Time to Pull the Plug

Such a Great Idea…

Ideas you come up with on the the Personal Retreat are so very precious. You’ve worked hard for them and there’s a natural belief that with so much effort, there must be success!

Sadly that isn’t always the case. The world might not be ready for your idea. You might not have all the tools you need to make it a success. When your idea is heading for failure, it’s hard to admit.

The Life of an Idea

It’s very exciting as we build onto a great idea. At first it’s just a notion, a vision of a future with something we create at the center.

Then comes the building; all the little pieces and milestones that make up the journey. Some of them are easy and you can do yourself with little effort. You might have to just talk to someone, pick up some new technology, or set up a website. Others might rely on the actions of someone else, and ultimately finding some people to buy into your idea.

There is almost no knowing how successful and idea could be. I have come up with some real winners but in the evaluation of the process I find there’s just some stumbling blocks I’m not ready for yet. I may not have the investment yet, and I don’t have a prototype to find investors with.

Facing the End

The end of an idea is not a moment of clarity. It could be a slow, almost imperceptible decline where you don’t even notice going past a point of no return. That’s when friends and family might gently nudge you to take notice and suggest a change.

A false end might be borne of a frustrating moment. The fifth rejection letter, or a piece of your puzzle that breaks when you fit it in. In a moment you might ask yourself why you keep struggling – the idea didn’t seem like it would be that hard.

Two very different scenarios that might not be very clear on the next step to take. Where do you find the difference between them?

Plan for Failure

Having a plan in place for success is very important. You need to know what to do at the points that take you to the next. Not too fast, but not too slow, you have a path.

Likewise, you should identify a path to walk away. That doesn’t mean the absolute end to your idea, it might be a point of reflection where you get the feedback that most of the idea is great, but just needs a few changes.

Ideas usually take money and effort to come to fruition. In your plan, decide how much time and how much effort will be needed, and how much you’re willing to spend before you need to make a change, or need to suspend progress and wait for more funds and/or help.

Don’t Forget

It’s not all doom and gloom though. The darkness that shrouds your idea can be broken in the most unexpected ways. Remain ready and you can see a part of, or your entire, idea come to a beautiful reality. That’s what I loved about this GE commercial:

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[…] the child is on the track to experience success and failure throughout life. One hopes that the lessons are gentle, considerate and learned. […]

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