Bad Habits to Break (Part 5 of 5)

Garden maze

Before you know it, simple ideas can become real mazes.

Continuing in the series of “Bad Habits to Break” (last week we featured Bad Habit #4: Stop Taking “They’re Not Worth It” Clients), we bring to your attention a fifth habit you’ll want to quit this year:

Bad Habit to Break #5: Stop Overcomplicating Your Ideas

This year you’re going to have a lot of great ideas. Some you’ll pick up from us, some you’ll daydream your way into, and some you’ll even steal from your competition. Having ideas is nice, but what really makes the difference is executing on those great ideas.

Now, the biggest barrier to the execution of what might be a great idea is simply getting started. In fact, our minds are almost like little kids in the summer, afraid to jump into a cold lake. Even though we know we’ll get used to the water, we dither and delay and stick only a toe in, rather than take the plunge.

One way to sabotage ourselves is by complicating our good ideas. Suppose you’d like to start an informal business group where you exchange ideas with other agents, marketers, and small business owners. So you start to think, “Who would I invite?” and “Where would we meet?”

Gradually you may begin to let the idea creep into complicated territory: “How will we structure the meetings?” and “Who will set the agenda each week?” and “Maybe I should setup a conference call to plan each week’s meeting before we actually meet…”

Before you know it, a simple idea has become an overcomplicated monster. The simplest thing to do? Make a list of ten people and email them: “Hey, I’m thinking about starting an informal business group where we can brainstorm and complain and have dinner once a month. Anyone interested?”

Beginning is magic, as it both cures you of your advanced worries and ultimately reveals the true and unanticipated complexities of an idea. So what’s the point in over-thinking things from the outset? Drop the overcomplicating habit this year.

Just in case you missed the first four parts of the “Bad Habits” series, you can access them here:

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