I stayed married to an idea for too long.
For years, I worked on a blog that grew, but didn’t have a clear direction. The idea was too abstract without a clear differentiator and a problem/solution framework to make it of lasting value. When I realized I had stuck with it too long, I felt disappointed in myself for not seeing it earlier.
Because of it, I learned you need to iterate and test your ideas with non-attachment.
Be aware of your attachment to an idea.
Without that awareness, you risk spending time on a project with a dead-end. Here’s how to not repeat my mistake.
#1. Schedule non-negotiable checkpoints
Taking the time to look back is the best way to see how your journey is truly unraveling.
If you don’t do this, you risk distorting reality by hanging on to quick wins to convince yourself you’re making real progress. Set an alarm, schedule an appointment with yourself on your Google Calendar, or create a sticky note for your fridge.
Whatever works. The important thing is that you incorporate checkpoints into your life where you can take stock of what you’ve actually done.
#2. Prioritize feedback
Without feedback you’re stuck in an invisible echo bubble.
Feedback is paramount to progress. But who do you ask for feedback you can trust? Make friends with overlapping interests. It’s hard for introverts, but it’s a must. Be open, show up on socials, publish online, and don’t be afraid to go for the ask once you’ve made genuine connections.
#3. Stay open
The idea of having “strong beliefs loosely held” also applies when you’re building online.
You can have conviction that something can work while also being ready to scrap the idea and either pivot or start over. It’s worth asking yourself: Do you want to move at break-neck speed or do you want to take the slow route and hope something eventually sticks?
Neither is wrong, but they each come with their set of unavoidable consequences.
The beauty of it all is that the choice is always yours to make.