Choose a project that appeals to you
Handle the logistics
Sort the pieces
Work one section at a time
Sort by similarity
Approach your project organization from different angles
Keep looking at the whole
The Universe has an interesting way to offer us guidance. It sends signs. Sometimes those signs are about bumping into someone on the street that creates an opportunity you hadn’t considered before. Sometimes it is a phone call or an email suggesting collaboration. It may be a surge of interest in a particular product or service you offer. And it may be an idea that simple floats in out of nowhere. These signs indicate an interest from somewhere directed at you and what you offer. They are worth considering.
Signs that say change direction
I’ve been moving steadily in one direction for about eight years. Before that I was going in another direction. What’s currently showing up are people interested in that original niche – those initial products and services that I still offer on my website. I’m wondering and watching. Part of me feels that if I moved back to that old niche it would feel like going backwards. Another part says maybe I’ve learned all I can from the niche I am in and have something more to contribute to my original niche. Since learning new things is more important to me than just about anything in the world I need to find the place where I can keep learning and be in service while I do. So the question becomes how can I approach this former niche and make a new type of product and service around it.
Signs that inspire new work
I began my online presence as a spiritual counselor. Then I decided to take that metaphysical approach out into the world as I helped people develop their online business. I became a business coach, curriculum developer and an educator. The spiritual part has always been in my work. The current signs are about increasing the spiritual work. I’m observing and thinking and considering.
I feel that a lot of my earlier work was about teaching what I had learned from others in my own unique interpretation – which is pretty much what we all do. But I have now developed what feels like a relatively original idea and would love to find more of those. However, my unique viewpoint has changed because I am more knowledgeable and experienced so if I went “back” to offering more spiritually oriented products they would be different than what I produced ten years ago. That’s a good thing.
I learn when I teach and since I’m going through an introspective period in my own life, I plan to write a new teleclass that will give people tools for self-exploration. That’s quite different from the practical courses I’ve been teaching. My target community is certainly going to be surprised!
What ideas are coming to you that seem a little off the beaten path that you would be interested in exploring?
Signs that a change is in the air
My Passionately on Purpose blog has always been a mix of practical and philosophical – like me. In the past year, I have written more personal development posts than practical ones. That was a conscious decision as well as an organic one. It seems that the Universe has been steadilly laying the groundwork for this possible change. Look at what you’ve been doing the past six months. What has changed? Is there a new direction being suggested?
Signs that suggest new relationships
Some of the signs are coming to me in the form of the people that are showing up to be coached and the products that they are buying – the older spiritual ones. As I examine the world around me, I see major, major changes and as I look carefully at what people want it seems like hope would be at the top of their list. Hope, spiritual awareness and a way to get control of their lives at least internally since, at the moment, the physical plane seem skewed. I could do that.
New people are also showing up who would like to collaborate. People are showing up for coaching who not only want practical guidance but help in defining their values and their passion and their deepest place of service. The people who are seeking me out are coming because they feel a spiritual connection. That’s always been that way it works but these people are expressing it in those terms. Who is showing up in your life that you are immediately drawn to, or who seek you out with collaboration in mind?
Signs that you should take the leap
I haven’t made this leap yet. I’m just reading signs. And I also realize it doesn’t have to be a complete leap, it doesn’t have to be an abandonment of what I do now. It can just be an addition to what already exists. I have to look at what I want right now. What do I want to learn? What do I want to write about? What do I want to teach? Who do I want to coach? And what do I want to help them to accomplish? I can offer a personal development class alongside a business class. It would be a stronger position if I stuck with one or the other but I’m just going to let it unfold. It may also mean that this is the beginning of a gradual transition. Are you being nudged to change directions? How does that feel?
Are you noticing the signs?
What signs are showing up for you? What are people asking you to do for them? What new need do you see out in the world that you would like to meet? How does your present focus need to expand or change in order to continue to be relevant and necessary? Read the signs and see if it’s time for change.
The idea I had affected three words in the title of an ebook I am writing but those three words created both a lot of work and a long-lasting impact. So the good news is that the product got better, the bad news was the amount of work involved in connecting all the pieces. Do you embrace change, or do you measure it by the trouble it takes to implement it
It would be great if we could get it right the first time
I’m writing 15 ebooks in the “How to Craft Series” and from the beginning I got most of the titles right. Each title contained a result that will be achieved by the creation of a particular type of information product. But one title didn’t follow that guideline. The original title was “How to Craft a Magnetic Opt in Offer in One Hour.” I had written the first three books of the series when I realized that a more compelling title was “How to Craft a Magnetic Opt in Offer that Captivates and Converts.” These three words aligned this book with the rest of the titles like “How to Craft a Mini-Ecourse that Builds Trust” and “How to Craft Magnetic Interactive Elements that Help People Own What You Teach” I felt it was an important change to make so I dove in.
