Great Escape Podcast episode 8 - A Little Escape on planning


Little Escape episodes are recorded wherever I am and usually have a lower level of audio finesse.

I'm on the road again today. Bright and early, glorious sunny sky. In fact, not a cloud in the sky as I crawl onto the M25, the motorway around London, which is always a bit of a car-park at this time in the morning. And today, although I've got a lot of driving to do, which gives me time in the car to listen to podcasts, and think, listen to some music, it also is a day when I'm doing what is absolutely essential to any successful project, which is thinking about that project, planning how the whole thing's gonna fit together, what we're going to do, how we're gonna make it work.

The idea of today is not to get it perfect, but just to get something down so that later on, as the project moves forward, that plan can be refined, and edited, and modified. But if there's nothing down, then I'm just making it up as I go along so there can't be any improvement. What I find really, really helpful, is to get with a friend. And obviously, depending on what I'm trying to achieve, which friend it will be will be different, to plan, to talk, to just get a big piece of paper out and scribble all over it, to write down ideas, to discuss ideas, to bounce ideas off each other.

What we find, is that I might say something and the other person will suddenly have a moment of inspiration that has been inspired by the thing I've just said. This has a number of advantages. It means that I'm not just in my own little bubble, that something that I think is a great idea, which is actually a completely awful idea, doesn't just exist inside my head and I convince myself it's brilliant. I had the opportunity of being tested by somebody else with a different view of the world. It has the advantage that they may say things which cause me to develop the idea more quickly, or to realise what's missing from part of the idea. And all of this will help me to develop and make the project move more quickly. It also has the advantage, which is so common amongst entrepreneurs, especially in the early stages, where you end up spending a lot of time inside your own head. You're thinking about this thing on your own, there aren't that many people you can talk with about it yet, because you're not really confident that you’ve got anything, and you don't really want to sound like a complete idiot in front of your friends and family. So you end up stuck in your own head. The only person questioning, or contributing to the idea is yourself. You're becoming increasingly isolated and lonely, which is not good for your own mental health.

So, for this reason, a day like today where I put a fair amount of investment in terms of driving and time, but sit down with somebody who's got some expertise in the area that I need, or even not expertise, just some ability. Experience is actually one of the most useful things. To talk the idea through to explore with another human being, to have lunch together, to walk the dogs together, and just talk, and talk, and talk and see what comes out at the end of that process can be incredibly helpful, both in terms of moving the project forwards, but also in terms of helping me not end up feeling very, very isolated.

It also can be incredibly motivational, because sharing your hopes and dreams on this kind of thing with another human being helps to make them very real and tangible, rather than just this nebulous, ethereal thing inside your own head, and in making commitments to other people. You help yourself to be accountable, and to move things forwards.

The Great Escape Podcast is only useful if it's listened to by people, and something that I'd really appreciate is if you can like, share, subscribe, but also give me some feedback. Email [email protected] and let me know what your thoughts are. Let me know if there are questions you'd like me to explore about your intolerable situation, whether it be work related, or health related, mental health related, relationship related. And let's see if we can expand the conversation from the things that I'm feeling are important, to the things that you are struggling with, and support one another in our journeys to a happier, healthier life, where our lives are properly in balance, and mostly joyful. As always, you can find other episodes on the website, I look forward to hearing from you in emails, or Twitter, or Facebook, or however else you want to let me know what you're thinking.

Talk to you next time.

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