I have lots of random ideas. I write them down and sometimes I take action on them.
I’ve noticed that taking action is the best way to figure out whether the idea is worth pursuing. I’ve done this many times over the last 9 years or so, starting small projects or offering a service to a selected group of people.
In 2010 I started a blog about a 3 Peaks Challenge and linked it to social media. I enjoyed writing it and sharing it, but the fundraising challenge came to an end and so did the blog. But I had taught myself some new skills in the process.
In 2011 I wrote regular (unpaid) blogs for an online magazine. I enjoyed writing them, but the magazine didn’t really promote them, and they didn’t ask me to write articles for their printed publication. So I stopped after a while. It had been good writing practice but not much more.
I created another blog in 2012 for a month long challenge. (Are you sensing a theme here?!) That was an amazing month, and I met loads of lovely people through the 30 Day Challenge, many of whom I’ve since met. I keep an eye on all their blooming projects and businesses that started with that challenge. For me it led to a decision to do a features writing course, which taught me that I don’t like writing about subjects other people give to me! And it also gave me ideas for other small projects that I went on to do and learn from.
In 2013 I started freelancing, went to a networking meeting for small business owners, and identified that social media was something they needed help with. So I created a flyer and the next month went along with an offer on 1:1 Facebook training and Twitter training. By doing that training a few times I realised that I enjoyed working with solo business owners, but getting clients for this particular service would take a lot of work. More work than the money I’d make from it, unless I focused on it 100% of my time.
So now in 2019 I offer a service called “Ideas Untangling”, aimed at creative small business owners who need help organising an idea or working out what to focus on in their business.
But, I don’t know what to do with it or how to promote it!
Having tried it out, I know I love doing it, and I know the people who work with me benefit from it. But likewise I also realise that it can’t stand alone. It has to be part of something else. A wider business, or a linked ongoing service. Or maybe just part of work that doesn’t seem to relate but allows me to do the same process.
Because like the social media training, it would take a lot more work to promote the one-off 1:1s than I would ever make from this as a business. Unless I spent 100% of my time on it and developed a better business model.
I reached that point on the same service a few years ago and gave up. But the idea came back to me and made me try it again. I’m having a break from promoting it at the moment as it’s the summer holidays. But if the idea is still calling to me in the autumn, I’ll try it again and again and again, getting feedback and using what I learn to either evolve this service, or draw a line under it and move on.
So I’m not there yet. I’m not doing what I love. And it’s frustrating sometimes to see all those people I did a 30 Day Challenge with back in 2012 doing what they love and having thriving businesses. Mine is just taking much longer to figure out.
But because of that challenge, and books* like Screw Work Let’s Play and Free Range Humans, I know that I can try things to see what works. And through that I have met coaches who can help me along that journey, and other “free range humans” who encourage me by commenting on blogs and offering suggestions.
So I will get there, experiment by experiment….. trying out ideas and seeing what happens. Seeing how they are received and how I feel about them.
*Amazon affiliate links, meaning that I receive a small amount of money if you buy through this link. You can of course just search directly for either title if you prefer.
This image has absolutely nothing to do with the blog post. But it’s really hot today and the water made me feel a bit cooler.