Think of your business as a garden – a space bespoke to you that you can create exactly how you want it. Ready?
Plan & prepare the ground
First off you need to put pen to paper and draw out your ideal space – in words and in sketch form, so you have something tangible to refer to, authentic to you.
- What are your key values?
- Who is it for?
- How should it feel?
This will help keep driving you forward and keep you focused when ‘monsters’, ‘squirrels’ and ‘magpies’ strike. (Unfortunately these three love freshly prepared ground! Read on to the end to find out more about them and how you can train them for positive impacts!).
Then prepare the ground ready to sow your main idea.
This will likely include cutting back some wild thorns and removing the rocks and stones in the soil (e.g. your fears and doubts about: what you are doing, if you can succeed, trying to figure out how to do this).
You have the tools you need. You are enough. Your talents, skills and values are what make you and your purpose unique and attractive. Test your limits. Work to your strengths. Remember you also have specialists around you to help you when you need them, to support and guide you with what they do best, freeing up your time to do what you do best.
Sow one seed
There is always that temptation to plant all of your ideas – for maximum impact, to look and feel established – but believe me, hold back! Pop the other ideas in seed packets to revisit later.
I had so many ideas and things I wanted to do when I first started out. Each idea felt really connected with each other so they initially made sense working on at the same time, but in reality each idea had completely different needs:
- growing conditions
- amounts of exposure to sunlight (in the spotlight)
To successfully grow each individual idea needs a lot of consistent attention and nurturing.
If you are growing lots of ideas all at once, your time and energy available for each one is diluted. The duplication of types of tasks is multiplied many times over as they each need something slightly different. For example learning the different platforms to enable people to discover your solution, service or product. If it’s a different audience you’ll need a different approach. Another platform might be a better method of reaching them. They might connect with a different tone of voice, have different interests, require different types of follow up etc. Without ‘cloning’ yourself or developing a dedicated team to focus on each idea, you will be completely overwhelmed and exhausted.
Remember, your other ideas are never lost or forgotten – you have a system in place to safely keep your new ideas as and when they appear, ready to inspire you. You can revisit your seed packets of ideas in the future once your main idea is tested, adapted, working, established and flourishing.
Focusing on one idea allows you to establish your brand, look and feel, over time. Keep working the ground. Don’t wait for ‘perfection’ or ‘that perfect time’ to launch. Start sharing with others what you are creating from the start. Sharing your vision of what you are working towards and why. Let them have a unique insight behind the scenes, to start to get to know your story. It may inspire others to take action, join in, in spreading the word or even be the spark for a new collaboration.
Weed and upkeep
Like preparing the ground – the weeding and up-keep is hard graft. You need to jump on in and take action, every day. It is always better to make that start, than to have the ‘what might have been?’ thoughts swirling round inside.
Be aware, stones will likely surface and trip you up from time to time, attempting to damage your enthusiasm and confidence. Weeds will appear alongside your idea but that’s okay, you’re getting your idea out there (this is where the phrase “Be 80% perfection” comes in).
Prepare and maintain enough so you can keep moving forward, step-by-step. Reach out for help when you need it. It’s a work in progress, that evolves naturally over time. You can revisit, improve, tweak your ideas. By starting, you learn what works, what doesn’t, and how you can develop and nurture your project.