Stephen R. Covey’s wildly successful The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People touts one of the seven habits as follows:
Begin with the End In Mind. This chapter is about setting long-term goals based on “true north” principles. Covey recommends formulating a “personal vision statement” to document one’s perception of one’s own vision in life. He sees visualization as an important tool to develop this. He also deals with organizational vision statements, which he claims to be more effective if developed and supported by all members of an organization rather than prescribed. Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Seven_Habits_of_Highly_Effective_People
This is obviously effective, setting long-term goals based on true principles. Where I see a breakdown happen all the time is in just starting. I suppose Covey might say be proactive (it’s numero uno).
Many times when people first begin building their internet business, they’re wanting to have an outlined, detailed business plan of exactly what they’re going to do to reach success (however defined) with their business. You’ll see a person think through things to such an extent that they never actually start doing anything.
In this internet age, it’s even worse. Why? Because there is so much information available, you easily fall prety to paralysis by analysis. For instanace let’s say you just want to get started with a little affiliate website where you try and get traffic through AdWords. You could spend days — weeks — reading all about AdWords, optimizing, peeling and sticking, testing, evaluating, scrutinizing…
And never actually start.
Learning By Doing works. Quite well.
Part of the reason we want to be outfitted with all the information possible (which right there disqualifies us, because that’s impossible) is because we’re afraid to make mistakes. Learning from mistakes is a very quick way to learn, and it’s honestly not that expensive when you’re just starting.
Pick some key metrics that you want to track with your site: Visitors? Sales? Pageviews? Clickthroughs? Pick whatever’s important for your business goal and then write down three things that you need to DO (not learn about) to improve those metrics. Do you need to reach out to other bloggers? Write more? Find more keyword niches where you could profitably advertise?
Don’t worry about the Grand Scheme of Things when it comes to your business. Don’t worry about every single logistic. For heaven’s sake don’t waste a week on a logo, business card design, letterhead, legal formation, or accounting software. That’s what I call circling the bush. You only have success when you start beating the bush — circling it doesn’t do anything except give you a few warm fuzzies so you can go home at night feeling like you accomplished something.
Start DOING and things will fall into place–don’t worry so much about the big picture. Suddenly, when you’re making money, you’ll need to do some accounting, and you’ll need to form a legal entity, and you’ll want to maybe have a professional-looking logo. In the meantime, it’s better to just start (do the logo yourself) and not sweat the details.