7 Tips to help you advance your idea during winter break

With the fall semester coming to an end and winter break approaching, it’s important to take time to relax and unwind, but that doesn’t mean you need to put your ideas on hold. In fact, winter break is a wonderful opportunity to advance your entrepreneurial ideas. Here are 7 tips for moving your idea forward while you are on break:

1. Create a mind map of your idea

  • Grab a journal, a large piece of paper, or just clear off your desk for a sticky note sesh!  It can sometimes be overwhelming to think about all of the moving parts to your idea. So instead of keeping it all in your head, write it down!  
    • Step 1: Write your idea down in the middle of the page (or on a sticky note and place it in the center).  
    • Step 2: Begin brainstorming each part of your idea (i.e. supplies, products, potential costs, people, website, packaging, location, etc.).  
    • Step 3: Think about the flow of how your idea will end up in the hands of your consumer or be implemented. Ask yourself these questions to get started: Where will I source my supplies? Who will do marketing, website design, business registration, product development, etc.? What are the steps leading up to launching my idea?
    • Step 4: Keep adding bubbles or sticky notes until you’ve exhausted all of the moving parts. Then, get started on what you can do within the next 24 hours from your mind map.

2. Schedule time daily to dedicate to working on your idea

  • Treat it like a class. Schedule a time every day that you dedicate to working on your idea. 
  • Set a weekly goal. For instance, the goal could be to determine if there is a market for the product. If you complete that goal on the first day, come up with a new goal. Make sure the goals are SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-based) so that you can actually complete them. If setting a block of time in your calendar isn’t your thing, set the SMART goals with deadlines and try to not push them back.

3. Build atomic habits

  • What if we looked at our habits atomically, rather than as one whole habit? What if we broke it down into tiny bits – the size of atomic particles – and perfected each. Winter break is the perfect time to audit, prioritize, and cultivate habits that lend to your entrepreneurial ambitions. If the goal is to lose weight, we often attempt to wake up early, go to the gym, and eat healthy – all on the very same day. This fails, more times than not. Break down your goals into smaller actions to help you stay motivated.

4. Get involved and connected with other organizations and people

  • Research ways to get involved with entrepreneurship at ASU. This can be through Dr. Sebold’s class, Venture Devils, or a personal creative project through the Honors College. 
  • Reach out to other people for advice. Talking to others allows you to get your ideas off your chest and begin thinking through them.

5. Grow your network on LinkedIn

  • Invest time in building your profile and connecting with people on LinkedIn. You may never know what resource you could come across through this platform to help further drive your entrepreneurial goals. 

6. Build a team of people as a support network 

  • The people you surround yourself with have a deep impact on your ability to positively impact the world around you. Relationships have an immense effect on happiness, quality of life, and many other factors. Selectively surrounding yourself with a mentor, a coach, a friend, a peer, and a cheerleader that you regularly go to for a diverse range of support facilitates the likelihood of creating success in many areas of your life. You can seek emotional support from your friend, motivation and excitement from your cheerleader, feedback and direction from your mentor, consistency and focus from a peer, and you can be sure that your coach will take you out of your comfort zone.

7. Stay inspired!

  • It is important to keep yourself inspired throughout your break from school. As the semester is ending, it is common to feel like you need a break from everything. An easy way to keep your mind active, engaged, and inspired is to watch TED talks, listen to podcasts, and read articles or books that you find interesting and motivating. This can help keep those creative ideas flowing while you are enjoying a break from school.

Along with these tips, check out our digital, Just Start Guidebook that is a wonderful resource to help you work through your ideas. Download it here and take a bit of time to work through some of the exercises while you are on winter break.

I also encourage you to stay engaged with programs and recourses being offered over winter break. In particular, ASU is hosting numerous events and opportunities as part of Innovation Quarter this December. Check out all of the sessions they are offering during Innovation Quarter on their website here >> https://innovation.asu.edu/.

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