If you’ve ever attended a truly great conference, you know how easy it is to get swept up in the magic of it all.
Connecting with like-minded people from all over the world…
Getting to see your industry idols in person…
Walking away with a notebook full of new ideas…
But then you return to work the following week, and reality sets in.
Your internal monologue may sound a little something like this: “There is NO way I can apply everything I learned to my business right this second—at least not effectively. Why should I even try?”
You’re looking at it all wrong, Negative Nancy…
At this year’s Traffic & Conversion Summit, we were treated to a number of eye-opening presentations from some of the best minds in the marketing industry. And in addition to the fact that content marketing is (and will likely always be) key, we learned an especially valuable lesson…
Too many good ideas can kill a business. You need to prioritize and then develop a solid plan for each.
On the 3rd day of T&C 2019, a few of our team members sat in an interview with Sonya Keenan of Omni-channel Media Group—an Australia-based company that specializes in helping businesses make sense of multichannel marketing.
What she said during those 45 minutes really, really resonated with us. Implementation paralysis, in particular, is an issue we wanted to discuss, as it’s something that every business owner, entrepreneur, and team can relate to.
What Is Implementation Paralysis?
In the journey of learning, implementation paralysis is the point at which we get stuck, feeling so overwhelmed that we opt to do nothing instead.
Maybe you heard about an exciting new way to advertise your business on social media. So, of course, you start researching and compiling information to ensure you do it properly. But after a while, your brain is so overloaded, you tuck away the idea “temporarily” until you can come back to it, allowing it to accumulate dust in your mind.
The problem is (interestingly enough) that we have access to so much information nowadays, yet we lack the actual knowledge required to apply that information in a meaningful way.
We don’t have the knowledge to determine what we really need.
What Does Implementation Paralysis Look Like?
Implementation paralysis can, and does, happen to everyone. Even industry experts can fall victim to this mental obstacle.
So, if you truly believe you’re immune, you’re either the most organized, efficient, and ambitious person on Earth, or…well, you’re full of it.
Implementation paralysis typically goes like this:
- After being bombarded by information, you fail to make a decision at all, believing that not doing anything is better than doing something poorly.
- Or, maybe you do finally make a decision. However, as digital marketing is a constantly evolving landscape, your approach eventually stops working because you neglected to keep up.
Don’t find either scenario appealing? That’s why it’s best to start off on the right foot.
How Can You Overcome Implementation Paralysis?
First and foremost, you need to realize that nothing is going to be perfect the first time you try it. But, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.
During her interview, Sonya Keenan pointed out that if you don’t hit your targets, that’s okay. You just need to know why you didn’t hit them, which means you need to have clear goals and specific methods to measure your results.
And—we can’t stress this enough—you need to start with a solid strategy. Then set realistic goals, and then create a detailed to-do list for how you plan on achieving those goals.
Another solution to implementation paralysis? The 3 Cs. (No, not Capability, Consistency, and Cultivation.)
Content, Curation, and Coaching
- Content – It’s not uncommon to be struck by implementation paralysis when you’re faced with so much content. This is when you get all of this information that fuels great ideas. It’s important to take the time to consume content that will help you implement an idea in your operations. The rest is just noise.
- Curation – Using a spreadsheet, curate all of your learning so you can go back and reference at a later date. Sonya Keenan recommends organizing all of your curated resources according to where a particular idea or tactic falls on the customer value journey. [You can actually download her implementation grid HERE.]
- Coaching – Invest in coaching! As human beings, we need to be pushed. In order to see a project through from start to finish, you’ll find it tremendously helpful to have someone you’re accountable to. Having a third-party coach will aid in not only avoiding implementation paralysis but also creating a more solid strategy for your business. Plus, someone outside your organization will be able to provide a fresh, unbiased perspective.
Look, we completely understand the excitement resulting from learning something new that could potentially send your profits to the moon.
We just got back from T&C 2019, where our team was able to take advantage of a mere fraction of the resources that were available. If you think we didn’t walk away with dozens of items on our to-do list, you’d be wrong…
It happens to the best of us.
The trick is to trim your list of ideas to those you’re truly passionate about. Prioritize. Don’t try to do it all, but do try.
If you simply take the time to create a plan for each new idea you want to test out, ensure that it lines up with your overall strategy, and determine how you’ll measure your success, you can avoid implementation paralysis and start seeing real growth in your business.
As Sonya Keenan reminded us during her interview, “Prior planning prevents piss poor performance.”
Make planning a habit among your team. And don’t forget to utilize every resource you have to get things done. But remember—we all need to be pushed. So, make sure to get the coaching you need to see each project through to completion too!