The Curse of The Creative Entrepreneur
Are you being seduced by your ideas?
Is your head is full of ideas?
I bet you’re never short on new concepts or things you could try.
But do you follow through with them?
I don’t mean just trying them out. I mean do you follow through until the end?
So you can say either,
“awesome that worked how can I improve it?”
or you can say
“damn, that sucked but what a good lesson learned”
Because if you’re like most business owners you get ideas popping into your mind all the time, right
To the point, it can be a detriment, even a curse.
See, your ideas are what make you different, but they can also be are what hold you back.
You become distracted and swayed away from keeping the main thing, the main thing.
So, you procrastinate and stall your progress. Your new idea seems good at the start but like all ideas the thinking part is easy.
It’s the doing part that’s hard.
I’m no different to you. My head buzzes with new ideas and for years I would jump from one idea to the next without fully completing the first.
I’d be seduced by sparkly object syndrome or sparkly idea syndrome (yes I just made that last one up)
When I had my gym one of my team at the time said to me,
“You have great ideas, but you never seem to follow through”
This was a punch in the gut, it was also the best and most honest piece of advice anyone has ever given me. Because it was true.
When things got tough, I would move on to something else. Something new and exciting. Yet the truth is I was avoiding the necessary. The uncomfortable.
I was subconsciously looking for the easy way.
But there is no easy way. Every path, every new idea will bring with it challenges, struggle and hardships.
Sure, it will start off exciting. Like you’ve just stumbled across some secret method that solves all your problems.
You feel it inside. That sense of release that you’ve finally uncovered the holy grail. The solution to all the anguish and anxiety you feel building up inside of you.
Momentarily you see the light but before you know it, you’re consumed with overwhelm. You’ve added yet something else to your plate. Another thing to think about. Another idea that is going to require thought and energy.
But what about the other thing?
What about the idea you were already working on?
Well just put that on the backburner. You can come back to it later when you’re in a ‘better place’.
This type of behaviour is what sabotages your progress and what costs most business owners their time and energy. It’s what leads to burnout.
Think of it this way…
Have you ever been in a restaurant where the menu is as long as the river Nile?
There’s so much choice it’s massively overwhelming. There’s no way of knowing where to begin.
And because you weren’t entirely convinced with your choice, you’re left thinking ‘have I made the right one?’
To make matters worse you see all the other diners gorging on the choices you were going to make but didn’t. And you’re kinda left not fully convinced or satisfied with your choice.
In contrast, if you head to a Micheline star restaurant there you have a limited choice.
Instead of 1001 options, you’re left with four or five. You feel more at ease because you can make a decision relatively quickly.
You either want chicken, beef, fish, or vegetarian. You can even decide before you go just to make it easier.
So you make a quick decision and now you’re left to enjoy the rest of your night at peace you made the right decision.
Okay Keir, I get what you’re saying. So, should I try to block out other ideas?
No, ideas are good. You should write them down. Because it could be an idea that changes everything. But keep them for later. I use Evernote to store all my ideas.
If it’s a good idea you won’t forget it. It will bubble in the background and mature at just the right time.
The point of my post was more about your commitment to a single process or idea. To follow through without being distracted or pulled off course by your marvellous and creative mind.
This is why you need daily practices to condition your mind to follow through, regardless of external distractions or conditions.
Every morning I go for a walk at 5 am. I do this because it opens my mind and gets me in a state of flow to begin my day. There’s also something quite nice about walking the streets when everyone else is still asleep. It’s peaceful.
Anyway, today I looked outside and it was freezing cold and blizzarding with snow. My automatic thought response was to grab a coffee and head straight upstairs instead of venturing out into the crazy wild weather.
After all, it’s nice and warm inside and I’ll only end up cold and wet on my return anyway. It’s not a good idea.
I knew this response was my comfort brain trying to convince me to avoid the uncomfortable. So I decided to p*ss him off and do it anyway.
Keir 1–0 comfort brain
This simple practice overrides the imposter who tries to convince you otherwise. Over time this habit compounds and then when you’re met with difficult decisions or adversity you take the right action regardless of how you feel in the moment.
Think of it this way…
You had an idea to go LIVE on your social page. You have an important message you want to share.
You’ve planned it all out and know exactly what you’re going to say. You’re just about to go LIVE then suddenly you’re hit with fear.
“What if I mess up?”
“What if no one is there?”
“What if I look like an idiot?”
This final part of execution is where most people stop. Yet it’s this part that develops your growth.
I’m using going LIVE as an example, but it could be a multitude of different things,
- A launch
- A proposal email
- Reaching out to someone in your industry to collaborate
The idea is electric. You know it is. But you fear jumping that final hurdle. So instead of staying the course and seeing it through you succumb to the imposter who dazzles you with yet another magical idea.
Another daily practice I use is cold showers. Again on a freezing cold winter morning standing butt naked under the shower switched to cold, ready to turn the on button…
“This is a stupid idea”
“It’s too cold”
“Let’s skip it today and do it tomorrow instead”
Bye-bye comfort brain. I’ll see you again tomorrow.
The truth is you will be faced with adversity and challenge. You will be put in a position where you must commit to a decision. Your comfort brain is smart. It will try to seduce you it will try to create fear and it will try to convince you against anything that presents a challenge.
My challenge to you is to take control and train your brain to step forward and to not only accept the challenge but to see it through until the end.
Thank you for reading,
If you’d like to read more please download my FREE guide, The 7 Fatal Habits That Destroy Your Mind & Your Business & How To Fix It Fast