Thursday, December 6, 2012
As an entrepreneur, you cycle through a great number of big ideas. Big ideas about products, big ideas about operations, and big ideas about how your little company is going to change the industry, nay, the world! forever and ever. It's important to embrace big ideas and to confront them with big thinking, but it's most important to know how to edit.
In many ways, growing a business is like working on a piece of fiction. You start with a sentence, something bold and true that strikes fire in your heart and moves your hands to action. From there, you build. Sentences become paragraphs which become pages and then chapters; like so many bricks in a house, your words become something substantial. And it's in this moment of having something, something with weight and structure, that you must begin the most difficult task: editing. Knock down walls, rip up floors and bury bits of what you've created. Do not look back; edit what needs to be taken out. And then start building again.
Sometimes, it will feel as if the fruit of your brainstorm sessions and the hours you spent creative thinking and building plans is all for naught. Lord knows I've had hundreds of big ideas that I've laid to rest- some out of laziness, others out of fear, and some because they just didn't fit with the rest of the story. I don't regret having these ideas, but I would regret not thinking them at all. When you give up on big thinking, you give up on yourself, entirely. When you stop having dreams, you're not just asleep, you're dead.
Right now, I'm working closely with David as we bring his big idea to fruition. We're thinking big, dreaming bigger, and, for every triumphant step forward, we shrink back an inch or two. It's fun, but it's a lot of work. Additionally, I'm working on some writing that I'm really persevering on. It's an old big idea that I'd set aside ages ago to pursue another idea that I just couldn't commit to, but I've recently adopted it again with fresh eyes and a better perspective. While I'm excited by the challenges and scope of both these projects- David's and my own- I'm not excited about the editing, but that, my friends, is truly the most important part.
Think big, dear reader, and dream big, too. And then edit. It hurts at first, but it's worth it in the end. I hope...