Photo by Sangga Rima Roman Selia on Unsplash

How to think: A solution for wannabe entrepreneurs and failure to launch side project lists

For the last couple of weeks I have been reflecting on my journey to building products and businesses online, I have put together my takeaways in a series of essays. You my readers do not have to spend 12 years learning those same lessons.

The biggest pain I have had is figuring out how to start solving my “project picking and quitting” challenge.

The importance of identifying your game plan.

When you dream, you have the expectation that the idea you dream will one day become a reality.

When you fantasize, you know that the vision will never come true, but the excitement comes from the fetish for something you can’t have.

I can best describe what I’ve done these past 12 years with the metaphor of fetishizing over an idea.

I am doing all of this extra work reading, exploring and playing but I am not executing. I now realize that my side projecting was selfish and self-serving. Here is how I plan on turning my side projecting fantasy into the accomplishment of my dreams, making side income from my very own ideas.

Decide what ideas to explore?

Assuming you are like me and you have too many ideas, you need to do discovery to explore what meaning the idea holds so you can decide if it is a fantasy or a dream. Here are my best tips for discovery.

  • Quickly decide to quit any fantasies. Answer the question “Are you able to manifest this idea?” If the answer is no, do you want to be able to manifest it? What would it mean?
  • Can you identify context around the idea? Side projecting is not always about problems. Can you identify another inspiration for your side project idea? Be sure to note these inspirations in your project discovery. I like to write my inspiration in the first sentence of my idea or project lists.
  • How defined is your idea? Is there imagery? Is it physical? Are there competitors?
  • Do you have an authentic connection to the idea? I like to pursue organic side project ideas (for example making stuff based on hobbies, solving my own personal problems, or personal passions) these are areas where I am confident and credible and I have an authentic connection. However, if you enjoy inorganic side projects, (for example solving audience problems or building on supply/demand or trend opportunities) then you need to establish a credible relationship to the idea..
  • Do you have a game plan? Does it underpin to your game plan?

Before Ideas can be acted up they must be defined.

  • Thinking through an idea has 2 parts: The why and the rest. When you think through the idea you might be tempted to build detailed plan about how to do it or who will do what. You need to focus on the meaning first. Why do you want to do this idea and what happens if you accomplish the idea? What happens if you do not accomplish the idea?
  • How much effort, time and resources will the project take? Decide if you have the ability to take on the project and what obstacles might be in the way.
  • Now think of how your idea/vision impact the world outside your head.

My biggest challenge with thinking through through ideas

It takes too long! Stopping to think it through and define all this stuff the energy to create it leaks out or I get distracted/or procrastinate. Then I just move on to starting another brand new idea. Most of the time I don’t truly quit one idea before moving to a brand new idea. Then next thing I know I have 4,5, or 6 ideas active at once. That means I am not doing anything.

To help myself out I want to automate these think it through calculations. The goal is to quickly discover the meaning, then decide to make an idea or quit it as fast as I can.

To be fair I expect to get through this think it through phase in < 30 minutes for any idea. Even an especially the ones I have currently active. As a result, I will make a decision to build, quit or give away my ideas.

The point is that I want to make a conscious clear decision about ideas as early as possible after I get them. I want the ideas recorded then evaluate them.

I made a side project idea out of my side project idea problem

Tiny Thinker Guide
How to make decisions about side project quicker and faster

Try Tiny Thinker here

So far I made a Notion template for Tiny Thinking. With this template:

Goal
-Deliver clear decisions from captured/collected ideas, thoughts and feelings
-Explore the meaning of the idea list
-Define unkonwns
-Rank and prioritize side projects

Challenge: Make a game plan and get rid of fantasy ideas. Avoid hovering and overthinking, distraction/procrastination.

Meaning: Transform from fantasy idea guy to dream side project guy, and get started on defining and discovering the best dream projects.

Desired result: More confidence and stronger attention holding habits.
The Tiny Thinker guide, should help me to collect collect the data that I need so that I can easily make and share passive income products from the long list of ideas that I have long fantasized over.

Here is a sample of some of the exercises I have put in my Tiny Thinker guide.

Create scaled answers
For questions that require wide and broad discovery. Use a closed answer scale like.
- Build (High / Med / Low) or build a (1–5) scale*

Create simple definition pickers
Use the failure of previous ideas to capture good and bad choices, and use them as options here.
-Make select/mulit-select options or Build tags for tag libraries*

Create prompts
- When you have a tag from a definition, you might be able to create a fill in the blank question. Prompts help you identify context and scenarios, that make success into a framework.

Use closed questions
- (Y/N)
- (True/False)

Try Tiny Thinker, if you have been stuck taking steps on your idea list or if you feel like you are stuggling with finding ideas that hold your attention.

Get out of your own way on your maker or side project journey, you can try my first build of the Tiny Thinker guide here. The first 15 first build followers will get lifetime access.

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