If your “genius, amazing, world-changing idea” can’t survive 30 days, it needs to die.
Here’s a typical 90-second experience inside my brain:
“Ooh, these boots are so cute. Damn. I feel sexy as hell in these. I can take on the world! Wow. There’s such a huge connection between personal style and self-empowerment. Hey! I should totally partner with a whole bunch of local clothing boutiques to do a weeklong event combining life coaching, styling, life organization, amazing food, music, and… and… AND… all the things! OMG! I need to figure out a clever name for the event, buy the domain name and email my web designer to start building the site like RUUUUIIIIGHT NOW. No time to waste. Humanity NEEDS THIS.”
Repeat that rapid-fire, manic brainstorming scenario about two hundred times throughout the day.
Welcome to my world.
This is what daily life feels like when you’re a “Quick Start” on the Kolbe Index.
Let me break it down for you:
The Kolbe Index is an assessment that identifies your preferred “action mode.”
There are four action modes: Quick Start, Fact Finder, Follow Thru, Implementor.
Everyone is capable of working in all four action modes, but most people lean most heavily towards one out of the four.
Quick Start – Quick Starts get high on exciting ideas and like to act fast. No hiding. No waiting. It’s always GO time. They’re natural born risk takers — which means they often wind up becoming entrepreneurs, like me.
Motto: “Well, how hard could it be?”
Fact Finder – Fact Finders like to research all of the available options before taking action. They’re meticulous and methodical, often spotting opportunities (and potential pitfalls) that others miss.
Motto: “Just hang on a minute here. Let’s think this through.”
Follow Thru – Follow Thrus are masterful at getting things done. They instinctually know how to design, plan and arrange things efficiently. Checklists, road maps, and progress assessments are the ultimate turn-on.
Motto: “This plan is going to work best. Trust me on this.”
Implementor – Implementors work best in a hands-on capacity. They thrive when they are given the chance to build physical models, move their bodies, and bring “theoretical” ideas into a concrete, touchable, holdable form. For an Implementor, building something tangible feels like the only true kind of “action.” Everything else is just prep work.
Motto: “Enough with the diagrams and theories. Can we MAKE something already?”
All four action modes have advantages and disadvantages.
If you’re a Quick Start, like me, people often envy you because you have an “unstoppable” spirit. It seems like there’s nothing you can’t do. You take action with lightning speed.
The downside? If left unmanaged, your Quick Start tendencies can create a situation where you’ve got way too many irons in the fire, a frenetic business model, a murky message that your customers don’t get, or five hundred domain names that you’ve purchased because you are “totally going to do something” with them… someday. Also? Total burn out and resentment.
If you’re a Quick Start, like me, I have one big piece of advice for you.
(This piece of advice preserves my sanity and saves my ass on a daily basis).
Here it is:
When you get a “genius, amazing, world-changing idea,” write it down.
Then park it and DO NOT act on it for 30 days — minimum.
Check back 30 days later.
Are you still on fire about this idea? Can’t stop thinking about it? Itching to run with it? Heart pounding excitement?
If not, then this idea deserves to die. It’s not right for you. You’re already “over” it and it’s just going to weigh down your calendar and life. Move on. Next.
Keep recording ideas. Put them in the incubation tank.
Wait for the “sticky” idea that can survive the 30-day mark.
THAT is the idea you ought to run with.
There are exceptions to every rule, of course.
After a run-in with a local bully in my neighborhood rattled me to the core, and made me realize that women and girls need to stop hiding and start making a scene, I recorded an intense, off-the-cuff video, developed a new coaching program, and launched it that same week. It sold out immediately, the results have been amazing, and it’s one of the best things I’ve ever created. Hands down.
In that instance? Taking action QUICKLY served me well. I was able to ride the momentum and passion that I was feeling and share that intensity with my business audience. It worked. But this was a rare situation where my feelings were outrageously strong. I knew, with total conviction, that this particular idea wasn’t going to fizzle out. Can I say the same thing about 99% of my “other” ideas? No way.
To sum this up:
For all my fellow Quick Starts out there:
Just because you GET a great idea doesn’t mean you need to ACT on that idea.
Just like seeing a hottie walk down the street doesn’t necessarily mean you should march over and ask him out on a date (Hellooo? You’re married!).
Enjoy your ideas. Play with them. Savor them. But… park them. Let them marinate.
The right ideas — the ideas and projects that you are truly meant to bring forth into this world — won’t leave you alone, no matter how much time has elapsed.
Trust me on this.
Talk to me, lady: What’s your preferred action mode? Quick Start, Fact Finder, Follow Thru, or Implementor? Join the convo that I kicked off this morning on Facebook. (Extra sizzle: share one reason why your action mode makes you awesome and one reason why it doesn’t. Ha.)