20 Jul From Dream to Reality: How to Successfully Launch Your Ideas, Part Four
Thanks once again for joining me as we look at how to succeed with the dreams you want to put into physical reality rather than storing them in a place where they’ll never see the light of day. You know how frustrating that is. So follow along as we continue on this journey to successfully turn an idea into a project to bring it to fruition with clarity, focus, ease, and grace.
The last few sessions covered the creation, launch, and momentum stages. Today, let’s look at the fourth stage, called Stability. It’s a comfortable period when your project seems to run itself. Like a rocket ship broken free of gravity and now orbiting around the earth, the energy needed to keep it going reduces significantly.
This stage can be very rewarding. You’ve overcome the heavy energy investment of the initial launch, moved past the challenges of the momentum phase, and finally reached a point where everything is running smoothly. Your business may be experiencing steady growth, your writing flowing seamlessly, or you may be comfortably losing weight if you’re on a diet. The journey with your project starts to feel much easier now. But this is also the stage where you have to be most vigilant.
This point in your journey introduces a new challenge: entropy. Entropy, in the context of a project, is the tendency for things to lose energy over time, or as I like to call it, ‘leaking energy.’ Picture a rocket ship falling slowly, almost imperceptibly, out of orbit. The initial symptoms are barely noticeable. Instead of a rocket, think of your project or business.
For example, look at what happened to a bakery owner who had worked diligently to be known for having the best croissants in town. The business was going well. A line was out the door on Sunday mornings to get those chocolate croissants hot out of the oven.
He trained someone else to work the croissant machine. It’s a long process involving putting the same dough through the machine numerous times, ensuring each layer has its layer of butter. (I should know since my Mother owned a chain of gourmet bakeries in Los Angeles and who never made them herself because she knew how complicated it was to turn out the perfect croissant).
Then the bakery owner took his attention off the baking process of croissants and spent more time with the other pastries. He thought everything had been handled. The first Sunday went fine, although one customer remarked that the chocolate croissant was slightly overbaked and darker. That didn’t mean much. One complaint about the hundreds of people in line. But the same thing happened the next week, and this time the complaint was that there wasn’t enough chocolate in the croissant. But it took too long for the owner to respond, and only a handful of people showed up in the third week. Entropy.
What are you taking for granted? Are you monitoring your progress? As an entrepreneur, are you keeping track of your business’s day-to-day operations? Where are you “cheating” on a successful weight-loss program because losing those first ten pounds has been so easy?
A type of arrogance can creep in when everything is going so well that the business, program, or healthcare project seems to run itself, not requiring your conscious evaluation. Let me explain. There’s a fine line between self-assurance and arrogance. The latter can sneak in when things are going well, leading you to believe you’re invincible. You might start feeling that you don’t need to do as much for your clients or customers because your services or products are excellent and speak for themselves. But without regular checks, the quality of your work can slip, and you may start losing the reputation you’ve worked so hard to create.
Reflecting on my personal experience as a psychotherapist, I realized how my response time to prospective clients increased during the Stability stage, leading to entropy.
I wasn’t keeping up with my usual routine. I had a policy to call a prospective client within 24 hours after they had requested to speak with me about the possibility of psychotherapy. I’d gone through the momentum stage, and at that point, I had a waiting list of people who wanted to talk about having me as their therapist. Having a stable number of requests, I started to wait 48 hours before calling a prospective client back. By that time, most of the folks had contacted another therapist and weren’t interested in having me as their therapist. I didn’t worry too much about it until one day when I looked at my therapy calendar for the next week. It was only half full! I panicked! I promised once again to answer any call within 24 hours. It took four weeks to reach the Momentum stage again and another four weeks to reach Stability. It was a hard lesson, but it taught me the importance of maintaining consistency in my work.
Guarding against entropy is critical in the Stability phase. Using a checklist, as we have in previous stages, can be very useful. Please review it and ensure you’re covering all the points. Even if you delegate responsibilities to others, keep monitoring, coaching, and teaching them.
Stage Four: Stability
- Implement evaluation process
- Be vigilant: no shortcuts in quality of product or service
- Be on lookout for what is missing
- Set new standards for excellence and reward excellence
- Keep excitement and energy high: look for entropy
- Guard against arrogance of “knowing it all”
- Provide room for expansion
In essence, if something works, stick with it. This strategy will give you a stable foundation for the next phase of your project, the Breakthrough stage. If you let entropy seep into your project during Stage 4, you may not have the necessary energy to make the next giant leap.
While the Stability phase is an exciting milestone, it also demands vigilance and consistency. So keep your eyes focused on what you’ve done to reach Stability, guard against arrogance, and continuously strive for excellence. The sweet dream you’ve turned into a project depends on this for your ultimate success.
Remember: you can accomplish whatever you dream of creating. If you can see it, you can do it!
Until next week,