If you’d love to start your own business (or any kind of money-making project), what’s the first thing you do when an idea flits across your brain?

Is it to jump over to Google and start researching it? And do you then usually find a problem with the idea and give up on it to go searching for another one?

Then you, my friend, may be suffering from a serious condition I’ve named researchitis.

Do you have these symptoms?

  • Endless Googling every time you have an idea for a business or project
  • 10 or more browser tabs open at a time
  • Many hours spent at the screen reading and researching without taking action or leaving the house
  • Pale complexion (see above)
  • Bouts of despondency when you discover a reason that your idea is impossible for you
  • An internal voice that keeps saying “But what if it doesn’t work?’
  • A feeling of being completely stuck and not making any progress

Then I’m afraid you have chronic researchitis.

Fortunately there is a cure.

Here is the cure

The truth is this: If you look long enough for a reason why an idea won’t work, you will find it. Be honest with yourself; has researching become a way to avoid taking action? To avoid committing to something? Then it’s time to do something different.

This is your cure: close your Google search tab, choose an idea (any idea) that excites you and make a micro-commitment. Turn your idea into a real-world project you can do in 30 days. I call this a Play Project – it gives you a chance to indulge yourself in something you’re interested in and see where it takes you.

You could throw yourself into a topic by writing a dozen blog posts in 30 days. Want to help people with something in their business or personal life? Call some friends and offer to help them in exchange for a testimonial. Want to create the next big startup but you’re still a beginner at coding? Join GitHub and see if you can help on an open-source software project. Want to launch an alternative version of TED Talks or a different kind of comedy night? Go to meetup.com, set up your own meetup and run your first event.

When you do this, you’ll be out in the world, getting real-life experience, learning about a topic. You’ll get valuable information on what you like doing (and what you don’t) and you’ll learn a lot about what people find valuable. That’s better than spending all evening googling isn’t it?

Of course there’s nothing wrong with searching for something like ‘Best way to launch an event’ and then immediately acting on the advice you find. But that’s a world of difference from endless idle research on markets, competition and career prospects.

And if you discover it wasn’t quite the right project for you or it didn’t work as well you hoped, you can adapt what you’re doing or even choose a completely different project and go again.


My new book Screw Work Break Free gives you day-by-day instructions on making any idea happen in 30 days. You can download a free chapter here.