Wednesday, 17 February 2010

#9: Scrap that...

Throughout Jan/Feb I've been posting the "12 entrepreneurial lessons I learnt from 2009" series.

Installments so far: Introduction,
Lesson : #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8

So here's the thing;
my original idea for this ninth lesson .. isn't working out.

I'm getting frustrated, losing enthusiasm for the message and tangling my trains of thought. Deadlines for other tasks are looming as I tweak and re-write, yet I don't feel like I'm getting any closer to a breakthrough.

I figure I have two (arguably three) choices; I could persevere with the original idea and hope that a bit more time and effort will yield something I am happy with, (I could just post what I have in a form I'm dissatisfied with) or I could acknowledge that it is simply not going to work out this time and move on to something else.

We're often reluctant to move on from our original ideas.
Not completing something you set out to do can sometimes feel like failure, so we we resolutely stick at it until the bitter end; stubbornly meeting the goals we said we would no matter that the match is now being played on the adjacent pitch.

Stopping mid way through a novel you don't like, turning the car around as soon as you know you're lost, abandoning the initial idea for this blog post, moving on from a business idea which has proved non-viable.. Whatever the scenario, where there is time and effort to be lost in pushing through but little or nothing to gain, the way to fail isn't by productively moving on but by either: wasting your time seeing the unnecessary activity to completion or wasting the time you saved having wisely decided to move on.

There is frankly no benefit to expending resources, be that time, effort or money, on activities that will bring you no reward. Knowing when to cut your losses and roll with a new idea is vital. I decided not to continue working on my draft post because I'd tied my arguments into knots and it would have taken me hours to work though it. This has taken 15 mins and left me free to attack my ever growing flagged email list.

I recognise that it isn't always as simple as putting down a book or re-writing a blog post but, hard as it may be, sometimes the only good decision is to "scrap that" and move on.

No comments: