Idea Incubator 18: Productive Passion

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glass collection of Liane Sebastian
It is easy to talk about ideas, but to implement them takes developed skills, practice, and expanded viewpoints. To focus all three in the same direction begins with passion. If faced with a task you must do, but lack passion to do it, two things will happen: 1) you make a game or reward for doing it and plow through, and 2) you stop after the initial burst. Passion predicts behavior and project outcomes.

Andrea March, consummate entrepreneur and business growth expert, examines how to plan focus:

“See the big picture first and then the details. Focus on what you want to achieve and then how to realize the outcome.”
—Andrea March, contributor to Women who Win at Work

Start with the end goal. Usually the description will comprise deadline, budget, and needed resources. Breaking projects into portions frees the focus to concentrate on development. Project management feeds passion. Construct the why and then compose the how:

Develop a Focused Project Plan

1. Declare mission. Name your statement of purpose for each initiative, whether business, career, or personal. It needs to be no more than two sentences.

2. Determine positioning. How does your work fit within your industry or society? Do homework to determine the bigger picture on these levels:
a. Blog buzz
b. Associations and organizations
c. Business publications
d. Interviews
e. Books from experts

3. How does your goal change or evolve your position? Where would you like to grow? What will change for your audience as a result of your project’s success?

4. Write a press release. Though not written to send out, the exercise will clarify goals, target audience, and illuminate what is newsworthy. Writing a release is the first test of commitment and viability. Determine to whom you will send the press release in the future so you visualize while composing. When the project is finished, revise the release to fit the evolution.

5. Break the goal into component phases, tasks, and schedule. Arrange steps by critical path, difficulty, and expense.

6. Supplement resources with trades. Ask for help and offer something in exchange; follow the give-to-get philosophy (download my article with this title). Reliability is key. If collaborators don’t share the same passions, don’t recruit into your project. Find someone who does.

7. Conduct first step analysis for each goal on a regular basis. The plan keeps efforts moving in a consistent direction. As each first step is accomplished, another takes its place on your things to do list until all the components are ready for polishing.

8. Plan to grow organically. Define options for reaching the goal, for there is always more than one way to accomplish. Good plans change during execution. The path may be flexible, but the end destination beacons consistently.

Focus on priorities is impossible without a plan to define the priorities. Distractions, limitations, and economic restrictions all endanger progress. Working around detours is costly in time and resources, so before committing to the effort, the inner voice of passion must declare resolve.

Also see Andrea March’s contribution in Idea Incubator #9,
The Creative Compass

See the developing series of Idea Incubators.

Liane Sebastian, illustrator, designer, writer, and publishing pioneer


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One Response to “Idea Incubator 18: Productive Passion”

  1. Idea Incubator 24: Emotions as Creative Guideposts « Wisdomofwork's Blog Says:

    […] Where you invest your time and resources is both a self-portrait and a prediction. #18: “Productive Passion” Follow passion as a sign post for viability. Develop a project plan to focus and actualize. […]

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