What would Gandalf do?

Just last week, one of my coaching clients showed up frustrated:

I can’t get going. I think I have a great idea and then I think of all the things that can go wrong. And I freeze.”, he said.

“I can’t quit my job yet. But I know that I can’t stay there forever."

“What do I do?” Then he fell silent.

Privately I thought: “Here we go again!"

I’ve heard it a hundred times. 

If I had a pipe I suppose I would now pack in some “Yellow Sail” like my grandfather used to do. Light it using a couple of those nifty wooden matches. Take a few puffs.

Maybe blow a ring like Gandalf. And then utter some great wise saying to convince him that he can do it!

Instead I remind him: “You know I’ve told you a million times, there is a way to solve this procrastination!"

His response: “I know. I know. I know! I believe you. But tell me again!”

So I tell him and I hope you can believe this too. There is a way.

FIRST, you make a decision-tree funnel that you test every business idea against.

You make a list of all the principles about your new business that matter to you.

Things like, a business:

  • With enough income to go full time in six months.
  • I can run from our home/shop/garage/barn.
  • That is a good, profitable, reputable operation.
  • That uses my skills. Keeps me interested. Keeps me engaged.
  • That I can run in 45 hours a week (or whatever).

… And so on.

When you have that list, put the items in declining order of importance. Add a point system for extra benefit:

  • 5 points for the “must haves”,
  • 3 points for “good to have but not essential”
  • 1 point for “nice but not essential”

Then make a list of all the possible businesses you think you’d like to run, already know how to run, or think you want to run.

Run each business idea through the point system.

Produce a finalized list of businesses.

Do it in one to two weeks. Just do it.

Ask someone with business acumen to give feedback on your explanation of the list.

When you have a final list, hang on.

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