Wings and Feet

January 14, 2011

In a post by Jeff Walker called Let’s Go Negative the product launch wizard unpacks the problem of constant optimism in business planning. Although optimism is important to sustain you through the challenges of starting a business or launching a new product or service, he tells us, relentless optimism interferes with a key component to success.

In the post he lays out a process for taking an idea that has you excited and then brainstorming all the obstacles to implementing it. This meshes with a framework I use for talking about business ideas. They need wings, to take them into the future and to higher potential results. But they also need feet, so they can land in the real world.

That means they need to be practical, and to be practical you need to invite the skeptic to evaluate them. Small business owners need both capacities – visionary dreaming and proactive, practical, operational planning.

That skeptic guy may not be the life of the party, but he’s key to the life of the business. Offer to buy him a drink. Don’t worry; he’ll probably just have a glass of water.


2 Responses to “Wings and Feet”

  1. Darcy on January 16th, 2011 5:48 am

    Reading this post gave me a kind of sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, so I’m going to pass on clicking through. I think for me the key is *when* this skeptical pragmatic fellow gets invited to the party and who else is there. Because in my experience inviting him chases away other guests who I haven’t seen in way too long and really want to catch up with, like You *Can* Do It and Yes, There Really Is A Way, Darling.

  2. Steve Coxsey on January 16th, 2011 3:31 pm

    I definitely understand wanting to stay away from dream bashers, but this isn’t about dream bashing. It’s about proactively planning what it takes to turn the dream into a reality. Jeff Walker’s point is not to say “no” just for the sake of being a wet blanket, but to say “How do we handle this to make sure it works?”

    I see far too many people racing off unprepared because the idea is good, but they don’t have much of the execution worked out. So when they hit the – often predictable – obstacles they get discouraged and think it’s proof the idea won’t work. I see this as helping to improve the chances the idea *will* work.

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