How many of you consider yourself to come up with brilliant ideas, generally, all of the time? But how many people actually turn those ideas into income streams? I’m sure we would be surprised to find out that only an extremely small percentage of people actually make things happen. I would say that lack of time is a huge barrier to turning my ideas into accomplishments. But I also have another diagnosis and it is what I have coined as “Squirrel Syndrome”…let me explain it and see if you can relate?
From what I’ve gathered, many entrepreneurs tend to have more than one idea going at a time…what I mean is that they have an idea for a project or business model that they start chasing. Then, another idea pops into their head, which leaves them with a conundrum of whether to continue on the path of the first idea, or change directions and go after the new idea. Well, I call this squirrel syndrome meaning that I chase one idea, then after another one pops up in my head – I go after it, then another, then another and so on. What happens is that I have multiple ideas brewing at the same time, but yet none of them ever get to completion. Time is always a factor, because working a full time job, family responsibilities, soccer mom and life in general – tend to take up most of my time. Then, you add in volunteering and “favors” for others that tend to trump all of my dream-related projects.
I feel like a dog, who sees a squirrel and says “squirrel” in that voice by Dug, the talking dog on the movie Up and takes off sprinting after that squirrel. Then, I see another squirrel, I say “squirrel” again in an excited howl, then change complete directions and start chasing another squirrel…and you can imagine these dogs chasing after one squirrel to the next, and that is exactly what I picture when I have ideas. And unfortunately, the dog never gets a squirrel. So as humans, I feel that we can come up with such inventive, innovative and creative ideas…we scream in excitement in our heads, then start progressing towards seeing that idea or dream turn into a solid business…but then another idea pops up OR the first idea manifests into baby ideas. And before we know it, we have started 5 or 10 or more business related projects hoping they will turn a profit, but none really ever take off. OR worse, you write your ideas in a journal, and never get to it.
Can any of you relate? If not, I envy you! If you can, then I empathize with you. It certainly can be a curse, but on the other hand, if we can change our mindset a tad, it could lead us to an amazing transformation in our businesses or financial situation. I tend to complain about lack of time on a daily basis, but then I sort of get content that I have plenty of time in my overall span of life to follow my dreams. However, if you have ever lost a loved one, especially way too soon, you’ll understand that life is precious and we have to follow our dreams quickly, with diligence and push with intensity. I believe we all tend to fall back on our many excuses to why we settle for status quo, when we can be going after our dreams, making progress towards seeing them to completion, while all at the same time keeping up with all of the other areas and responsibilities of our lives.
Humans are designed to be super productive, but society has conditioned us to be convenienced. And how many times do you see other people who are making their dreams come true, and are a bit jealous. And instead of taking the responsibility that our routine lives are routine because we’ve allowed them to be routine. And worse, some play the victim saying things like “can’t catch a break” or “they are just lucky” or “I’ve been dealt a bad hand” – well, folks, I can tell you that – these are the worst kind of excuses and honestly irk me and make me cringe. Every single person on the planet has a story with lots of hurdles, struggles and hard times…but it is how they choose to rise above those setbacks and not allow them to be excuses for why they don’t progress financially, spiritually or personally. We all have the aptitude for greatness.
James Wedmore, another person I have a business-crush on, put it pretty nicely. He calls it “dream island” where you have a big island in the middle of a body of water, a place where all of your dreams come true. But in order to get there, you have to build a bridge. The bridge typically is a business model that turns your idea into a solid income stream. This income stream is what will fuel your journey to bridging the gap between you and dream island. Once you have a business model that becomes the flagship income provider for you – you’ve crossed the bridge that you’ve built and are now stepping foot on dream island…you’ve done it, you love it and you have worked hard for it. However, what instead happens is that you start working on one bridge, then as other ideas pop into your head, you start working on another bridge, then another. Before you realize it, you have 4, 5, 10, 20 bridges all being built at the same time. Your time and energy is divided across building these bridges and they are slowly taking shape, but some only get a few planks done, while others make it half way to dream island. But, you never get a bridge totally complete and never make it to your destination called dream island. Such a great way to put the problem that many entrepreneurs face.
So what is the solution? Well, focus, focus, focus on one squirrel or one bridge, meaning – take one idea and see it to completion. Take all of your energy and focus on that one idea and turn it into a steady income stream. If a better idea comes up, put it on the shelf. Don’t go after it until the first idea is done. Be sure to keep all of your incoming ideas on the shelf going forward, because you can get to them one by one. Sure, failure is always an option and most people do fail on their first, second or multiple attempts, but they learn and they grow and become better equipped for the next journey to financial utopia.