When is too many ideas a bad thing?

I love this notebook because it perfectly sums-up how I feel at times…

When you run your own business, not only are there just too many things to do but there are often too many ideas to use as well. Ideas are brilliant and they are the things that keep my creative business going and changing and hopefully thriving. However, ideas can also be overwhelming. And when you think all of your ideas are good, I find prioritising them really hard. I want to do everything at once and that really is not possible. Facing that fact can be a harsh reality check, but an important one too.

Most ideas can’t just happen overnight. I think you can change your business behaviour pretty quickly (like pushing yourself to write a blog post every week without fail or posting on social media every day) but “the stuff” takes time. I find new ideas really exciting and I think that is a good thing but when quite a few come at once it can be a bit like being a child in a sweetshop; too much choice and then nothing gets chosen.

Now my son is back at school after six months at home with me, I’ve found myself thinking a lot about what this pandemic has done for my business. I’m torn between whether it has taught me to just go for it, grab any opportunity that comes along, take action and get things done fast OR if it has taught me that it is OK to take your time and that being more measured is a better approach to a creative business. I genuinely don’t have an answer to that! One thing that having the opportunity to sit back and really think about things has done is its made me realise that rolling with the punches can sometimes be good. Too many ideas is not a bad thing but they have to be prioritised otherwise my head will explode…and no-one wants that!

In the quilting world there’s a strange pseudo-guilt culture around WIPs or UFOs (work-in-progress or un-finished-object). Much like people always being concerned with the size of someone’s fabric stash, a quilter is often asked “so many WIPs have you got?”. Whether you reply you only have a couple or you have at least twenty, both of those response can be met with some negativity. Does it matter how many projects a quilter has on the go at any one time? Is it even anyone else’s business to know?! Falling in and out of love with projects can be quite common and I don’t believe anyone should force themselves to finish something (unless they really have to!) so I tend to priorities the project that brings me the most joy at that time.

So I’ve decided to use this same logic when thinking about new business ideas. Which one do I want to work on this week because it excites me more than the others…that’s the one to put the most time into! Surely that has to be the most sensible way to organise my time?!


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