At any given time I have a least 12 new product ideas that I want to create yesterday, plus at least a dozen new ideas to try to generate traffic to my blog that I can hardly wait to try. The problem, of course, is that there’s no possible way I'd have time to get to all of them. If I tried to do even half of them I would drive myself crazy and most like fail miserably at all of them since nothing would get the attention it needs. So how do I decide what project to tackle next?
It’s not easy, but here are the 3 things I do that make a world of difference. Number 3 is one important factor that I think many people overlook.
1 – I keep a running list of all my ideas. I know this sounds pretty basic and simple, but have you actually taken the time to do this? It doesn’t really matter if you keep your list in a notebook, on the notes app on your phone, or in a fancy computer program. (I keep mine in Asana, the tool I use to manage my entire blog and biz.) The point is that every time you have an idea, you write it down. What this does is allow you to say “not now” to the projects that you aren’t tackling next instead of a flat out “no.” They are safely tucked away waiting for you when the time is right.
Also, if I have things about those projects that I don’t want to forget, I add that to the list. For example, as I’m writing this post, I’m adding a note to my “How I Use Asana to Manage My Blog and Biz course” idea to include a lesson about how I track my ideas in Asana so I can walk students through this process. If I get an e-mail from someone asking a specific question about how I organize my biz that should be covered in that course, I add that information to the idea. (This way I know I won’t forget anything (and it takes the pressure off of me having to remember all the things). Also, when it is time to tackle the project, I already have a big head start.
2 – To narrow things down I take into account some practical considerations. This is just to narrow down what to focus on next. I don’t ever take the idea completely off the table unless I really think it was truly not an idea that I’ll ever pursue. Here are some of the questions I ask:
- Do I have the resources needed to tackle this project?
- Do I think this project is likely to have the desired outcome (whether it be to increase traffic or make a profit or whatever the objective is)?
- Has my audience been asking for this?
The basic goal of this is just to narrow it down to things that would be fairly reasonable and likely to be successful. For example, if one of my project ideas was to host a live blogging conference, but I have a nursing infant, this one just isn’t practical to tackle now. Or if I want to try Facebook ads to build my list, but I have almost zero money to invest, then that’s definitely not practical.
3 – A lot of people overlook this, but it is so important! After I’ve made sure to eliminate all the ideas that just aren’t practical at this time, I ask myself this one question:
What idea am I most excited to pursue?
That’s it? It’s that simple, yet very powerful. One of the main reasons I wanted to own my own business in the first place was to do what I love, so why shouldn’t I do whatever lights me up the most? As a side benefit, I’m usually most successful and I see the best results when I’m wildly excited about what I’m doing. Honestly, sometimes I choose the thing that logically on paper might not be the absolute most profitable thing just because it’s the thing I’m most excited about.
This is how I decided to create List Building Academy. When I decided to create it, I had almost no one to even launch it to! Besides a couple random posts, I had never blogged about how to blog or creating a blog. I didn’t have a big email list of people interesting in blogging and online business. I did, however, have a big audience who was interested in organizing and planners. Naturally, it would make more logical sense to create something for them, right? The thing was I was just ridiculously excited about teaching other people to build and strengthen their own blogs and online business. After wrestling with the decision for a while, I just went for it! It turned out to be a big success. Perhaps I would have made a bit more money if I had instead invested my time in creating a course about organizing, but I’m much happier this way. Plus I’m sure there will be time later to create that organizing course that’s safely tucked away on my ideas list.
How about you? How do you decide which projects to tackle next?
If you're ready to take your blog or business to the next level, mark your calendar for October 26! That's when the Genius Blogger's Toolkit will be available. I'm not allowed to share all the specific details yet, but let me just say that it's seriously the best bundle I have ever seen. Insane value! Awesome courses. Bonuses I'll definitely use. If you're on my e-mail list, I'll be sure to let you know as as it's available. (And if you're not getting e-mails about growing your blog and online business from me already, you can sign up here.)
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