I suffered from idea constipation.
Three weeks ago, I published my first book (incurring the wrath of real writers everywhere; well, at least in the English-speaking countries).
Now, I have ED (get your mind out of the gutter).
Entrepreneur Dysfunction is the entrepreneur’s version of writer’s block.
It’s as if I’d angered the spirits of great writers and in retaliation, they’ve shut off my ideas spigot.
I’ve had this idea constipation ever since I came back from a short vacation to New Orleans in order to relax and to clear my head.
Apparently I was gone too long.
My usual Niagara Falls flow of ideas just stopped. My mind was a total blank.
I’d always relied on a constant stream of inspiration from the hundreds of websites/blogs I visit each week. With my short break to “The Big Easy”, however, I guess I neglected to keep my brain properly stimulated (watching a drunk reveler reveal his plumber’s crack in slow motion on Bourbon Street doesn’t count.)
Note: This is a departure from my usual type of post (I do have ED, after all), but stick with me, will ya?
The Easy Fix for Your Entrepreneur Dysfunction
The one and only fix for writer’s block, and an easy one at that, is to write.
Write something. Write anything. Just write.
Along the same lines, whatever ED you face in your business, you need to take it head on.
Take a chance and stray from the usual. Try something new, scary, or easy. Don’t over-analyze it. Just do it.
Having trouble coming up with an innovative feature for your app? Change your focus and work on coding something totally different.
Can’t figure out what your new SEO strategy is gonna be now that Google is slapping rank manipulators silly? Stop looking for ways to game the search engine algorithms and concentrate on putting out a kick-ass product/content/service.
Keep on keeping on.
Taking Chances … Despite the High Risk
Choosing to be an entrepreneur is like choosing to walk a tightrope 3,000 ft above ground without a safety harness, except way more dangerous, because at least on the tightrope, no one’s trying to shove you off while telling you that “it’s not personal, it’s just business”.
(Photo Credit: Alexandre Buisse)
Taking a risk and tackling your fears can bring success beyond your wildest dreams. It can also give you explosive diarrhea. Though I wouldn’t mind it if I’m guaranteed success. And by success I mean selling more than 10 copies of my book.
Actually, risking mental and physical harm is not that scary. In fact, it’s good for your health. Okay, I don’t have actual proof of this, but since I’ve been jeopardizing my mental and physical health living the life of an entrepreneur while remaining relatively sane, it should be proof positive that what doesn’t kill you (or drive you mad) only makes you stronger, right? At least my slightly unbalanced mind would like to think so.
No, there is a far more horrifying fate that entrepreneurs fear: being confronted with the question: “now what?“
Give us a problem, and we’ll solve it.
Challenge us with a task, and we’ll exceed your expectations.
“Give it to me, I can take anything you dish out!” you say with the kind of bravado only an entrepreneur can.
But when you’ve solved that problem or completed that task, your biggest fear is that nothing awaits you on the other side. No new challenges to take on. “Now what?“
That’s why you need to …
Celebrate the Little Victories
We need little victories.
Given my problem with ED, writing and finishing this post was a little victory for me.
To be honest, when Annika first approached me about writing a post for her blog crawl, my first instinct was to say no. But as I was in the midst of my idea constipation, I gave it a few days to marinate before answering her with an emphatic “YES!”
My rationale? Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Challenging ourselves with something we’re uncomfortable with sometimes leads to unexpected rewards.
So I decided to challenge myself.
I challenged myself to inject some humor into my normal dry, business-type blog writing…away from the need to attract new customers.
Dipping my toes in the world of humorous writing has allowed me to put a quarter in my creative piggybank.
Finishing this post meant that I’ve turned the corner, opened the spigot and unleashed my special form of written torture upon you. There’s no turning back now.
Wonderful things can happen when you take a chance. Your ED starts to perk up when you stop taking things so seriously.
I took a chance by writing this post.
I gave myself a mental enema.
And you know what? It worked! I’ve already been inspired to work on a new project which I hope to inflict on the world in a week or two.
So, what chances are YOU taking?
P.S. While I’m on this productivity run, I just wrote another book. And this time it took me less than 5 minutes! (mostly in coming up with the title).
Introducing my newest book: What Happens When You Have Writer’s Block: A Look Inside.
It was inspired by the Blank Book Title Contest.
(This post is part of The Celebration Series blog crawl project put together by Annika Martins in which I answer the question: “What do you need to celebrate?“)