
Develop a board with your story. How does the idea fit into the journey of your target market and explain the problem it solves. These are the people who are directly impacted by it.
It includes everything from what they are doing before your solution gets into their life cycle to the point the difference your value ad delivered. This is where you need to use your empathetic skills a lot.
Now break it down into smaller parts.
For example, if you wanted to start offering a bathroom renovation service, you can use the below screen shots as reference for your first job. As you can see, the tasks are broken into smaller tasks and have a deadline for completion. Trello is a great example of one of the Applications that can assist you along the way.
If you have a team, you can then distribute the work and review the progress daily.
If you are trying to do something like building an app, you don’t need to be a developer to be able to develop your idea.
You can start by just drawing stuff on a piece of paper, take photos and make touch points for actions using Apps like POP by Marvel.
Present your ideas to the group and see if the users are as excited about the idea as you are.
In most cases, your first time will not be perfect so test this out with your target market. Take their criticism as guidelines towards your successful goal.
Make changes to the idea based on the feedback you get from your audience.
Part of this is also your Competitor Analysis. You need to know what others are offering that is like your product. How are you different from the other options that already exist? It’s equally important to know how your idea is different and unique.
If you are just aiming for a task to be accomplished, the above steps will get you there.
However, if it’s an idea or solution you are almost there for the initial part. Once you have completed the steps above, you can start looking for a developer, an investor.
Once you have delivered the first version of the idea, you need to work on promoting it. You will need to market your idea to your target audience which can be done on Social media, other Online channels and established or growing places where you can reach out for partnerships. Something that can help you get the attention of your target market and falls under their life cycle.
You will also need to prepare a pitch, as well as a poster. Record your pitching and practice the pitch initially with people you know and you can count on to give you helpful feedback.
To summarize, stick with your gut and don’t let life rule you. Start planning everyday how you’re going to rule it and be ready to hit the home run when it’s your turn.
We all have highs and lows. Make the highs high enough to not let the lows hit you.
Follow something you really want to do but stick with the race. Let your destiny take you to your plan make it a reality.
Stick by your principles religiously and keep punching till you break in but remember to take your breaks. They are equally important to recover and not burn out.
More important than anything, NEVER STOP DREAMING !
I hope these 5 cents got you closer to your dollar.