What’s the smallest version of your idea? Start with that
“I’ve got a fabulous idea and everyone’s going to love it! Now…how do I get it to them? There are so many things I need to consider and set up before my idea is ready for the real world,” so goes many of our thoughts when we have something we want to achieve.
Panic sets in, then doubt and fear, and all those feelings we feel about bringing ideas to life. People like Ng’winula have been through this rollercoaster a couple times with each product he has developed - so, when he says the question of “what’s the smallest version of this idea?” helps him work through these fears, we can take his word for it.
I especially appreciate that this advice comes in the form of a question - it tells you what to do and at the same time leads to more questions that deepen your grasp of what the most important parts of your ideas are.
Rethink the fear failure
Ng’winula’s thinks that failure is a redirection, not a roadblock that can not be maneuvered around. Yes, you've probably heard this before, but fear is just such a difficult feeling to shake out - it’s evolutionarily hard coded. Who are we to change it?
What Ng’winula and I say about fear in our conversation is not anything new. We’ve all heard it - “it all depends on your frame of mind…” unless it’s an angry lion in front of you, then no, just run. Some fear warrants a complete U-turn, but most that is in our minds requires a change of attitude or frame of reference - a mindset shift, if you will, and the reason why it's so repeated is because it WORKS!
Instead of thinking “how awful this huge problem is” or “how will I ever fix this?” or “gosh, this must be the end for my project,” try “I wonder what the smaller parts of this problem are” or “I see that I need to learn a new skill so I can work through this challenge,” or “hmm, what I’ve tried so far hasn’t worked. I wonder how I can do it differently so that I achieve the results I think are important. I might need to read a couple books and ask a couple people just to get some ideas on which direction I should take.”
The fear of failure instead becomes a curiosity about the problem and an enthusiasm for the process of coming up with a solution.