Jul 17, 2017


by Sarah Mullins

Have you ever had a phenomenal idea, you get it started, it consumes your excitement and energy, and then before you have an opportunity to see the fruits of your idea…. It fizzles?

Let me tell you, I’ve been there - and sometimes, I’m still there! The organization and execution it takes to implement a great idea is a lot more than most assume. It takes dedication, stress, and (most of the time) more help than you planned. So, in respect for the world of great ideas, I’ve created a checklist of what to do when your great idea hits you so you’re not left feeling fizzled and bummed at the end of the day!
First, I want to start this checklist with all of us getting on the same mental plane.  Before you read any further I want you to be in a mental state of…work. I know it’s a 4 letter word that no one thinks they enjoy, but trust me - when you see your wonderful,  amazing, phenomenal idea take form, this 4 letter word will turn into an exciting and motivational call to action!

And now… we work:

  1.  You have a great idea. CONGRATS! Most of my ideas are total crap, but I know when those rare great ideas hit me, I can feel it in my bones. I get excited and I can’t stop thinking about it. First thing is first: write it down. Give yourself the time and space to be as detailed as you can be. Write everything you can about this idea: the base, the outcome, the people involved and what they’ll be doing - even down to detailed timelines if you can! Don’t be afraid to be thorough. You may have some pieces you’ll eventually narrow down and take out, but that’s ok - the more information the better!
  2. Next: make your lists. You’ll want to cover these basics, and of course add in your own customized categories:
    •  End goal
    •  Cost
    •  Help needed, and how they’ll be helping
    • Timelines for steps, projects, payments and of course the final goal
    • The work - detail out tasks like crazy. When you have a big project it’s easy to let things fall through the cracks.  Avoid that by writing down even small menial tasks
    •  If so, then…. Sit down either on your own or brainstorm with your team.  If this piece doesn’t work, then we       . Fill out as many of your foreseeable problem areas as possible!
    • Each one of these should be overestimated. If you allot more cost, longer timelines, and more help needed you’ll set yourself up for success. I can’t tell you how many projects have fizzled because I’ve stretched myself and my budget too thin! Better to have something left over at the end than have to call it quits because you started with too little!
  3. Calendar reminders!  This can seem a little cheesy, but not only should you set reminders of deadlines on your calendar, but set reminders for your teammates to check in with each other, encourage each other and collaborate if they haven’t recently. Preset reminders in the future will pop up and surprise you down the road when you’re thinking of letting things fizzle.
  4.  Accountability. This is the final piece before you get to start working! Give yourself and each of your teammates an accountability partner. Set this up before you work. Explain your goals, your timelines, and have an initial accountability meeting with your partner to be honest and open about reminders, communication, and celebrations! Put these accountability meetings on the calendar before you even start your project!

And now…. We work! Taking your great ideas to great heights takes setting yourself up for success! When you give yourself the tools to accomplish wonderful things, work is no longer a 4 letter word, it’s the fun thing you get to do while you see your goals turn into amazing things!

This checklist can be used for your daily work schedule, your annual business planning, and even your BNI leadership team plans! Shoot, it could even translate to the lemonade stand your kids want to host all summer long. Don’t let those great ideas fall by the way side by not giving them the love and attention they need, give them some of your time and organization and then… work!