by Marcy Nelson-Garrison
Whether you are a prolific idea generator or have just a couple of different options calling for a decision, without a balanced, whole-brain, whole-heart process you run the risk of:
- Feeling overwhelmed and not choosing at all
- Choosing the shiny thing in the moment and loosing steam when the next shiny thing appears
- Trying to do all of them and experiencing a lack of completion and burn-out
- Ending up with a great product that you have no energy to promote because it doesn’t really fit your business direction
Good decisions require adequate information, thoughtful processing and clarity. As a product mentor I have found that the most powerful choices access both head and heart. The following five-step decision-making process will give you the best chance for business success and personal fulfillment.
The Five-Step Process
Step One – Checking for alignment
Before making any decision it’s important to check in with yourself and clear the emotional field. You want to connect to your powerful, calm, authentic center and make decisions from that internal state. The decision-making process begins with spiritual alignment. If your heart is not on board it won’t matter how smart or strategic your idea is—you won’t be able to sustain momentum.
This part of the process involves asking yourself a series of questions and taking time to listen deeply for your inner wisdom: Is this the right choice for me? Will it be good for my precious clients? Will it serve the greater good? Is it aligned with divine will?
Once you have checked in with your heart, it’s the head’s turn. It’s time to gather information, do the research, run the numbers and take a realistic look at how the idea fits into your current business model.
I am assuming that you want your idea to bring in money or build your business in some way. If that is the case, you definitely want to find out if there will be a return on the time, money and energy you will be investing.
In my experience, coaches are often intimidated or put off by the idea of research. Yet you actually engage in research all the time. Whenever you plan a vacation or do some comparative shopping, you are engaging in what is called secondary research. Secondary research is a great place to begin with your product or program idea and it can be just as much fun. Research becomes an awesome creative partner as you open to it and put on your master sleuth hat.
You also want to determine whether your idea fits with your target market and with your branding. Does it contribute to a natural flow or progression in your product offerings?
As a sidebar, I know how easy it is to get excited about ideas that are not a fit. I’ve had many of those moments myself. For the most part, my advice is to let those ideas go, file them away or gift them to a colleague.
However, if you have an idea that doesn’t fit your current business model and it is powerful and persistent, especially persistent over time, the universe may be calling you to change your current business model, niche or market. It’s imperative to listen at a deep level.
Once you know your idea is in alignment and your research says it’s a go, there are three more very important steps:
Step Three—Passion, energy & resources
Creating a new product or program requires effort and commitment and you need to ask yourself this very important question: Do I have the passion, energy and time required to nurture this idea to completion?
Sometimes the answer will be that it’s not the right time. Trying to push through when you don’t have the energy or time can set you up for failure. Be compassionate and honest with this question.
This is also a good time to explore what resources, support and information you might need. Completion might involve hiring others. You might need a graphic designer, a copywriter, a virtual assistant or even an intellectual property attorney. Perhaps your idea will require a business loan. Do you have the resources to get the help you need?
Step Four—The big picture
Products and programs take on a life of their own and it’s important to spend some time imagining your idea unfolding into the future. Imagine your idea completed and launched: What opportunities does it open up for you? Who does it attract? Where does it lead you?
When you have a sense of that future picture ask yourself this very important question: Is that where I want to go?
I have had clients at this point of the process experience an important wake-up call. When they imagine the logical path the product will take they realize that it is not ultimately where they want to go. This is a very important piece of information!
Step 5—Making the decision
Once you have gone through the first four steps, answered the questions and gathered the information you need, it’s important to come back to the heart.
From your calm, authentic center, clear any negative emotion and once again bring the beginning questions to your heart: Is this the right choice for me? Is this what the universe is asking of me? Is it aligned with divine will?
Make the best decision you can. Once a choice is made, pay attention to feedback from the universe—adjust and realign as you go.
Choosing which creative idea to pursue deserves intentionality and a commitment of time to the process. Power is created when you give life to something. Choices that are aligned with your heart, your life purpose, your business model, your business goals, solid research and divine will are powerful and open the gateway to synchronicity, ease, success and fulfillment.
Marcy Nelson-Garrison, MA, LP, CPCC, is a product mentor, certified coach, masters level licensed psychologist, product reviewer for Choice Magazine, visual artist and founder of Coachingtoys.com. Marcy helps coaches develop authentic products and programs in a way that is deeply honoring and sustainable. Download her free creativity workbook at www.PinkParadigm.com