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All ideas that make an impact, start out small

Thoughts from Jean

A little idea can grow into something that’s quite impactful, but it won’t just happen. The idea needs to be nurtured and it’s not always going to be easy, and that’s why people often give up.
You see, we’re sold the notion of “overnight success” so when you can’t take a little idea and grow it in a single step, it can seem too hard, maybe even impossible and not worth trying.

We think that’s a shame because those little idea could positively impact not only your own life but the lives of others too. So, we talked with Jean McKenzie, founder of Impact Tutoring, to learn more about how she manages ideas.

Jean’s a firm believer in the potential of little ideas and the importance of nurturing them. Whether it’s something you want to do, a job you want to have, or goal you want to achieve, anything is possible. Take for example the Level 2 mathematics pilot programme that Jean and her team recently developed and trialled with Pekapekarau School in Te Awamutu.

“I was thinking about ways to help young students feel more confident with maths but without
burdening teachers, parents and caregivers with more work”, said Jean. So she took a little idea
about an online course that could be accessed in the classroom using technology and with the help of others, made it into a real thing.

Now remember, how we said there’s no such thing as an overnight success? Let’s learn what Jean did to create that online course for students and how you can use the same approach.

Growing a little idea

Jean shared her three key success strategies for nurturing and growing a little idea.
They are:
1. Focus on the vision of what you want to achieve and why it’s important
2. Ask people for help (and don’t be put off when they’re not keen)
3. Keep taking the next step until you’re done

Those three strategies might sound too simple to be true, or maybe you’re wondering just how to use them, so let’s use the Level 2 pilot programme that Jean created as an example.

Success strategy # 1: Focus on the vision

From coming up with the idea, developing the programme, trialling it and even now, as Jean thinks about how to grow it further, she’s stayed focused on her desire to help children feel more confident with maths.
“Seeing children become confident learners is what drives me and keeps me asking for help and
taking the next step. Why? Because confident learners are confident people and they’ll be able to access more opportunities in life and work.”
It’s highly likely that you’ll face challenges while developing an idea but having a clear vision and focusing on it will help you stay motivated and keep you taking action.

Success strategy # 2: Ask for help
Jean knew she couldn’t do the work on her own, so she spoke to several individuals and
organisations to find out who could help. It was through those conversations that she found people who could prepare funding applications and develop the online programme, and the school that would trial it in.

Now, sometimes when you reach out for help, the person or organisation might say “no”. And while that can be disappointing, rather than seeing it as a stop sign, it simply means you need to ask someone else. And that’s exactly what Jean did.
It’s important to remind yourself that it’s okay to ask for help. We all have different strengths,
knowledge, skills, and resources, and when we work collaboratively, we can achieve great things.

Success strategy # 3: Take the next step
Every success is made up of many small steps and Jean says the key to making progress is to focus on the next step you need to take. “If you keep focussing on achieving the goal NOW, it’ll be overwhelming because it seems too big – and that can stop you from taking any action.”
Keep focusing on the next step you need to take, and you’ll make progress.

How can you use this approach?

Jean’s quick to point out that anyone can use this same approach to take a little idea and grow it.
Maybe you’ve got an idea about how you could help people. Perhaps you want to get a particular job, or you’ve got a goal you want to achieve. Whatever it is, you can use the same 3 steps.
Has this got you thinking?

We hope what we’ve shared has provided a spark of inspiration that helps you to feel more confident about developing a little idea that you have.


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