I’m sure I’m not the only one who has a project (or seven) that’s languishing and waiting for some attention.
To some degree, it’s unavoidable. Creative people have lots of ideas…more ideas than time to implement them.
But what about the project that you know really needs to get done, but life, resistance or some other obstacle gets in the way?
In today’s post, let’s get crystal clear about why finishing the project is a good thing. (Hint: It goes way beyond making money from your finished product.)
Knowing why you want to finish the project is a great start, but it’s not always enough to get you moving again, so in Part 2 of this two-part series, I’ll share what’s stopping you and what to do about it.
So let’s dig in to the benefits of finishing the project.
You can’t sell something that isn’t finished.
If your project is to create a product or service to offer your people, every day it sits on the shelf is another day it’s not bringing in revenue.
(And yes, I know that there are online business gurus out there who say you should sell your product before you create it, but you always have to finish creating it eventually.)
Back when I started my business, mentors told me to get a small info product created as quickly as possible because it would help demonstrate that I know what I’m doing.
At the time I didn’t really buy it. Or more likely, the fear of creating something and putting it out there for all the world to see (and possibly hearing only crickets) won out.
But then I started to notice that when I came across a helpful blog post on an unfamiliar website, I would check to see what products and services they offered. I always felt more drawn to the sites that had something for sale that went beyond an invitation to hire them by sending an email.
There is lots of information available about how to write an ebook or create a teleclass or set up a membership site.
But reading about doing those things is not the same as doing them. It just isn’t.
Although someone else’s tips or advice may be able to save you some head- and heartaches by showing you how to avoid mistakes they made, you still have to apply the advice to really learn.
It’s also important to keep in mind that you probably struggle with different challenges than they did, so you’ll probably still experience some snags along the way, but that’s okay.
Regardless of how the project turns out, you will have learned about what works (and what doesn’t) for you, and you’ll be able to use all that learning in your future projects.
No matter how many surveys you’ve sent out or focus groups you’ve led, you can’t really know how a product or service will sell until you create it and offer it to your people.
I don’t know about you, but the “will they really, truly want it” question is the most uncomfortable part of creating stuff for my business.
Yes, it’s incredibly painful if you launch and the response is disappointing.
But once the pain subsides a bit, I start to see ways I can fix things.
I can tweak how I talk about the offer. I can find out from my people what’s getting in the way of them buying.
And until you create the thing, you can’t ask people for reviews or testimonials, which can go a long way toward making your customers comfortable enough to buy.
5. Clear the mental clutter
Unfinished projects take up valuable brain space.
Maybe you come across some notes about the project when you’re working on something else, so you start thinking about how long it’s been since you started it. You probably even beat yourself up for not making more progress.
And that can set off a cycle of avoiding all your work – not just that project. You’re not going to feel creatively powerful or expert-like if you mind keeps running to the project you’re not working on but should.
6. Increase the flow of creative energy
It might seem counter-intuitive, but using your creative energy by working on your project will actually lead to more creative ideas popping up.
When you finish something you started, you just feel good. You’ve accomplished something amazing, and it builds up evidence that you can create the things you want to create. So you’ll be itching to get started on the next project (after celebrating, of course).
Now that you know the benefits of finishing your project, next time we’ll talk about what gets in the way of doing the work, and what to do about it.
Until then, what other benefits can you think of for getting your project done and shipped?
Victoria Brouhard is a scuba instructor turned database programmer turned project & small business coach. If you’re ready to create an amazing product or service for your people, be sure to check out her 4-week course, Project Prowess (registration closes Feb 22!), where you will learn how to go from Idea to Finished Creation with more ease and enjoyment. Victoria blogs at www.victoriabrouhard.com and hangs out on Twitter at @victoriashmoria.
(Image credit: Crincon)