5 Steps to Making Your Business Ideas Real
Written by Megan Hellerer
So, you have a business idea, or maybe you have a ton of them, and you know it’s good. It’s really good. You can see the possibility unfolding before you. And then you go to “start”, and you freeze. Your mind goes blank.
Maybe you have successfully launched a business already, and you’re staring down the barrel of your next one, or a prepping for new initiative to take it to take your business to the next level or you’re reading this because you’re wondering if you “have what it takes” to get a business off the ground, but regardless, it’s as if everything you’ve ever known about entrepreneurship, and execution, or even your vision itself disappears, and you’re just stuck.
What I’ve heard over and over again is that it never gets easier, and it always feels terrifying and overwhelming (and invigorating!) to take those first steps, and there’s usually a “holy sh*t” moment like the one I’ve described above.
So, how do we help ourselves go from idea to those first steps in execution in the most painless way possible? In other words, how do we manifest our idea, or “make it real”? Get it out of our brain and out into the 3D world?!
Yep, you guessed it: there’s a 5-step process for that!
Let’s apply the 5-step Manifesting Process to an example: starting a podcast.
We have a million thoughts cruising through our minds all day long. It is a seemingly endless conveyor belt of information. Most of the time, we ignore or miss our ideas, especially the "big" ones that feel scary, or impractical, so that we can focus on "getting through the day" and the "task at hand". Let's say that you've been practicing and one day, in the shower, you have the same thought you've been having regularly for the past year, and you actually listen and hear it:
“It would be so fun to have my own podcast.”
Very quickly, though, you try to drop it. "Yea, that will never happen." That's so hard!" "Who the hell would listen to my podcast?" "What would I even talk about?" "It’s a stupid idea." "I won't make any money." ... and on and on.
Sorry, your self-critical thoughts aren't that original! ;-)
So, you decide to apply the 5-step Manifesting Process as follows:
1. SCREENSHOT YOUR MIND
Most of the time you would succeed in pushing it out of your mind and your podcast will drift away and die a speedy death, never to be manifested. Poor podcast.
BUT you have been practicing the five steps, so you "screenshot" it, or capture the idea on the screen of your mind:
“It would be so fun to have my own podcast.”
2. ARTICULATE THE DESIRE (aka say it out loud)
First, say it out loud to yourself. Write the damn thing down, wherever it is that you write all the things down. Then, to someone else who cares about you and whom you will see again in life. Your therapist counts. Your coach definitely counts. Maybe you're still a little sheepish about the idea, and saying, "Hey friend, I am going to start my own podcast" confidently feels a little too scary.
Use humor and/or nonchalance if you need to: "I keep having this weird ass idea to start a podcast. Strange, right?!" Or, "This chick Megan told me about manifesting and now my mind wants me to start a podcast. WTF."
Now it is out in the world. Congrats!
3. DO SOME RESEARCH ON IT (aka Google It)
Just freaking google it. You have no excuses. You can even do it in the subway: “How to start a podcast.” Read through search results. Go down the rabbit hole of the Interwebs. Let the information just wash over you. Done.
4. HAVE A CONVERSATION
Think of someone, anyone, who might have even one iota of
information for you on this topic. Converse and exchange words with her. Maybe you know someone who has a podcast, or is a sound technician. Or maybe your friend did an interview on a podcast that one time 3 years ago. Maybe you know someone who is an agent, or a brand strategist who worked with someone who had a podcast.
5. TAKE TAKE AN ACTION, ANY ACTION
There is no perfect action to take here. Don't overthink it. You will be able to take more actions. Just pick one and start. If you're feeling extra inspired, there is no rule against picking more, but one is more than enough.
Here are some great default actions: Read a book, listen to a podcast, take a class, take a field trip, buy something relevant, make or buy a totem, or physical reminder, of your #makeitreal topic.
Anything that can be scheduled into your calendar and blocked out so you aren't giving yourself any wiggle room is a good place to start.
Get creative on your actions. Here are some ideas:
‣ Simply start listening to a variety of podcasts to get inspired and think about what you might talk about.
‣ Buy a domain name on GoDaddy (for $5ish) if you have a fun idea for a podcast title. (Who cares if you end up not using it?)
‣ Take a class on making a podcast, or find a course online.
‣ Read a book about someone who started a podcast who you admire.
‣ Write an email or DM your favorite podcaster and ask if you can talk to her. (Again, who cares if you never hear back? Taking the action is the whole point).
‣ Buy a piece of equipment that helps you record high quality things.
‣ Buy one box of business cards that say you are a podcaster.
‣ Make a recording of you talking about some topic — just for your ears only for now! See how you feel after.
Note that these 5 steps can all happen before 9:00 AM!
Who knows what will happen from here? And quite frankly, it is none of your business at this point. Your job is to take these actions, and then the key: let go of the results.
And, what now? Return to step #1 for the next download!
But, first, real talk: I have seen these 5 steps be the difference between a successful podcast that blossomed into an entire brand and enterprise, and someone who continued to feel stuck and unfulfilled and frustrated (who I can assure you would have had a very compelling value proposition).
Lastly, there's one more foundational step in this process, which is crucial for entrepreneurs, that I would call Step 0: Having great ideas, or enhancing your creativity. Step 0 involves increasing the quality, the frequency and the accuracy of the downloads in your mind, which then allows you to upgrade the content that you are screenshot-ing in Step 1.
In other words, what you manifest or make real in your life is only as good as the downloads that you screenshot, so we want to upgrade the sh*t out of your downloads. Metaphorically, this means freeing up memory for high-quality downloads. Treat your mind like a high-end MacBook, and you intend on camping out at the Apple Store Genius Bar to learn all the performance optimization tactics.
This doesn't mean you can't start making it real in your life today, but there’s always room for improvement--the better your operating system and the more skillful and practiced you are on utilizing and optimizing its functionality, the more profound your “#makeitreals" will become, and the more radical the transformation of your business (and your life) will be.
Your turn! Try it out with your next $1M business experiment, or $5M!
Or start small and play with something non-business related. Manifest sold out concert tickets. Or a new apartment. Play around with some #makeitreal topics of your own. Let me know how it goes!!
If this changed your life (or even if it didn’t), check out Megan’s full online course, WTF AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE?!: An 8-week Career Transformation Bootcamp. The next session launches on Sept. 25th, through Nov 20th. Enrollment and Info at www.meganhellerer.com/wtf
Megan Hellerer is the founder of Megan Hellerer Coaching, an executive, career, and life coaching practice--for underfulfilled overachievers. She also speaks, teaches, and writes about new ways to think about our work and careers, success and impact, and most importantly, meaning and purpose. Before quitting her job with no plan and subsequently discovering coaching through her own desire to help herself "get unstuck", Megan was a business development exec at Google for 8 years, and she received her B.A. from Stanford.