How often do you find yourself daydreaming and a big idea pops into your head? Or you might wake up at 3am with your mind racing thinking about a business opportunity.
What do you do when this happens?
More importantly, what do you do to make your big ideas come to life?
1. Project board
Whether a melody to the next big hit, the plot to a blockbuster movie or a tweak to your business model. Big ideas must be captured.
Or they just float away. Never to return.
Whatever you do, just write it down. I have notepads in my car, office and satchel.
Just make sure you write it down before it goes. These ideas tend to disappear faster than last week’s pay. They simply float in and float out of your mind.
That’s where you must establish a project board.
A project board is simply a list of your big ideas. Your potential projects.
I don’t care whether you capture these big ideas in the notes function of your phone, on an app, saved in a Word doc or spreadsheet, scrawled in a notepad or written in red lipstick on your bathroom mirror. Please just write them down in one place.
I have a project board in my office. I find it helpful to reflect on it and muse on what I might tackle next.
‘Clusters’ are the different revenue streams that I hope to generate from my big ideas. They can be new products or services you’d like to offer. They might be a start-up business. You might want to buy a business. They can be a creative project.
I treat a cluster as a big idea that might generate six figures of revenue or more per annum. That is, $100,000 or more each year.
Of course, whether these big ideas will or won’t generate any revenue is academic at this point in time.
3. 90 day action plans
So now I’ve captured my big ideas on my project board.
I’ve thought about my big ideas in terms of clusters of annual revenue.
Next I decide what big idea I want to work on to create a potential cluster over the next 90 days.
Once I choose the big idea to try and make into a cluster, I create a 90 day action plan. This 90 Day Action Plan lists all the activities and actions I will attend to over the next quarter in relation to one specific Big Idea. I create a spreadsheet with descriptions, comments outlining actions and deadlines.
Of course, some Big Ideas can’t be completed in just 90 days. However, by putting a short-term timeframe around your activity you force yourself to push through the ‘heart’ of the work to see if the idea has merit.
At the end of the 90 days, you may have finished the project and can implement it into your business life and attempt to create a new cluster of revenue.
Alternatively, you may not have been able to complete the project and decide to push on based on the encouraging progress made in your 90 day action plan. Or sometimes, you discover that the Big Idea doesn’t have merit and is unlikely to create a cluster so you drop it.
Start leveraging your big ideas
The power of these ninja tactics is that you work on four Big Ideas each year in addition to your existing business. Ideas that don’t fly are dropped.
But what if just one of these big ideas is born and creates a six-figure cluster?
And next year you get to start working on four new big ideas.
So start bringing your big ideas to life. Introduce additional revenue streams to your business model and diversify risk. Just don’t leave your big ideas in bed. Or left on the side of the highway while daydreaming. Or on the train.
But I can assure you of one thing.
Something will happen. And it could be big!
Let me know what’s on your project board and what big idea you want to tackle in the next 90 days?
Darren Bourke is a consultant, coach, and mentor to small and medium-sized businesses. With more than twenty-five years of business experience, he has an intuitive understanding of what makes entrepreneurs and businesses succeed. He has worked with nearly a thousand businesses throughout his career.