What’s Your Audacious Idea?

I start new things all the time. I mostly finish them. Some, I decide to put aside until I am ready or not as busy, so I can manage the risks.

I often find that the things I put aside are the audacious ideas. The ideas that are highly risky, or will take some learning, or will take more time than I might like. I have two audacious ideas right now: online workshops and fiction writing.

I like delivering in-person workshops. I like being able to see what people do—and don’t do—with the material. I like seeing what they learn and don’t learn. I use that feedback in the moment to improve my delivery and their learning. It’s a tight feedback loop.

I like the online workshops. I’ve delivered several now, about product ownership, feedback, management, and writing. I’m trying to organize my calendar so I can offer these workshops more regularly. People have found tremendous value from them.

I have found that the feedback loops are longer with online workshops. People don’t always do the homework. It doesn’t matter if I provide them more time between classes. Sometimes, they don’t do the homework. (I thought of decreasing time between classes, but the client was not excited about that.) When people don’t do the homework, I don’t get the feedback about their learning. I can’t change, because I can’t see where they have trouble. I can change in my in-person workshops.

I’m still learning how to schedule and deliver online workshops. It’s still an audacious idea for me.

I’m also writing fiction now. That’s audacious for me because I’m not facile yet with how to create a fiction story or novel. I’m working on it, and it’s not built into my fingers/head yet.

For me, the audacious ideas have these parts:

  • At least part of the idea is a substantial change from what I do now.
  • I have to learn and get feedback faster than I might normally ask for feedback.
  • I perceive an element of risk.

For example, if I write romance, do I need a pen name? Maybe. If I write sci-fi, do I need a pen name? Maybe not. I am taking my advice to consultants: build the content first, worry about the logo/cover/pen name later. I’ve talked about how you are not your title or role in How Do You See Yourself?

If I deliver online workshops, how can I manage signups so it’s easy and restricts each workshop to the “right number” of people? I’ve tried several solutions, and I think I have one that works. How can I manage the risk that people won’t do the homework? What can I do about that? For the writing workshop, I’m working on developing a shared accountability document. I think that might work. At the very least, it’s an experiment.

I have audacious ideas all the time. I bet you do, too. Are you ready to work on your audacious idea? What would it take for you to manage the risks, to change and deliver that audacious idea? How can you change how you see yourself, so you can deliver your audacious idea?

That is the question of the week: What’s your audacious idea?

7 thoughts on “What’s Your Audacious Idea?

  1. Jim Grey

    Mine is to create a book of some of my photography. I’m an amateur, but people who follow my personal blog (blog.jimgrey.net) seem really to enjoy my work. I’ve chosen a topic, I’ve decided to keep the book thin (so that it won’t cost very much – low friction to buy), and I’ve decided to give the PDF of it away for free. Maybe this will lead to bigger things, maybe it will only make me a few dollars to pay for more film and processing (as I still shoot film). But no matter what I’m looking forward to the experience.

    1. johanna Post author

      Jim, I hope you don’t actually give it away for free. Your work has value. I use leanpub to write my self-published books. You can have a free book there, and I hope you decide to price it at a nominal price, so you still show the value.

      Best wishes for your book!

      1. Jim Grey

        Thanks for the advice! This is an adventure for me, and I’m in high experimentation mode. I’ve given my blog away for free for nine years now, and I’m trying to figure out how to honor that while still asserting that my work has value.

  2. Shawn Briscoe

    Transitioning from Engineering PM to business PM in 2016 is my audacious idea. Its just an idea for now, with some groundwork in place. Lets see how many iterations get me there.

    1. johanna Post author

      Shawn, good for you! I have to remind myself not to lay “too much” groundwork, but just enough. I have trouble with that. (It’s that human thing again.) Hope you iterate well…

  3. PHIL gadzinski

    Going back to trying to juggle a start up with a full time job, two kids and a mortgage…..! Crazy? Or inspired! Time will tell…

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