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How to Go from Big Idea to Action

By: Pamela Slim



At the World Domination Summit this weekend, I delivered a workshop for 200 motivated people, who had all kinds of big dreams to change the world. Some of their goals were to:

  • Close the income gap between men and women
  • Heal the corporate world
  • Create a bestselling book and tour the world speaking
  • Build a community center
  • Quit a job to start a business
Such overarching goals are so important, yet can be totally overwhelming if they are not broken down into feasible chunks.
The most important part of getting started to take action is to define a small and feasible project. In order to do this, you need to choose a small part of a huge project.
Let’s look at the example of one of the big ideas from the WDS workshop:
Big idea: Heal the corporate world
Possible smaller project:
  1. Define specific problem you want to solve
  2. Connect with team of peer mentors
  3. Identify list of top companies you want to heal
  4. Make connection with one company
  5. Define pilot project for one department
  6. Coach one manager in new methodology
  7. Conduct first pilot
  8. Refine methodology
  9. Write up case study
  10. Pitch idea to more departments in company
There is no sense in creating a detailed project plan for the latter stages of the project, since there are so many unknown variables.
Break Down the Steps
Once you choose a feasible smaller project, answer the following questions:
1. What do you want to create?
Name it. Describe it. (A book, a job, a video, an app)
2. Whom is it for?
Describe your audience. (Who are they? What is important to them? What scares them? What are their personal interests?)
3. Why does it need to get done?
Describe the roots of this project. (How does it fit in your body of work? Who will be affected by it? What good thing will happen as a result of completing it?)
4. How are you going to structure it?
Define a model. (Who was done something like this before? How was it structured? How can I customize this model and make it my own?)
5. When does it need to get done?
Set a deadline. (Set a date, and work your project plan backwards from it)
Once you successfully complete one small project, you will have the energy and enthusiasm to complete the next.
As Lao Tzu said:
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a small step.” Begin it now!
I did a video last year to help with marketing planning, which is very applicable to learning how to break a big goal into small steps. View it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2qBOyp8pHU
This article was originally published by Escape from Cubicle Nation
Published: July 11, 2013

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Pamela Slim

Pamela Slim is an award-winning author, speaker and leader in the new world of work. She spent the first 10 years of her solo practice as a consultant to large corporations such as Hewlett-Packard, Charles Schwab and Cisco Systems. In 2005, she started the Escape from Cubicle Nation blog, now one of the top career and business sites on the web. She has coached thousands of budding entrepreneurs, in businesses ranging from martial art studios to software startups. She is the author of the award winning book Escape from Cubicle Nation and is working on her second book Body of Work, due to be published in December, 2013.

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