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Thriving with Too Many Ideas (Part Two)

by Deb Schell
April 21st 2024

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Welcome back to the community strategy podcast. I'm Deb Shell, your host here. And I've interviewed over 100 community leaders, business owners and facilitators who give you the backstage pass to their community strategy. I'm a creator turned community builder. And after failing my launch in 2020 I discovered I had a passion for community events, cultivating belonging and developing a strategy for success. As the author of creator to community builder finds calm while building your online community. I encourage you to dig deep and go beyond the surface level marketing and understand your ideal member as a community and marketing strategist, I've helped over 70 business owners in developing and implementing a launch plan for an online community course or membership on this podcast. I share interviews with community builders just like you who have a message and who wants to bring a group of humans together for a purpose. You are invited to join community builders with purpose to connect with like minded people who want to learn how to run, manage and grow a online community.

The community is free so I hope you can join uh it's a new place to share your community concept, ask questions about community building and connect with us for an intentional community development strategy. Our members join programs and special events that continue learning and growing. The community is an ecosystem, a place where you can join no matter what stage you're in beginner, intermediate or advanced. I hope to see inside. Now, let's get started. Hi there. This is Deb, I am just jumping in right before this episode to give you a kind of quick uh recap of what you're gonna listen to in a second here. So there's two parts to this uh events we recorded in earlier in the new Year in February. Uh as part of an event for Wendy Lawson uh presented a uh talk around ideas on how to, I'm gonna thrive with too many ideas. And so I thought because my clients struggle, a lot of the clients I work with, struggle with this idea of what do I do?

Like is a course the right thing here is it. Should I do a mastermind or should I do a six month program? Should I try, you know, doing it for free or should I charge for it? Like all of these questions are different ideas that we just can't figure out what's the right idea. So uh her, her fog really helps, I think just put a different perspective on ideas and saying it's not the idea's fault. We just need to figure out like how to make it, get the right idea that's gonna solve the right problem. And she makes a, a really fun conversation here, um, during this call. And so what's gonna happen is I split this call up into two episodes for the podcast. So you're gonna hear part one and then you're gonna hear part two. obviously part one is the first half of the conversation and then the second half is part two. So if you're listening to part two right now, you'll wanna jump back and listen to part one. And of course, if you're listening to this and it's part one, you'll get to um the next episode, pa uh part two.

when the podcast releases, I was going to do a weekly podcast, but I have decided again to make my life easier. And so I'm going to do a podcast every two weeks. So, uh that's my plan for the rest of the season. So hopefully, uh you will get to hang on until the, the two weeks later to hear the, uh the end of this one. Uh But she, she just has some great tips around. How do I take an idea? How do I make it practical? How do I, how do I figure this out? Uh So this is, you're gonna listen right now to thriving with too many ideas with Wendy. It was recorded in February for the community builders with purpose community. If you're not a, please join it's free. You can grab a link to join, there's a button on the website on Finds Calm and please join us and uh, see you later. How do you know? Right. How do you know if it's really a good idea or an opportunity?

How do you know if something is an idea or an opportunity? Something I want you to come away from this conversation today with. If you take nothing else away, we are gonna take away Wendy's hilarious, you're gonna take that away. But uh if you take nothing else away, I want you to take this one nugget away because it's really, really important. We do not act on ideas, we act on opportunities, OK? We do not act on ideas, we act on opportunities. And so we're gonna dig into what's the difference between an idea, even if it's a brilliant idea and an opportunity because you know, that can be as you're thinking about. Is this, is this inspiration or procrastination? And you say, OK, you know what this really is, inspiration. Well, now what now do I do with it? Right? We know we're not going to take action on it right now because we are over here handling our business, do what we gotta get done. We write that down, come back to it later. But how do we really know what we do want to act on? And that is really figuring out the difference between ideas and uh opportunities.

