If you’re like me and have 800 MILLION ideas floating through your head at any given time, it can hard to decide which ones to give attention to and which ones to shelve. In fact, one of the most common questions I am asked surrounds QUALIFYING ideas for your blog or online business.
“How do I know people will buy my ebook?”
“How can I be sure people will read my blog if I decide to start one!?”
“What made you [Sarah] decide to quit your full-time job to blog full-time?”
“Did you know that your blog or ebook would be a success before you created it?”
The truth is, I never really gave much thought to how I qualify my ideas. I’m a bit of a “jump in and figure it out” kind of girl. But during a recent interview I was asked to break down how I decide which ideas to pursue and which ones to dump…and I really couldn’t come up with a good answer.
So I took that as a sign that I needed to figure out how I break through the clutter of overwhelming information and ideas out there in cyberland and get clear on the ideas I plan to pursue for my blog/business.
After a lot of thought, I divided my qualifying process into four questions that I ask myself before moving forward with an idea. [Sidenote: You can never allow fear or insecurity to be a barometer for an idea’s worthiness. Fear/unworthiness/insecurity/imposter syndrome will always be there even when you are pursing the exact thing you were meant to pursue!]
Here’s my criteria:
Are you passionate about it AND are you doing it to serve or make money?
Time and again, I have found that if I am not truly passionate about something I just won’t do it well. I have also found that if I am chasing money – short-term or long-term – I will not succeed. For me, the secret to a good idea, is one that 1) sets my soul on fire AND 2) serves others. When those two criteria are met money has always followed.
What’s the worst that could happen if you do pursue your idea?
Not to get all Debby Downer, but before I pursue an idea, I get really clear about the worst that can happen if my idea doesn’t work out. Yup, I go there. And you know what I usually find? My best ideas don’t have nearly as big of a downside as I originally convince myself that they will!
Is there a low cost way to begin exploring your idea before going all in?
If I am feeling afraid or unsure, I try to come with a really inexpensive way to dip my toe in the water before jumping in. Perhaps that means creating something small and seeing how it sells. Perhaps that means blogging for free and just sharing the heck out of your content without getting anything in return. Maybe it means posting on Facebook and collecting feedback. Whatever it looks like for you, a little bit of market research is always worth while if you’re not sure if an idea is worth it!
Does this idea keep circling back again and again?
If you can’t get rid of an idea, then it’s probably the one you have to pursue! Those ideas that circle back again and again and again are the ones you need to give some really serious time to and pursue.
There was so much to unpack about this topic that I didn’t think I could do it justice just in writing, so I create a video about it as well. In this I further unpack how I qualify which of my ideas is worth pursuing and how I let my gut really do the talking!