You have a great business idea. Perhaps it’s something unique or something you’re particularly good at. How do you know whether you should invest in it or simply keep it as a hobby?
Adam Grant, Organizational Psychologist at Wharton, created the following graphic to help answer that question.
How to decide whether your idea should become a project:
1. Interest: do you think about it in your free time and bring it up in random conversations?
2. Importance: will it benefit others?
3. Contribution: do you have something novel to add?
James Altucher – serial entrepreneur, author, podcast host – expands on this:
A) always good to have a couple of things going on at a time to see if they fall within the sweet spot of the diagram since so very few things do.
B) learn the skill of “experimenting” so you can take small steps with little downside and great upside to see what things “click”.
C) often something feels like it hits the sweet spot but then it stalls. Don’t be afraid to quit something that’s not quite clicking.
D) I always wait for my heart and mind to agree before I fully engage in a new activity.
Too often I did things for money that I did not love and too often I did things for my heart that had no other benefit to me.
The heart and the brain must be in agreement. Experiments helped me with that.
Example, I’ve spent the past 5 years doing standup comedy up to 20-30 hours a week. It’s not monetizable. But it added to my skills in podcasting, public speaking, ideation, etc.
But, mindlessly playing online chess for hours a day (which I am prone to do) is my heart talking but not my brain.
And starting a hedge fund way back when was my brain talking but not my heart. I hated every minute of it and not a good source of income ultimately.