I’m going to tell you where most brilliant ideas die: the planning stage.
This is when the adrenaline rush simmers down and the reality of budgets, resources, and timelines kick-in. This is when negative thoughts show up in your mind to complain about how challenging the project will be.
An incredibly wise, successful executive once told me, ‘A good plan today is better than a great plan tomorrow.’ I urge you to live by this.
Planning is not about perfection. It’s about creating a road map for getting from A to B, knowing you’ll need to make pit stops and knowing there may be detours.
I’ve seen far, far too many great ideas fail because people get lost in their own planning processes. Due diligence is necessary and wise, but eventually, you need to leap.
Here are my top 5 tips for corralling yourself so your project doesn’t die a slow, painful death at the planning sword:
Set a completion date for your plan. Endless planning cycles kill enthusiasm and will. Give yourself a date and stick to it.
Use a planning template that you know and trust. Don’t recreate the wheel every time.
Learn to be concise. Longer plans are not better plans. Don’t over-explain – it wastes precious time for you and everyone else.
Ask for help. Delegate pieces of the plan development. This might include getting cost estimates, sourcing potential partners or market research.
Accept the unknown. It will be impossible to mitigate all risk and to answer all questions. Know when to leap.
If you’re great at planning you’ll get more big ideas off the ground. Make it your strong suit.