Isn’t it true that we have these flashes of great, money-making ideas but somehow they get lost in the shuffle? Barely legible notes to yourself in the middle of the night… That awesome device or app that you can’t seem to find anywhere… Your plan to get your business noticed by the people who can propel you into the next tax bracket…

Do you even remember what those ideas were now?

Why is it that we tend to postpone our plans and get sidetracked? As time goes by, great ideas wane from our consciousness and are soon forgotten altogether. So let’s look a little deeper into how you can actualize those ideas to get the most from them instead of getting zip, zero, zilch.

The Nike slogan “Just Do It” sums it up the approach we need. Let’s break down the Do It into four manageable steps: think it, evaluate it, plan it, then make it happen.

Step 1
As you drive, read, talk, listen and meet people, you absorb a lot of information. Consider everything you hear with this question in mind: is this something I can use in my business? If so, write it down.

Step 2
Designate a time each week as your “idea evaluation time.” Schedule it in your calendar. My personal tip is to create an email draft for your ideas. It’s quick and means I don’t have a bunch of scraps of paper to lose. When you evaluate your ideas, review your notes and examine if the idea is A) good and doable now; B) good but the time is not right; or C) not the right direction for your business.

Step 3
If the idea falls into category C, cross it off your list. If it’s an A or B, pull out your calendar, iPhone or Blackberry and calculate how much time you need to execute your idea by breaking down the project into time frames for each phase. Then, schedule an appointment with yourself to make an action plan.

Step 4
Many people find this is the most challenging step because now is the time to execute your idea. So, what is the trick? Here is my secret: I don’t ever think about whether I “feel” up to it. I sit down, eliminate my distractions, and then I do it. No fixing tea, coffee or a bite to eat. I don’t answer emails or my phone. I stay focused on the task at hand and I don’t get up from my desk until I’ve completed what I set out to do. When creating the initial action plan for your idea, I find it’s best to let the first draft sit before going back to make revisions, so schedule Round 2 within the next day or so. Once your action plan is as good as it’s going to be, schedule the steps and make your great idea happen one phase at a time.

If you find it hard to get from planning to action, here is more of my advice for achieving your goals.

To move your business forward, you need to become the best and most effective executor of your ideas that you can be. It doesn’t matter if it is an event, a marketing campaign, or a cold calling initiative. Write it in the calendar and plan it out. Focus on one big idea at a time and think Nike.

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