Scaling Ideas Without Losing Sight - Datalitiks

Scaling Ideas Without Losing Sight

Having innovative ideas is good and having the needed skillset to put them in practice is even better. The challenge lies in finding drive to orchestrate both with time constraints, and while keeping focused to move from ideation to action. Moving forward in that context is a whole new level. Imagine being an early-stage entrepreneur developing a service or product while doing a variety of different things at the same time: juggling time with customers, developing services, building branding, setting up a team, building on marketing , coming up with financial numbers to ensure long term viability of the project…

Lack of awareness on time constraints, and knowledge on how to orchestrate efficiently can get you lost on the day-to-day details – true story-. Leading you to lose sight of the bigger picture, and the potential of your idea or project without possibility to scale it. As you might imagine, all of this adds an extra layer of complexity on how to turn ideas and projects into a successful reality.

Removing uncertainty, turning things around

Working in innovative ideas, developing new products, or embarking in new ventures is not easy at all. But if you love a good challenge, it is an exciting journey. It means an opportunity to gain experience, and grow. But it also means to dive in constant uncertainty -specially at the start. Very few people like the later. By nature, most of us try to reduce it as much as possible – I include myself in that group -. From personal experience, embarking on new ventures it can be overwhelming when you must juggle so many things at the same time – including those in which you are learning as you go along, but it needs to be done yes or yes-. Learning how to stay focused while not losing sight of what is important to take your project or idea to the next level are key to move forward, and to manage all of that you just need to create the right system!

Obviously, there is no universal answer neither effortless way to go about it, and most likely whatever system you come up will keep changing as you keep learning, and growing. For example, mine is constant work in progress, and I am proud of it. It keeps improving -or at least that is the intention – with each conversation I have or book I read. Nonetheless, there are some core principles that have stuck with me as time has passed. I believe that have helped me, and would help anyone looking to keep the focus while scaling to grow whatever idea or project they might be working now.

Your purpose, your mantra

Having a well-defined purpose is the first step. Same way a company have one with its respective values. Us should be doing the same. Not easy to find it, sometimes. But knowing what makes you enthusiastic, and what is the value you can bring to the game with that is the start of the game.

Knowing what your mission is in life is, and what are the values that support helps you to keep you focused – but most important: happy! It allows you stay grounded on the things that are aligned to what matters to you. It will give you superpowers to tackle any difficulties might exist along the way while moving on to the next task. Let’s put it in plain words, if what you do is not aligned with what you love there is no way on earth that you will suceed with whatever you are doing.

Plan, plan, and keep planning

Uncertainty is a constant in the game that will never change. It is a fact. Accept it, and adapt your game to it. Planning is a powerful ally to have on your side – even if after all reality is far from what you have expected or planned -. See the bigger picture, define the end goals, milestones along the way to break it down into smaller tasks. Divide and conquer. While you are doing it keep track of everything to make sure you can readjust smoothly if uncertainty changes your plans. Having this in motion will automatically give you a sense of control, but most important sense of relief. It will redirect your focus on the tasks that are important while being aligned to the end goal you want to achieve.

Be agile: create value at each iteration

Once you have your purpose, and your plan do not fall in the trap of “everything needs to be perfect” for every stage developing your idea or project! Being obsessed to come up with a perfect product or solution can be counterproductive: either you will move slow, it will paralyze you and throw your idea away, or you just will focus on things that do not really matter in the grand scheme of things.

If you have bought my previous point and have started planning, then it is just a matter of being agile. Break the concept, deliver and while you are at it learn as much as you can. Bring small value at each iteration of your idea or project, keep learning from the good, and the bad of each iteration. Aim for impressive results but don’t fall in the trap ‘having everything perfect’. For me, that has been one of the most challenging ones to overcome. Sometimes focusing too much on details does not make a realistic difference in reaching the end goal. Luckily, there is always a good book for everything in life. In that case I got some perspective from a classic: The Lean Start Up from Eric Ries. A systematically approach on how to bring innovative ideas into action in an agile way. In my case it was the missing piece of the puzzle to bring take to the next level some of the projects that I have been working lately.

Breath, walk -or run-, and keep thinking

Last but not less important. It is extremely easy to get carried out with the different duties or things one must do during the day, ending in front of laptop all day firefighting emails all day, and solving whatever is the problem of the day it. Deviating of what really matters or the priorities to bring that idea or project into action, being mentally drained. Goes totally against the saying of: “Wake up with a sense of purpose, go to sleep with a sense of accomplishment”. My personal contribution to it: In the middle take a break to breath and think. While it is important to have discipline and accomplish results to go from ideation to action. Having time away from your to do list and reflect is even more important. Let us face it, having an eureka moment won’t happen while replying to emails. Manage your time, make space for going for a run or walk – some people classify it as a form of meditation! –, let the thinking process start, and the ideas flow!