And so to do that, I want to, I uh I'm not a big fan of the powerpoint because sometimes I think it just makes us zone out, but because this is gonna be a little, I want you to, I think it's easier if you see sort of what this looks like as I'm talking through it. OK. So I'm going to share my screen. So we're gonna look at sort of five key areas that will help you differentiate ideas from opportunities because we act on opportunities, not ideas. So the first thing we want to talk about is the framework. This is pretty simple, but an idea. OK? Is simple. It's a nugget of information versus a, it's a, it's a concept, right? It's just a nugget versus an opportunity involves, it's a little more complex, it's not just an idea, but it includes how do you bring it to life, right?

So if we think about an idea is a, a creative thought or a concept opportunity is how do you bring that to life? Why does it matter what is, what is involved in it? Right? That's the difference between, that's the first difference between an idea and an opportunity. The second one is the potential. Now y'all may not like me on this one, but here we go. OK? An idea solves a problem. OK? An idea solves a problem. It eliminates the problem. We can all agree, an idea will eliminate a problem. However, an opportunity, think of it as problem solving plus tax problem solving plus tip, right? It's not just eliminating the problem but it's adding to, right? It's generating something so ideas eliminate opportunities generate.

So if we think about, you know, um what this could look like for you, maybe it's revenue, maybe, you know, the potential here is that it's not just eliminating a cost but it's generating revenue or maybe it's generating value, maybe it's generating a time s time savings for you. Let's not downplay the value of our time, right? Like our time is incredibly value invaluable. So that's a big, that's a big thing. If we can save ourselves time, that's generating something um that's helpful to us. All right, the next thing, difference between an idea or an opportunity is in alignment and when I say in alignment, I'm really talking about a couple of different areas here, I'm talking about your, your goals, right? Uh An idea may or may not be in alignment with your goals, but an opportunity will always be aligned with your goals. OK?

Uh Maybe it's your values, an idea may or may not be aligned with your values, but an opportunity always will be, you will never pursue an opportunity that is out of alignment with your values, right? You're not going to go do something that is completely against who you are and what you stand for. Um If you have a vision for your community or for your business um or even for your life, right? An idea may or may not be in alignment with that, but an opportunity always will be so really looking at that alignment, the timing, OK, as we said with um ideas, they come from nowhere, there's no constraints around them at all. So ideas can happen at any time, right? An idea you can write, I shared earlier like an idea for a blog post, that blog post can be written any time there's no tight deadline around it, but an opportunity is always the right time. OK? It's the right time for that uh for that to come to fruition, for that to exist.

And then the last one sort of that fifth layer that we want to look at as we identify. Is this an idea? Is this an opportunity? Y'all? I know I said how much I hate finances and all that stuff, but we really want to do a cost benefit analysis. It's sexy. Oh yes, it is a cost benefit analysis. So here's what we're looking at here as we're weighing the return. So let's talk about what the, what the cost is and what the benefit is. So the cost is what does this take to bring to life. OK. So a cost may be actual money, it may be your time. It may be, you know, an opportunity cost like if you say yes to for example, for me coming to talk to you today and to have this conversation today, it's not costing me anything. It is costing me a little bit of time. But the biggest cost to me is that I'm saying I can't do anything else during this time.

Right? That's what the opportunity cost is. That's what I'm giving up is this, this block of time, not time in general, but this specific block of time where I can't do anything else. So if someone else came to me and said, hey, Wendy, we'll pay you a million dollars to come talk at this exact moment. I would have to say no, that's, that's what opportunity cost is. Ok? So that's what could be uh included with cost, right? With benefit is what are you getting out of this? So when we think about an idea, it may not cost you anything to, to implement it, but maybe the value is not that great either on an opportunity. The value is always greater than the risk, ok? So the risk is what you're giving up. The risk is what it costs to do that. The value far outweighs the risk, the benefit far outweighs the cost. So if something is gonna generate more, right? It's not just gonna solve a problem, but it's gonna generate something. It's in alignment with your values, with your mission, with your goals.

It's really is the best time. It's the right time and you're getting far more value than the cost that it's a great opportunity. That's when we want to take action on something. But that is how we can identify. Is this an idea or is this an opportunity? Now, one thing I want to share with you is uh because I think this is really pop uh powerful and I'm gonna leave this up here for one second just so you can see this. Um as I go through this share with you is uh because I think this is really pop uh powerful and I'm gonna leave this up here for one second just so you can see this. Um As I go through this, so last year, uh someone in a networking group that I'm in had shared that she had this book club that she was doing OK. And she, she was like promoting her book club. And I was like, it struck me in a way that nothing had struck me before struck me. I feel like that's a very powerful way of saying that it really, when she mentioned her book club, I was, and it was the way that she was getting people onto her email list.

