Entrepreneurs always have a lot of big ideas that they’re truly passionate about. The challenge, of course, is buckling down and channeling that passion into an actionable plan to bring the idea to life.
As a busy professional, it can be challenging to carve out the time to work on your passion projects. That’s why we asked members of the Young Entrepreneur Council for some practical approaches to channeling passion into execution. Here’s their advice:
1. Be consistent.
Everyone is passionate in the beginning. It’s in the middle of executing their passion that the fire dies out. Why? Because we are not consistent—we lose hope in the process. In consistency, there is new learning, there is progress, and there is a higher chance to execute better.
2. Make incremental moves.
As entrepreneurs, we tend to get caught up on what “it” looks like. The best way to channel your energy is to remind yourself that everything is an incremental move. Start by taking the first steps and making clear short-term goals (one to two days). This will help build momentum, and by practicing consistency, you’ll be executing on your passionate ideas with enthusiasm.
3. Build your resilience.
When executing your passion, you need to be resilient. Unfortunately, not everything will go as you would like, but you cannot let that dissuade you from following through. Remember that part of the joy of becoming accomplished is recognizing all the obstacles that you overcame.
You’ll need a certain level of discipline when it comes to channeling passion into execution. You can’t just be driven to succeed. You have to know how to harness the passion and transform it into a process or strategy. Identify your passions in an objective fashion, then find ways to turn them into results. It’s a fine line to balance, but it can be done.
5. Act now.
In my experience, if I become passionate about something, I need to act on it immediately. If I do not, I overthink it to death and end up not enjoying it as much as I should. If you discover you have a passion for something (in business or life), go after it immediately. There is no reason to wait.
6. Dive in and let things unfold organically.
If there’s something you want to do, you need to dive in without hesitation. Half the battle sometimes is starting, so if you just do that, you’re well on your way to creating something valuable. Remind yourself that you don’t always need an elaborate plan, and some of the best experiences happen organically.
7. Ride the wave of your passion.
Passion and enthusiasm for various activities can wax and wane over time. Your passion might peak in the morning and taper off in the afternoon (or vice versa). Or you might feel passion about a certain project for a couple months, then need some time off. Make sure to time your work to coincide with these peaks of passion.
8. Project a worst-case scenario.
It is important to be cognizant of how you project the growth of your idea. One fairly common trait of entrepreneurs is a positive future outlook; otherwise you wouldn’t accept the inherent risks of starting a business. Taking some time to envision potential pitfalls and obstacles too, though, is a smart way to remain grounded, as well as more prepared to turn your passion into a thriving business.
9. Create a plan, but be flexible.
Creating a map or blueprint on how to execute your idea immediately makes it more realistic. You’ll probably have to make changes along the way, but it’s always better to have a plan to follow. Otherwise, it remains a dream that you can endlessly put off.
10. Write it down.
It’s important to take advantage of your “eureka” moments when you have them. While you’re first caught up in those wonderful, exciting ideas, grab a piece of paper and write everything down. Later, go back to it with the purposeful mindset of creating a process from those ideas. Organize them and make them into a plan, filling in key steps required in between. Also note down potential outcomes.
11. Think realistically.
If you’re trying to channel your passion, start by thinking realistically. All of the passion in the world doesn’t matter if your goal is completely unrealistic. Create a manageable and realistic goal, and start there. After finishing a couple small goals, you’re one step closer to completing a larger, but still realistic, task.
12. Measure your results.
You can execute your passion by defining and measuring each result. The more progress you see, the more excited you will be to work toward that goal.
13. Find people who share the same passion.
Bring along your friends. Find other people who share the same passion, set up some accountability around that passion, and then execute it and celebrate the results.
It’s normal to be afraid to fail, to be afraid about what other people might say if you fail. In the beginning of my entrepreneurship journey, I was always doubting myself, thinking too much of what others might think of me. But when I finally said to myself, What’s the worst thing that can happen? that’s when all the success started pouring in. Go all in. Fail, then succeed.
15. Let go of expectations.
If you really want to be able to channel your passion into execution, you have to let go of your expectations. Your expectations will prevent you from being flexible, creating a plan and following through. If you are too fixated on what you expect or desire your passions to lead to, you will be too afraid to act and you will miss out on wonderful opportunities.
These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.