People are always asking me, What’s the next step? They have a great idea, cause or issue they’re fired up about, but are unsure of what to do next. Well, if you want to start a business, create a new book club or change how your team works together, you can’t do it alone. Any change, or what I call a wave, takes interest from others.
Here are some quick tips for making sure that you are building interest from others in your plans and ideas.
1. Remember “What’s in it for us?”– not just “What’s in it for me?”
People get on board when they can see a bigger ‘why’ – the broader impact in your team, the community, or organization. Sharing the financial goal isn’t enough. First off, make sure you know the bigger why and then then share it often. And, it will keep you motivated.
The Gem started as one of the first juice bars in Dallas. Since then it has grown to include much more. It first began when one of their founders, Leslie Needleman, used healthy eating in her treatment and recovery from breast cancer. Their ‘why’ has always been about being healthy, and as a result, they share more than juice. They offer nutritional counseling, classes and information. Their purpose is based on ‘what’s in it for us’ – not just ‘what’s in it for me’.
2. Find your idea partners.
In my research on those who start changes, big and small, I learned that the very first sparks of the idea usually began on the back of a napkin, in a cab or over a glass of wine. Those important discussions can help your idea take shape and also understand how others see it. These early idea partners will also be so important in spreading the word.
In writing my new book, I relied on several idea partners and I learned where I had blocks, what wasn’t clear and learned too. My friend Kristi Erickson was an important one for me and she came in with a fresh perspective that helps so much when you have worked on your change for a long time. These same idea partners have been wonderful advocates for me as the book became a reality.
3. Think small and bite-sized.
We are busy people! Our attention span is now about seven seconds and about 30% less than it was just ten years ago. We are connected to multiple devices and multi-tasking has become an art form. This means you have to get others’ attention quickly.
Don’t aim for everything at once. Many of the Wave Makers mentioned in my book, Make Waves: Be the One to Start Change at Work and in Life, didn’t ask for everything at once. They were incrementalists.
Julie Porter, of Front Porch Marketing, asked her close network over for dinner a few years ago to brainstorm the launch of her new business. She didn’t ask for too much, just come to dinner and share ideas. After a fun night of conversation, we all left thinking, How can we help her get her business started? But, she didn’t ask us for that much at first.
4. Go retro and rely on conversations.
We communicate so much through technology that it’s the norm these days. It’s fast, efficient and we have several devices that make it easy to do so.
Yet, when we receive an email that includes 30 other people or see a post asking for ideas or input, we often assume that someone else will respond and move on. Contrast that with when you receive a call or have a personal conversation with someone asking for your ideas and participation. It’s different. You are much more likely to engage. And, it shows that your participation matters.
5. Get some points on the board.
Quick momentum can help your new idea take off. This is more than just good buzz. Be strategic about the kind of momentum that will help you.
If you watch the ABC hit show Shark Tank, you know that if you want investors, you need some proven sales history and a commitment for future sales. If you have an idea to try a new technology at work, involvement and support from an expert or key influencer may be your momentum builder. Know the momentum builder that fits your need and situation and that will propel you forward to your bigger goal.
(Bonus: I recently went on fellow SUCCESS contributor and Spark & Hustle CEO Tory Johnson‘s teleclass to discuss these same steps on how to start change. If you really want to make a difference, give it a listen.)
Make waves. Start the change or calling you can’t stop thinking about and make an action today. Yet, remember that waves build through interest from others one by one. You can’t do it alone.