When you’re in mania or hypomania, every idea seems to be a good idea. You can carry out every single one with success and your followers will love every single idea that you have. Everything seems to be on a shiny road to the stars!
However, once you’re off the hypomania or mania bandwagon, you may find that you spent money on your ideas that you didn’t mean to. Many of your ideas may be feasible, but you find that you couldn’t carry them all out at once.
The key is to slow down your thought process during hypomania or mania. You may not even be manic, and still have many ideas and projects. You don’t know which to pursue because you have so many ideas you wish to pursue. This worksheet helps to narrow down the list of those ideas, into some that may work out even if you’re not manic or hypomanic.
List of Ideas
Write down every idea that you have, no matter how small or insignificant you think it is. Right now you’re brainstorming all of your ideas down onto a single sheet of paper. You may have more than the six ideas that the sheet allows for. It’s okay—grab another sheet of paper and write down your ideas. Then you can write down your top six ideas onto the printable.
There are some things to think about as you write down your ideas. Can you envision yourself doing this one, five, or ten years from now? Can you focus on more than just the now?
When you look at your list of ideas, will you run it for 25 years? Will you be able to sustain your efforts for that long to see it through and make it a success? In 2013, Peter Diamandis committed to running his 360-person entrepreneur mastermind for 25 years.
So as you’re looking at your list of ideas, think about what is realistically possible. What can you feasibly accomplish in one month in one month, one year, or in 10 years?There is a saying from Bill Gates that we underestimate what we can accomplish in ten years, but overestimate what we can accomplish in two years.
Assessing Ideas and Projects
The next step is to choose an idea. Write it down in the Idea or Project line. Assess your idea and see what this actually possible in terms of cost, time, money, and the emotional cost in carrying out this idea.
What are the full costs of doing this venture? How would you go about carrying out this idea? How much would doing this idea take it out of you? It may look great now, but you may rethink this idea once you slow down your thoughts and think about the costs associated.
How much time will this idea take? To start a podcast, I would need to come up with consistent questions that I would ask guests.
I would also have to come up with a list of guests to come onto the podcast since I would be doing an interview podcast. Would the guests get thank-you gifts from coming on or would just appearing on the podcast be enough?
Also, I would need to account for the time it takes to record and edit the podcast. There is also some time it takes to properly ID3 tag the podcast and publish the podcast.
The next step is to publicize the podcast in Facebook, Pinterest, and other social media sites.
So how do I account for all that time? A rough estimate would be five to ten hours a week would be spent on that podcast.
What is the actual amount of money it will take to launch this venture? What materials or equipment do you need to start this idea?
For example, to start a podcast, I will need to buy a microphone that attaches to my phone or my computer. I use the microphone called Blue Yeti for making my videos.
To start a podcast, I would also need to subscribe to a podcast hosting service and possibly separate website services to market the podcast.
So in this step, think about all the materials and services that you would need.
The hardest to quantify of all costs is the emotional side. It takes a lot of emotional energy to start a new idea. From Startupsco, Will Schroter talks about running out of emotional capital as well as running out of financial capital.
Schroter talks about running out of stamina, amount of positivity, and amount of physical wellness a startup founder can have left. Now you may not be engaging a startup, but with any new idea, there is a certain amount of emotional labor that has to be undertaken to take that idea to fruition.
When under mania or hypomania, you seem to have an infinite amount of energy and wellness to undertake any idea. However, beware of the crash that comes afterwards.
There is also the costs of relationships. Your friendships may need to be consolidated. Your friends may also think that you’re crazy to start up an idea. And if you’re not in the right state of mind, it might be good to wait until later to start your idea.
For example, my emotional costs would be spending less time with my kids as I work on my podcasts.
What are the benefits of doing this idea? Will it bring more money? Will it expand your client base?
An example is that you will build a revenue stream by undertaking this idea. To illustrate, with the podcasting idea, I can find sponsors to help me build and monetize the podcast. I can find people who will pay me to interview them (that’s just a thought)!
You might need to build a business plan as part of your idea. I find that building a business plan forces me to flesh out my ideas more and see if I actually will have a customer base for my idea.
Also, your idea may also provide active and passive income. Active income is when you do work for client. Passive income is when you make money in your sleep, such as when you sell online courses, book sales, or sell other products.
Your idea may enable you to build a brand. With the podcasting idea, you can build a brand for yourself and leverage that into sponsorships and multiple revenue streams.
Finally, you will meet different people and possibly new clients by doing this venture. That’s exciting when I’m extraverted when I’m manic, but I tend to be introverted when I’m more myself. So that is something to keep in mind when you try to execute ideas when manic or hypomanic. You are a different version of yourself.
What are the resources you would need to undertake this venture? What websites would you need to go to?
Who are your top competitors in the space? What follower counts do they have? How long has their business been in place? These are important to know if your venture will be successful.
Also, are there any courses you could take as part of launching this idea? There are so many courses out there for your idea. With the podcasting idea, I learned through primarily online resources, and didn’t need to take a course.
Think about going to the library to do some research further on your idea. I find that books go into deeper detail than blog posts when you need to know the details of implementing your idea.
What are the specific steps to make this venture work? For the podcasting idea, I would need to do a myriad of steps. I would need to create a list of possible guests. I would need to reach out to them and schedule a time to record the podcast.
Then I would need to record the podcast. After that, I would edit the audio. Then I would master the audio and export at the bitrate and filetype I want to. I would upload to the podcast host, add RSS tags, and then publish the episode.
I would also need to publish on social media and let people know through one-on-one outreach that the podcast is live.
For this step, you’d have to think through on a high level, which parts of the process you’d want to write down. Keep in high level (such as writing down four or five steps in total) for this exercise, but realize that there are many steps involved besides the high level ones you are writing down.
What am I giving up to do this?
Think about all the things you would be giving up to do this idea. Is it time with the kids? Would it be cutting back hours at work?
You may already lead a full life when mania or hypomania strikes and you have many ideas. It’s time to slow down your thinking and think through your ideas as much as possible.
What are the things that you will stop doing so that you can work on this idea? It may feel like you can stay up all hours of the night to do this idea, but remember that the depression comes after the mania, and carrying out your idea may not be sustainable in the long run.
Hence, it’s important to think about the things you will stop doing so that you can work on this idea in a sustainable, non-manic manner.
Prioritize Your List of Ideas and Projects and add a deadline
Now do these steps—costs, benefits, resources, specific steps, what am I giving up—for each business idea you have. This will take some time, which is a good thing! Hopefully, your thinking will slow down and you’ll see which ideas are actually feasible.
After doing this exercise, it’s time to prioritize your list of ideas and projects! Which idea would you do first? Try to add a deadline for the first action you would do to make this idea take off.
It’s also okay to just delete ideas off the list as well. Maybe once you’ve fully evaluated the idea, you have decided that it may not be worth pursuing it.
Hopefully, by doing this exercise, you have seen how possible it is for your ideas and projects to be implemented. Maybe just one of your ideas made the cut! Maybe multiple ideas did. Remember that you should also be able to carry out this project even when you’re not manic. A good last question is, “Can you carry out this project for 25 years?”