Friday, 25 November 2011

It's Not The Size Of Your Idea, It's Doing Something With It That Counts

A couple of themes converged for me recently: one) the potential of a side project, what you can do in your spare time if you put your mind to it; two) the importance of making an idea happen fast, rather than leave it gathering dust on a shelf.

So first, the side project. When I talk to some people about opportunities they can explore outside of their day job, they tell me they have no time. No time? Yep, they’re too busy watching TV or whatever. There’s nothing wrong with that, but if you want to develop your talents in a new area or try stuff out, you might need to make some sacrifices. Doing it ‘on the side’ is a perfect way of prototyping ideas or even shaping your next career move as Shane Mac remind us in this great little video. So when my wife and I said let’s create a manifesto of thoughts in words and doodles, we gave up TV for a week and created it on the side.

The result is ‘Little Twenty’, a seven page ebook that you can check out by clicking on the image below. We could have sat on that idea for weeks or months but instead we decided to just roll our sleeves up and get on with it, creating it.  The results aren’t perfect; our manifesto is hardly going to deliver a new book deal or change the world but it’s a nudge in the right direction. And we think it’s better doing *something* with an idea than nothing at all. I showed it to a publisher friend who made some smart suggestions about target audiences, niches and giving it more focus. And he’s right - it’s very much a work in progress, there are improvements to be made. But as I advocate in my new book ‘Zoom!’, it’s more important to make your ideas happen, fast, launch in beta, prototype. So, that’s what we’ve done with ‘Little Twenty’. We just put it up there, made it happen. It won’t change the world but it was fun to invest a few evenings creating something. And if it has two views or two thousand, the important part was that we did it. So it’s not how amazing your idea is, it’s doing something with it that counts.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Zoom! Ideas Surgery

This Saturday I’m running a Zoom! ‘Business Ideas Surgery’ at my local bookshop The Book Inn in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex. If you're in London or Essex and you fancy a trip to Leigh, here is some stuff you may want to know:

  • What’s an ideas surgery? It’s a one-to-one session where I will help bring clarity to your business idea, give it some ‘polish’ and add some insight. If you already have a strong idea but are unsure how to make it happen, I’ll suggest some steps and give you some tips.
  • Who’s this aimed at? You may be someone with an existing small business or might want to monetise a hobby or passion as a side project. Maybe you’re a kitchen table entrepreneur or are tinkering away with an idea for a new product in your garden shed. Perhaps you just had a great idea down at the pub or maybe your existing business just needs an injection of new ideas.
  • How much does it cost? Just the price of my book (£12.99). I’m offering a free 15 minute consultation to every customer who buys a copy of ‘Zoom!’ at the Book Inn. If you wanted to buy two or more copies, you get half an hour!
  • Can I pre-book a slot? Sure, send an email to hello (at) iansanders (dot)com or you can just turn up.
  • What is The Book Inn? The Book Inn is a great little independent bookshop. It has a cafe in the back of the shop serving teas, coffees and snacks. It’s opposite a library and in a great area of town with plenty of bars, cafes and shops.
  • Where is The Book Inn? It’s at 49 Broadway West, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, SS9 2BX. There is some free parking (limited to one hour) outside. It’s a 5-10 minute walk from Leigh-on-Sea train station (45 minutes to London Fenchurch St via C2C). Map here
  • When is it? Saturday 26th November from 10am.
If you want some inspiration for your idea or just a kick-start, come say hello!

Friday, 11 November 2011

Zoom! Has Landed

I've always got great pleasure from taking a random idea and making it happen, and my new book 'Zoom! The Faster Way To Make Your Business Idea Happen' is a great example of that. The book came out in the UK on 1st November and it's great to finally see it on the shelves in the book shops. I've been so busy writing guest posts for other sites, this blog has been a bit quiet.

So if you missed them, here's a selection of what I've been writing:

  1. 'Why Doing Is Better Than Thinking', for Management Today.
  2. 'Making Your Business Idea Boxable' for
  3. 'From Napkin Idea To Business Start Up' for