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Clear Change Group Business and Leadership Coaching Articles for Entrepreneurs

Recipe for Launching a New Business Direction

By Audrey Seymour

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Do you find yourself following the "Ready, Fire, Aim" recipe too often when you launch a new business direction? It can be exhilarating and even work sometimes, if you get lucky. But for dependable results, you'll want to pay attention to six distinct stages of development:

  1. Imagining
  2. Clarifying
  3. Aligning
  4. Planning
  5. Executing
  6. Adapting

These stages serve the bigger picture as well as short-term goals, and misunderstanding any one of them will slow you down. Many business ventures suffer from not mastering the first three stages, and here we'll explore the first.

Do you spend too much of your time spinning in the "imagining ideas" phase?  

  • "There are so many problems to be solved in society today, it's hard to pick one."
  • "There are so many people working on worthy causes out there, who am I to think I could make a real difference."
  • "Every time I start to get momentum with a single idea, I feel claustrophobic and would much rather think about a new idea."

I worked with an entrepreneur I'll call Anne who found herself in the third scenario above. Freedom and creativity were core values for her, and choosing one vision over all the others made her feel trapped. Yet she knew that she needed to focus in order to achieve what she wanted.

The first step in resolving her dilemma was to recognize her either-or/black-and-white thinking. She was acting as though her only options were to stay in the full field of ideas or lock herself into a single track. 

We created the best of both worlds by designing a two-hour block of time each day, to be used either for blue sky thinking or next steps on her current committed projects. She settled on one two-hour block per week for pure brainstorming and the rest of the time blocks for building her business.  

By having that open-ended time, her inner "freedom fighter" relaxed, and her motivation and momentum doubled.

How often do you feel stalled due to the friction between creative freedom and discipline to do what you need to do, or the desire to make a difference and the fear of being insignificant?  

Try designing a container to protect blue sky thinking time every week.  In that way you can liberate the counterbalancing energy of focus and follow-through to reach the dream that calls you.

© 2012 Audrey Seymour. All rights reserved.