And I was like, this is really brilliant. So now I've been in book clubs, I've run book clubs. I don't know why I had never thought of a book club as being a lead magnet the way that she was doing it. OK. So that's the idea. Book club, book club. Idea. OK. How do I turn idea into opportunity? Well, let me run this through my filter. So first of all, what is this going to um OK. Book Club in and of itself is a simple idea. But book club is the lead magnet now where I'm starting to build, grow my audience. OK. That becomes a little more complex. So that's stage one. So what is will this generate for me? Right. Problem solving because ideas can solve problems but problem solving plus tip, what is this gonna generate for me? What is this gonna increase for me? So I'm thinking to myself that this is a lead magnet. It's gonna help me build my community, right? It's gonna help me grow my audience and it's gonna give me um which was already my goal for the year.

So we're gonna check that off that, you know, is it an alignment? Right? But it's gonna help me build this community that I want to build. Um as I'm looking at gener sort of what it's gonna generate for me. It's a really low sort of time investment as I'm getting into cost benefit analysis a little bit over here. Um It's a low time investment because I'm already reading, that was already one of my annual goals was to read more books. But then what I realized what was really important and what needed to switch for me, this idea of book club as an idea and how I could turn this into an opportunity was really in looking at how it aligned with my values. So, one of the things that was really important to me, um when I was going through this last year is I really wanted to amplify voices in the LGBT LGBT plus uh and the bop communities, right, I wanted to amplify those voices.

And I also wanted to give myself different perspectives, right? It's easy to fall into where everyone, you know, is reading the same books as you or has the same conversations as you. And I really wanted to do something differently. So when I looked at that and said, OK, this book club is going to really focus on these diverse authors, then it was solidly in alignment with my, with my mission, with my values and with my goals. And so that's how I was able to say, is this something that I want to take action on and you know what it was so looking at, is this the right time at the, at the time that I was doing this, this was uh last February and it was like, absolutely, this is a perfect time. Um This will help me reach my personal reading goals. It'll be good through the end of the year, I can do this in March, like everything was lining up to make this a great opportunity. OK? And so that's really what we wanna do is we wanna look at this through a filter and say, is this an idea or is this an opportunity?

Now, I will tell you um book club was great. And then I realized this is the flip side of that. OK. After doing this and turning something that was meant to be pleasurable for me. OK. Reading and turning it into now a business endeavor. It took all the fun away from it. And so then I had to stop doing it, but that was, I never would have known that. Had I not gone from idea to opportunity to evaluate and then say, you know what this is becoming a burden and I don't want reading to be a burden. So peace out bean sprout, we ain't doing that no more, right? OK. So when you, I'm gonna stop share, I hope that by looking at the um that slide and really seeing the difference between idea and opportunity laid out really helps you see, look at it a little bit differently and get the subtle nuances um that are between, you know, how do you know if something is an idea or an opportunity?

So one thing that I want to share with you, I was talking about cost benefit analysis. One of the things that uh I use in my personal life and in my business life as well. Um I'm super, I'm, I'm super. OK, y'all, I will own up to the fact that I very much like rules. I'm a rule follower. I like structure linear thinker. Um So I like to give myself rules because it helps, it just helps me sort of maintain law and order up in here. Ok. But I still have this rule that if um something costs more than $100 or if it will take more than one hour, I cannot do it the day that I see it. Hi there. It's Deb Shell and I am gonna talk to you just a bit about email newsletters. If you've been thinking, you need an email newsletter, you're probably right. If you've been in an online community or you just want to grow your online business, communicating directly to your audience, it allows you to build relationships with, with them one email at a time.

