Tips for Making Your “Stop Doing” List

By Jessica Wishart

dateFri, Feb 14, 2014 @ 10:30 AM

For most entrepreneurs, the problem is not a lack of ideas.  In fact, we’ve found that most of our clients have too many great ideas.  So many ideas that seem too good to pass up can create lack of focus, and it is hard to quantify the opportunity cost of working on too many strategic moves at once.  Patrick Thean teaches that at some point, prioritizing means saying no to good ideas so that you can focus on executing the great ones with laser focus and precision.  

Here is a list of questions to help you think about any strategy ideas you’re currently working on or contemplating.  Considering these questions could help you identify the losing strategies that could be taking your team’s focus and your energy away from executing your true Winning Moves:

• What are the revenue projections for this move?

• Does it align with your core strategy (Core Values, Core Purpose, Core Customer), and does it get you closer to your BHAG?

• Are your customers excited about this idea or are they merely lukewarm?

• Is your team excited about this idea or are they just humoring you because you’re excited?

• Are you finding yourself distracted by other ideas - is the idea not really that exciting to you?

• Does your team shut down or change the subject when this idea comes up? Is it an elephant in the business_executionroom?

• Is this strategy already being deployed by your competition? Are you just following them instead of generating your own great strategy?

• Is this an idea that keeps coming up over and over again but doesn’t seem to get off the ground for some reason?

• Is the idea turning out to be more expensive to implement than you ever could have imagined?  Is it turning into a money pit?

The danger of working on too many great ideas at once is that morale will suffer, projects will be abandoned incomplete because resources are spread too thin, and you won’t devote the necessary energy and thought to fully developing and testing your strategic ideas before executing them.

Our emotional investment in our brilliant strategic ideas sometimes prevents us from seeing them for the distracting losing moves that they are.  Forcing yourself to think about the questions above, or spending time talking with a coach or colleague about the idea in a way that is honest, practical, and not emotional can help identify and stop losing moves before they stop you!


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Jessica Wishart


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