One change is like a pebble in a lake
It affected the cover of the book, the listing of the “How to Craft Series” in the back of all three books I had already written, references in the three books to the Opt in Book, the three landing pages where I offered the Opt in Book as part of a Start Up Bundle, the Marketplace pages on two blogs, the links to the opt in landing page and the delivery pages. Every time I made one change I thought of someplace else that needed to be changed. It took me a whole day chasing those changes.
What impact with the change make for the better?
There was no question I would make the change. The title was more in line with the whole series and offered a stronger benefit. I would have done it even if all 15 books were written. And I’m not at all a perfectionist.
When you contemplate making a change, take some time to look at three aspects: 1) what difference it is going to make to the bottom line, 2) how labor intensive is it to make that change and 3) how far reaching is the change – how will it affect others in their bottom line and their labor?
What difference is it going to make to the bottom line?
In my case I believe that the stronger title will attract more purchasers. And because it is more in alignment with the rest of the series it may help prospects connect to the other books in the series. Combine that will my willingness to spend a day making the changes and it was the thing to do. However, often an idea will have a greater ripple effect that includes an additional cost of outside labor. You have to consider both your time and paid time.
How labor intensive is it to make that change?
I have a friend who is a graphic designer and after the first three changes a client makes she has to charge them for additional changes. And she has to put a limit on the number of changes that can be made at all. So the more you know what you want before you begin a project, the more research you have done and the clearer the decisions you make about the focus, the fewer changes you will have to make. Do your core homework first. Add the cost of the change into the profitability equation.
How far reaching is the change – how will it affect others?
My daughter is a Vice President in a large insurance company. When she makes a change she has to consider not only how that will impact her own team but how it will affect other areas as well. How much impact will the change make? How long will it take to implement it? What tools need to be in place? What will the change cost in the time it takes people to get up to speed? The larger the group the more far reaching the impact of one change to their productivity and their bottom line.
Our work is always evolving
Change is inevitable. We learn to do a job and find a better, faster, more efficient way to do it so we make a change. We develop an idea and the deeper we get into its development the more ideas we have and the more we understand what we need to do in order to convey our message. So we make changes.
If I had a teleclass to give in 20 minutes and could make a change on the Power Point slides by a few minutes of typing I’d do it. If I wanted to change the title of the teleclass at the last minute I would not do it because of the advertising that had gone on before it. It’s too late to change that part of the message.
The bottom line is to think your work through as thoroughly as you can. Tweak it for the better if you have time and the change would have an impact. Otherwise, learn the lesson and put it to use the next time around.
by Cara Lumen
One of the reasons we find ourselves standing immobilized by the number of ideas we have is because we do not have a method for choosing the right or best or most attractive ideas. Here are some steps.
Major Point #1: Remember that not making a decision is a decision not to take action.
Major Point #2: Decision making is the study of identifying and choosing alternatives based on the values and preferences of the decision maker.
You are the creator of this project. You will make the decisions about who it is for, what needs it is to meet and what form it will take. A decision is simply a matter of choosing among alternatives. It is not about making a choice between right and wrong. You choose right now, based on who you are and what you know. Two years from now you’ll make a different choice. But this is now. Follow your heart and your intuition and simply choose.
Make your decisions on paper. One of the reasons making a detailed table of contents for an information product is such a vital step is because it is easier to reorganize a few bullet points than whole chapters and an outline makes certain you identify and develop the core concepts. Make a list and rearrange your ideas to discover the emphasis of the project.
Make your decisions as you go along. If you decide to write an ebook, stick with it till it is done. You can write the teleclass next. If you decide on a focus for one information product complete it and simply make notes of other ways you can approach it. Use those ideas in future products or articles or blog posts.
Stay focused on your core concepts. A creative, fertile mind will see a myriad of ways to make a particular point. 1) be certain you are developing only the chosen core concepts for that project, one concept at a time and 2) be certain that how you are expressing it will help your audience get it.
Keep the alternatives on a separate list. As you work you will think of many other things that could be said, or written, or developed. Simply put them on a separate list – your “Idea List” if you wish. That way you know you have captured them but do not have to stop to explore them and can stay focused on the work you are doing.
Commit and follow through. Once you have made the decision and have started what you are going to do, put the “what if’s” aside and do it with commitment.
©2010 Cara Lumen
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