You might think you don't have enough time, but I have some great news for you. Convert kit can help you start building an email list with easy to set up templates, immediate analytics and you can start for free. There's a 14 day trial and once you get set up, uh you can set up your uh sequences, your email sequences that convert kit actually templates for you and let convert kit do the work convert kit will offer everything you need to build a successful email marketing campaign. They also have digital products available that you can create and on boarding sequences for your community members. You'll get a 14 day trial of convert kids creator plan, no credit cards required when you use the show link notes. If you don't even want to set this up at all. Uh I've also added this service to my business so that I can help you. And I've helped other community builders develop an email newsletter for their business. Uh Sign up with convert kit is the only email marketing tool just for creators and connects directly to your mighty network.

If you are on the muddy networks and you have a community, uh It is simple and easy to set up these integrations and I can certainly help you with that as well. Just open up your podcast app, scroll down to the show notes, click on, start emailing today and learn more about how you jump into email marketing this year. Now, back to the show for more community building tips. What, what think about that? Think about that in relation to your ideas and your opportunities if it costs more than $100. Yeah, let's just be real. How many, how many courses do we see or opportunities that we see? That is basically nothing more than a candy bar at the checkout line at the grocery store, right? It's, it's that impulse buy that. Get it. Now, if it costs, if it's gonna cost me more than $100 or it's gonna take me more than one hour to complete, right? It's not really something that I should be choosing on the fly.

That's something that I want to give some thought to think about that with your task, think about that with the things that you're doing when you have those ideas or, you know, even if it's, it's a great, it's an idea that does sort of as you filter it through, it is an opportunity. But if it's gonna be, I know I like candy bars. I do too. Um, but if it's gonna take an hour, think about how many hours you have in the day. If you're just giving hours away, Willy nilly, as my grandma would say here and there, right? You're really doing yourself a disservice. Um And so if you can write it down, come back to it, see how you feel about it the next day, maybe it is a good use of that hour. Maybe it is a good use of $100 but we're not treating it like an impulse buy. Um OK. So, and that, and really that's it, that also helps significantly with the chasing squirrels and the um shiny objects, right? Shiny objects are the candy bars in the grocery store aisle.

That's where we get sucked in. And we're like, oh I gotta do this right now. No, you don't. No, you don't. All right. So now that we know FOMO say no Mo Fomo, right? No Mo no Mo to the FOMO. All right. Oh but take a sip of water real quick. Beautiful so many things I was taking away from that. I don't know, I was reading the chat and there's lots of things happening in the chat, but I'm so loving these structures and the formula that you're talking about because it gives us a path, right? When entrepreneurship is so all over the place and you get emails that say, you know, grabbing your attention to sign up for something. And there's so many people that have programs and courses and all of these things and we know the course success rate and completion rate is like nothing. It's like 2% or something. And so, and that, that really gives us a guideline to say, ok, well, um, is it, is it gonna be more than $100?

I mean, you could even change that to fit whatever makes sense for you. So you don't have to stick to the $100. If, if you feel like it's too much, then maybe you save $50 or if you think an hour is too much, maybe you say a half an hour. Um, so I feel like it's a customizable thing as well. So if like, you're feeling like that's not doable for you at the 100 you can just customize it, but giving yourself the, the guide rails, I think helps us not get lost in the woods of all the things, which is, I know a lot of what people struggle with that. So Good. Thank you. I have one final thing I know I am. I, I, y'all, I could talk about this stuff all day long. But now that we've OK, so we know how we know how inspiration tricks us or how procrastination tricks us into thinking it's inspiration. We now have sort of this filter that we can use to say, is this an idea or is this an opportunity?

And then the last thing we wanna do is we wanna say, OK, fantastic. Now I'm not, I'm not gonna take action right away. I I know that I know how to sort of judge whether this is uh something that I'm gonna take action on because we only take action on opportunities. But then what do I do with like the myriad ideas that just keep flooding my brain because my brain is awesome, right? And your brain is awesome and your brain is constantly running in the background trying to solve problems. So here's and I mentioned this earlier. Um But really it's understanding that we do not have to take action on every idea and that the best thing you can do, OK? Hear me on this because your brain is gonna tell you that windy girl is lying and I promise you, I'm not the best thing you can do with your ideas is to get them out of your head and then let them breathe.

