Having ideas is a great thing, but a concept left alone is worth nothing. In this column, I want to help you to get your ideas down on paper and out in real life.
[Author’s Note: this article was written and published during confinement due to Covid-19]
If you’re confined at home, this is a call for introspection.
Have you found yourself wandering around at home with too much time on your hands? This might be a call for self-questioning. Have you ever thought about how much our jobs take away from our lives? For most of us, we spend an average of 8 to 9 hours per day “working” at “our jobs”
We don’t really need to think about what else we would be doing during this time. I have even seen posts on social media giving people tips on how not to get too bored while at home. This makes me wonder: have we reached a paradox? Everyday, we are expected to work and look forward to the weekend to “relax”. Now, we are being “forced” to stay home and “relax”, yet we realize that we don’t actually have “much” to do in our lives besides our jobs. Does that seem logical to you?
What do you think? What was your reaction when you were told you would have to stay home and not go to work? Is it a relief to have a break? Are you already missing your workplace and colleagues? This particular situation is a great moment to ask yourself the following questions: do you actually like your job? Is it something you do by default? Is it just for money? Would you rather be doing something else? If you would quit right now, would you regret it in 10 years?
Here is a suggestion: write down what you want to do in your life. We all have ideas and projects that we keep postponing, so this might be the perfect time to start doing something about them.
Like many people, I love to get out a blank notebook and write down a list of ideas and projects to organize. It can be as simple as “buy new decorations for the house” to something more ambitious like “start the Bye Bye Boss podcast.” Although I must admit, many of these ideas often die, without ever having had a single bullet point underneath them. Writing an idea is a bit like planting a seed: you’re excited about the result, but you might never see a sprout.
Take action: the only way to start is to initiate change.
Luckily for us, developing an idea is quicker than growing a plant: as soon as you start to take action, something will occur. However, remember that at the beginning, an idea is delicate and it will need effort and consistency to get stronger. By taking care of it, you will eventually have a project that you can develop. On the contrary, if you give up after a few weeks because nothing seems to work, remember this: the day you plant the seed is not the day you eat the fruit.
Taking action doesn’t have to be a huge step: you can start by researching about a topic, joining a Facebook group, asking for an appointment or buying necessary supplies. A great way to develop a project is to break it down into small steps that you can easily plan and do weekly. When I started my podcast, I divided it into small initiatives such as “find a name,” “buy mics,” “subscribe to a host,” or “download a recording software.” At first, starting a podcast seemed to be a massive and challenging project. Still, every step was easier than I thought and doable within a few days. Two months later, I am proud to have recorded a teaser and episode, have an Instagram page and to have a list of guests ready to share their inspiring stories.
To summarize, taking action is necessary in order to achieve your idea. Every effort is another step toward the goal you want to reach.“As long as you keep moving forward, every tiny action is an important one. You will always be on the right track as long as you stay focused on your main purpose. If you get stuck or have to move backward, remember that the obstacle in the path becomes the path.
Taking action is the first step to get things into motion and initiate a change. The good news is: by reading this article, you’re already showing your interest and are one step closer than you were. If you want to go the extra mile, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with an idea or a project that you want to develop and how you plan to break it down in 5 to 8 steps. You never know, this might just be the theme of a future podcast episode.
If you struggle with asking yourself the right questions, I recommend the following books. They are not written by experts, and I don’t validate all the content. Nevertheless, they have helped me to sort my ideas, make decisions, and initiate changes:
- The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday
- Fuck It: Do What You Love by John C. Parkin
- Screw Work, Let’s Play: How to Do What You Love and Get Paid for It by John Williams
- Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
To go even further, listen to the ByeByeBoss podcast, a series of inspiring stories from self-employed people.
ByeByeBoss is a monthly column whose purpose is to share inspiring stories and initiate change for those who always dreamt of being self-employed. If you want to be a part of it, send an email to email@example.com