Clueless? Top 3 ways to tackle a new project

Never let being clueless stand in the way of a good plan.

I was brainstorming about how to attract the right people into my network: I like to work with self-motivated, driven go-getters who understand that we alone create our outcomes.

People who set and achieve goals.

Setting up a community to encourage discussion about goals and to help people achieve their goals seemed natural. There was just one teeny problem: I didn’t know how to do it, and I didn’t want to hire anyone else to do it. In the past, I’ve thrown money at new businesses feeling that it would create success. It didn’t. I wanted to learn from that.

For those of you not familiar with it, WordPress looks deceptively easy and user friendly. Since I’m not one to spend a lot of time trying to talk myself out of an idea that feels great and grabs me, I dove in.

Alas, I still haven’t learned all I should have from past experiences, so here’s my top 3 reminder list for next time:

1. Ask for help. Seriously, there are tons of support forums out there. USE them. I wasted countless hours and consumed much unnecessary chocolate while getting aggravated trying to figure something out. What’s worse is that even after I “discovered” the support forums (rather like Columbus “discovering” America, don’t you think?), I still had a hard time breaking the habit of muddling through. Don’t muddle. Look for help!

Brain rewired: Problem? Support forum. Problem? Support forum. Easy peasy.

More generally, whatever it is you’re trying to do — Lose weight, make more money, start a new business – people have gone there before, some boldly. Ask for help.

2. Use Google. I know: So basic. Yet when I couldn’t get WordPress to do what I wanted, I kept tinkering around with it rather than doing, for example, a simple “best wordpress business directory plugin.” It seemed so intuitive that I just knew I could figure it out. I blame it partly on being a Mac user back to the days of the Mac Classic (hmmmm….yes, that dates me).

The world is not a Mac. Not all solutions are intuitive, especially when we don’t have good knowledge base.

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3. Learn from the mistakes of others. I could have saved a LOT of time and effort had I done searches to see what other bloggers were using on their WordPress sites. Not all plugins are created equal; some just flat out create a mess.

No one wins prizes for recreating the mistakes of others or for being an island.

What have you learned from not stopping to ask for directions?


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