It's painful. I know get them out of your head. Right, your brain is gonna constantly bring it back up to you because it's afraid if it doesn't, you'll forget it. So, the way that you solve that problem is you write it down, I say, write it down because like, I'm some sort of, you know, 18 hundreds, uh stenographer, not stenographer, but like note taker over here, like write it down. But I personally like to write things down, put it in, you know, type it away, type a note do but have some have some sort of way to record it. OK? Record the idea somewhere and then let it breathe right. I mentioned earlier, I don't, I try not to take action on things like the same day. Um It's not so much because my father always said if you need it, if you need an answer fast, the answer is no, that was drilled into my head, but really let it breathe and come back to it and see what comes out of this. So what I have always done, I've done this for years and they just changed it.

So now it's kind of a mess. But um I have used Evernote, OK? And Evernote used to be, you could have unlimited folders um for not folders, notebooks, unlimited notebooks. And it didn't cost anything. And now you can only have one and 50 but I have so many I'm like grandfathered in, but I can't make any new notes. Ok. So, but what I like to do is or get yourself a really nice notebook. Ok? And write down the ideas as they come to them and then just leave them there. You don't have to take action on them. We're only taking action on opportunities, ok? But you can leave it there. And then what I like to do is so I have a file. It's literally called the marinating. It's called a marinating notebook and it's where ideas are just marinating, right? Where they're just gonna sit and we're gonna come back to them. Sometimes we've already got a solution, but we don't have the problem yet. But then the problem comes up and we're like, oh, here's the solution over here, right? But you have to come back to it. So I like to when I have my weekly ceo time, go back to my idea notebook or go back to wherever I've been writing things down and just revisit them.

Right? Is there anything in here that I want to look at a little bit differently and see, is this now an opportunity versus an idea? Does this, is this something I should investigate? Do I, does this idea this simple thought? Does this, is this a starter? Is this a spark for something else or does it still need to marinate for a little bit? Right. We don't have to take action um on them, but we want to make sure that we've got it recorded somewhere and honestly, that's the biggest gift that you can give yourself. And that's how you learn how to thrive because this is what we're talking about here is thriving with all these ideas, right? It's recording them and then coming back to them, but not feeling obligated to take action on them right away. And so when you really focus on, start questioning uh that inspiration that comes when you're trying to do something else, right? Number one, stop using procrastination as inspiring time. Um Really start looking at ideas and opportunities differently and then, you know, come back to your ideas, put them, give them their space.

Actually, I will tell you that I kind of forgot this. The first thing I do when I go through my ideas, like when I get an idea, I'm like, oh, I gotta write that down. Um I think the idea I know that sounds a little crazy. But listen, that idea could have gone anywhere. OK? And it chose to come to me. So I'm going to say, you know what I see you idea. Thank you for that. I'm going to put you over here and then I stick it in a folder. But I thank it first. I thank it for coming to me, but that is how you could start to thrive with to. I thank you. Thank you so much round of applause which nobody can really hear, but we're applauding you silently. Thank you. Thank you. Uh so many great takeaways. So thankful for you and your ideas of bringing them here with us today and working that through. I thank you for joining me on this episode of the community strategy podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, make sure you're following or subscribe wherever you listen. This helps me because I know you won't miss an episode and it helps you because you will always get the episodes right away.

This podcast is produced by myself, Deb Shell, independent owner of Fine Calm here. And if you really enjoy this episode, I am looking for some Apple podcast reviews. Um I'm going to explain to you how to do that right now. First, if you go to your Apple podcast and click on the circle with the three dots on the top right corner, then make sure you're following the show. Second, next click, go to show and scroll down to where it says ratings and reviews. Then right above about, you will see a little square with a pencil next to the square. You'll see, write a review, make sure you see the review before closing out your screen. I would love if you could do that for me. If you don't want to say anything nice, then don't say, don't leave a review. Uh I hope that you enjoy this podcast and this season and I hope you're finding calm in any day, even today or tomorrow, any day, moment, even afternoon today, Saturday at four fine calm until the next time.

Take care. Bye.

Thriving with Too Many Ideas (Part Two)
Thriving with Too Many Ideas (Part Two)
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