Charlie Gilkey on Start Finishing, Part 4

In his book, Start Finishing: How to go from idea to done, Charlie Gilkey discusses how we can follow a nine-step method to convert an idea into a project and get the project done via a reality-based schedule.

These are some of my favorite concepts and takeaways from reading the book.

Chapter 4, Convert Your Idea into a Project

In this chapter, Charlie discusses the steps to convert our chosen idea into a project. He offers the following views for us to think about:

  • A SMART goal is:
    • Simple: A simple goal is not necessarily an easy thing to do, but a goal is simple when we can look at it without wondering.
    • Meaningful: A goal is meaningful when we understand the importance of completing that goal.
    • Actionable: A goal is actionable when it is immediately clear what we need to do to accomplish the goal.
    • Realistic: A goal is realistic when we know we can achieve it with the available resources.
    • Trackable: A goal is trackable when it is apparent to us what progress means, either quantitatively or qualitatively.
  • There are three levels of success:
    • Small: A string of small successes done with coherence and intention can still lead to greater success down the road.
    • Moderate: Moderate success is the highest state we can achieve with just our own effort, resources, and advantages.
    • Epic: Epic success always requires us to build a team to help us achieve it.
    • Each level of success requires a corresponding amount of effort and focus, and we cannot do everything at the epic level.
  • Our success pack consists of four groups of people: guides, peers, supporters, and beneficiaries.
  • Steps for leveraging the success pack to go from idea to action:
    • List the three to five people who are a part of each group.
    • For each person, brainstorm at least three specific ways they can help us or we can help them.
    • Determine the frequency of communication that would be most supportive of the project.
    • Let each person know they are a part of our success pack.
    • Proactively communicate with and show our work per the agreed-upon communication frequency.
  • If a project does not have start and completion dates, it is not likely that it will get done.