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Don’t let ‘what if’ become ‘if only’

By Manos Findikakis
29 May 2024 | 12 minute read
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Ever had one of those light bulb moments? Those big, bright ideas that you just know would be a winner.

Chances are over the course of your life, you’ve had a few … that brilliant business idea, that innovative strategy, that game-changing concept.

Perhaps it’s scribbled down in a notebook, recorded in your phone, or maybe it’s the big dream and concept you’ve discussed at length with your spouse.

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Now let me ask you this … did you bring that idea to life? Or was the ideation phase where it ground to a halt?

Because regardless how brilliant, game-changing or disruptive they are, ideas are meaningless without execution.

The gap between idea and execution

It’s the gap between the idea and execution that most struggle with. It’s taking the very first step.

Call it laziness, fear, procrastination, or whatever you identify with.

But think about the volume of missed opportunities that you’ve had over the course of a lifetime, and chances are at least some of them are attributed to the “gap”.

It’s that thing you never quite got round to, knew it could change your life but didn’t quite action.

And when that happens, the gap is the difference between “what if” and “if only”.

Bridging the gap

If you are vulnerable to the gap, apply this strategy to get you to the execution point.

As soon as the idea enters your head, do this:

1. Write it down Get your smartphone out and write the idea in a notes page titled “ideas”. No need to go overboard with the detail, a heading will suffice.

2. Gauge the excitement As the idea builds in your mind, visualise the end result. Has it raised your energy level? You need to picture not just the finish line, but how you feel at the finish line.

If the prospect still excites you, chances are it’s worth pursuing further. If not, it might be an idea to cast aside.

3. Consider the first step What’s the very first action? The most important step. To get the idea started, what’s the simplest thing you can do? It could be as simple as a Google search. Whatever it is, do that.

Skin in the game

We are all full of good ideas. But it’s rare for one to actually push all our buttons to the point we take massive initial action.

Most ideas fade in energy and memory very quickly, if not immediately.

One of two things will always happen when you think of an idea. Your belief in the idea will either decrease or increase based on the outcome of your very first action.

A decrease in genuine belief, the most common, puts an end to the idea. Increased belief however, that’s a different story. That’s the stuff that fills the gap.

It gets you to the execution point to the “doing” part. When that happens, momentum builds and you become “committed”.

The more time passes, the more investment you make, the higher your desire for a return on that investment.

You have “skin” in the game. That’s when ideas become reality.

And it’s worth noting: everything we see around us was once an idea in someone’s head. Someone who had the belief and courage to bridge the gap from idea to execution.

That’s how everything gets done and how we achieve our goals.

Manos Findikakis is the CEO of Agents’Agency.

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