Stop Thinking. Start Doing!

February 4, 2014

Have you ever wanted to start something big (like starting a business) and then you thought you should think about it first? Think again.
Thinking only brings us forward in inches. Doing brings us forward in miles.
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What follows is my story of creating my business in 12 months – and how you can do it much faster!

Month 1

I was determined to start my own business. I just wasn’t sure what that business was. I had actually been thinking about starting my own business for a much longer time but I was always waiting for that brilliant business idea to enter my mind. But that brilliant idea hadn’t shown up and I started to realize that I couldn’t just sit and wait for it, I had to start doing something.  Out of all the business ideas I had already, I decided to pick one and see what would happen. I decided to explore the idea of an online Icelandic design shop with a couple of friends. I got very excited about the idea and spent about 5  months on the idea while also doing some freelance consulting. We did a bunch of research, talked to industry insiders and even set up a demo of our online shop. At the same time I also did a Swiss Startup Course in Switzerland to learn everything about how to start a Swiss company (although I had already started a Swiss company before – but you can always learn something new). It was during that course that I realized that I was not passionate enough about the idea. There were some doubts about the market size in Europe and the production and delivery quality from smaller Icelandic designers but the most important piece, my passion, was missing. I decided to break the news to my partners and we all agreed to let the idea rest. It was a bit sad after the exciting preparation phase but it still felt so right.
Learning #1 – Follow your passion!

Month 5

I was back at square 1, kind of. I was still determined to start a business and not just continue the freelance consulting and photography projects. I did another course, this time online, to learn everything about online marketing (and despite being very nerdy and web-savvy I learned a few new things). During that course and afterwards, I explored all my passions and from every passion the potential business ideas and again from there the possible business models. I met up with like-minded people also starting their own businesses and spent a lot of time thinking and evaluating. I had a lot of ideas but somehow the brilliant business idea didn’t show itself or I just didn’t see it. I knew I wanted the business to be location-independent and preferably time-independent too and it had to do with either or both of my two strongest passions, entrepreneurship and photography. Someone suggested I was thinking too much and should just do something. I knew that was the right approach but I had already done it once and I was somehow trying to avoid spending another 5 months on a new idea that wouldn’t turn out to be the right one.
Learning #2 – Become clear on what you want and what you don’t want in your business aside from your passion

Month 10

I was still at square 1, sort of. I had actually incorporated my company and I was exploring some new ideas but I still didn’t see any clarity. I decided I had to stop constantly revamping the design of my website. I had somehow hoped that the perfect website design would magically reveal the brilliant business idea but that of course didn’t happen. I took a decision to start before I was even ready and gave myself two days to make the website design acceptable and then I wrote my first blog post. And the title was very fitting: Why “start before you are ready” is the only way. What started was a series of blog posts on how to find your passion and how to find the right business idea within your passion – a topic which is obviously very close to my heart but also resonated with the readers of my blog. By writing down my thought-process, I was on track on becoming clear on what my business was about.
Learning #3 – Start before you are ready – things will become clearer!

Month 11

I was at square 2, things were happening. I was doing stuff but also getting more ideas than ever before! I had only been blogging for a month but that had brought me more clarity than anything that I did before. I  knew that my core business would be business consulting but I was struggling with the format because I didn’t like to work on a consulting project and then not know if the business plan or the web-consulting was implemented and what the actual effect on the business was. I spent a lot of time researching to find ways to do this differently – including being location- and time-independent which were my absolute must-haves in my business. All my research and evaluation finally paid off when  I suddenly figured out the format on how to teach a combination of business &  web-savvy-ness with personal development – online – in a way that is effective and results-driven. I wanted to help entrepreneurs help themselves but in the most productive way possible. And as a by-product to my business – a little idea that I got a few months earlier panned out, after almost dying, and I co-founded Edda Europe as a separate business project.
Learning #4 – Test ideas and don’t give up – clarity is near!

Month 12

I was at square 3, suddenly things were coming together. I was teaching my first online course! I just knew it was right, immediately. A day after I figured out the format for my courses I executed the idea and started teaching my first online business course. I had already  established that just thinking about the idea was not helpful. Executing the idea was the only way to find out if it worked. And it did! And so much better than I had ever hoped for. I developed the curriculum on the fly based on the needs of the participants with immediate feedback every day. Everybody was so excited to learn, execute and see real-time results. I had difficulty going to bed in the evening because I just wanted to work  on the course but I also couldn’t wait to get up in the morning (and I am B-Person!) to get back in action to see how the participants were doing. This was it! This was my business idea. To help solo-entrepreneurs take their business to the next level – with solid business advise, web-savvy-ness and motivating personal development.
Learning #5 – Execute fast and be agile. Things will take off!

Stop Thinking. Start Doing! #passionate profits | SIGRUN


I have had clarity for a while now and only because I started doing and stopped thinking. Could I have gone through this process quicker? Surely! And that is exactly what I help my participants with – to gain clarity as fast as possible while turning their passion into profits. The only way to do this is to actually do stuff yourself.
My key learnings from my 12 month-process:
Learning #1 – Follow your passion!
Learning #2 – Become clear on what you want and what you don’t want in your business
Learning #3 – Start before you are ready – things will become clearer!
Learning #4 – Test ideas in action and don’t give up – clarity is near!
Learning #5 – Execute fast and be agile. Things will take off!
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