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Why Leading With Your Idea Requires Extra Effort To Win

Getting people to buy into your idea, means you have to work an extra 20% harder than the others.

The return is that over time, your effort and delivery sit in a very unique place where the focus is a specific group of people. This effort not only cultivates growth but also personal fulfilment.

The fight is against the status quo and the way things have always been done.

Let me explain.

You may have an idea to make your stand around an approach, something you believe in that you keep asking questions about, a way of working that shifts from usual practices. 

As you start, you strive forward with your enthusiasm, drive and belief. That alone cannot help you make something sustainable.

The biggest fight you have on your hands is what has been delivered before you that is either based on:



When this becomes the drive, it is always easier to do nothing (new).

Proof For You

It is easier for people to follow what has been delivered or accepted as the norm.

As an example, there are 52 chambers of commerce in the country that represent support for regions around the UK. The association was founded in 1860. This represents legacy and a steady decision where connection with an institution represents longevity (it won’t let you down, or disappear next week). For many businesses, it provides safety through recognition and association. The way we have always done it means that inertia becomes the acceptance.

When work is associated with an industry practice ie. marketing, accountancy, or legal, it is the connotations of the industry that becomes the bind. If you and your work have an affiliation with a sector, it is the sector that becomes the magnet. People become members and advocates of the profession that supports their efforts and the connection to peers from an industry.

When you want to drive forward with an idea that you want people to get behind, you are fighting against what has been delivered before you and how an industry behaves.

Here is the reality check. Most people will ignore your idea. This is what provides you with the fuel to prove to others and yourself that your thinking and approach is beneficial, meaningful and feels right. Over time, as your work resonates with your audience, they begin to take notice.

To do this you’re going to have to work harder than the others who perhaps have a space far bigger than you, but have become accustomed to the way they have behaved. 

If others don’t feel like pushing the needle, they won’t. It’s your job to be frustrated, to question, to shape and disrupt what is out there. That’s the opportunity.

Having To Work 20% Harder 

When it comes to delivering to the YATM audience, the whole effort has been around working a little bit harder than the other options available to people. It’s about delving into the non-obvious.

The reason is to create a platform and a space that doesn’t feel like any other alternative. When you have an idea you want people to stand with you, it gives you the most freedom you could ever have.

Let me explain.

The idea behind YATM is for small businesses to be self-sufficient promoting themselves and their business. When people feel supported by a wider community, it gives them the confidence to push themselves, progress new ideas and recognition of support from others.

The delivery is around looking at what else is out there and carving that space where people recognise that what they are a part of is not easily replicated.

APPROACH 1: If popularity and inertia have meant work gatherings around a networking format, this usually comprises of a presentation, food and containing people within a space to connect.

When the idea is around encouraging connection and heightening camaraderie, a formula doesn’t have to be followed. YATM Lunch Club events follow a format these days of an ice breaker (World Record attempt), someone to share what is working in their life or giving them joy and a main theme around a topic that is relatable to the audience (usually delivered in a panel format).

To get to this place has come with a lot of figuring out and experimentation. When events began in 2016, they were quite haphazard. Whilst fun and full of energy, people didn’t take it seriously. That is fine, it became a release from what people were used to. Over the years it has been a case of experimenting in front of everyone to get to a place that works. 

This is what I mean by working 20% harder. You can’t keep to what has been delivered by others, you become the copycat. You want your audience to buy into meaningful work and for people to understand the value and worth of feeling a part of your work.

APPROACH 2: Day events usually fit the confines of conferences. This represents a stage when people are selected based on experience, merit, knowledge and insight. For the most part, there is a ‘them and us’ hierarchy. A stage represents an elevated level and the day format is based on passive learning in the shape of presentations.

When there is an idea of making the most of people who choose to go to an event with a shared mindset, for a moment in time, it means that the stage is lowered and everyone can become the stars of the show. For instance, the attendees become podcast guests and a moment in the day for people of a shared mindset to work together in a supported environment.

This is what I mean by working 20% harder. People understand the conference format where they pay money to give time to sit in a chair and learn from 9am to 5pm. 

Today’s landscape differs from a template that has been here for generations. Since the pandemic, people realised that they got time back. The decisions made have to be justified for the outlay of money and time. The only way YATM has figured this out has been by being present and figuring out what brings people to signature events.

Inertia and industry attachment mean that templates are delivered and kept to. Then again where are people receiving the value if all they do is turn up to what has been delivered with no attention to moving the needle? You can’t keep a track record of how we have always behaved.

This is why leading with an idea, you have to be prepared to work harder. When you do this alongside your audience, it can start to shape into an initiative that has an impact. 

It could be:

1) A newsletter you dedicate time to every single week that is beyond self-promotion but insight and an approach

2) Your own event you want people to come to, that is associated with the idea, but it is the idea that helps to lead an approach 

3) Learning where the delivery is not free, but what people are spending is going to be 100% worth their time and investment 

The goal is to understand what matters, not the safety of the status quo as the comfort blanket.

Where You Win

Leading with your idea and approach you have to be prepared to put in the work. 

It is the persistence around what you believe in, how it can be applied and the role it plays for other people. It requires stepping out of your comfort zone and avoiding the path of least resistance.

It’s about doing the work for the people who are prepared to step into the space with you. It’s not about spreading yourself thinly to be accepted by everyone. 

In the words of Jay Acunzo (March 2024), ‘Reach is how many see it, but resonance is how much they care. When others care, they act — and we see results. We’re in the “make me care” business. We’re in the “matter more” business.”

You have to ignore what others have done and understand the return for insight, the effort you put in and the connections you make and how others have that sense of attachment to each other. 

Here is what I have learned when it comes to leading with your idea/approach against the alternatives that are more familiar and comfortable to people:

💥 Habits help you step away from being sporadic and inconsistent

💥 Your resources and time invested, add more value

💥 It’s a cliche but quality over quantity (delivery and people) will always win

💥 Change happens slowly (others have inertia and power), so be prepared for the long haul

💥 You focus on a small group of people first and build from there

💥 When you focus on a group of people you get to know them, listen, share, collaborate and emphasise the new normal

💥 Continuous effort and the continual tweaks you make is integral to progress

💥 It was never about mass appeal, it was about scale with the right people

💥 Being average is a choice, no one wants that

💥 Becoming too comfortable is an insecure place, choose the courage to explore

💥 You realise a lot of your work is about exploration, find others to join you

💥 Over time you improve with your efforts, this means the whole effort is heightened with the people who are with you

💥 You build a tight-knit community around the whole effort

💥 The idea you started with helps to create a sense of belonging ie. it’s easy to join in with

The goal – recognise the status quo, and what’s wrong with it and guide people towards something better.


1 ) Be clear on your idea and the role it serves people (what’s in it for them)

2 ) Build people around the idea, not the person

3 ) Find ways that encourage interaction, collaboration and celebration

4 ) Go out and find the others

It also means your idea and approach was never a cut and paste that is already out there. It’s original and it represents you.

Let’s Round-Up

Industry norms keep people contained. When you step forward to lead on a perspective and your big idea you carve your own space.

It’s about recognising the hurdles that are in front of you, ways to tune and refine your message and inspiring commitment from others. 

Guiding people towards relevant solutions paves the way for progress.

When you have an idea you want to lead on and take us to an encouraging space, you have to embrace the challenge and know it’s going to mean working that extra 20%. The reason is to shape a future that surpasses the limitations of the present such as people feeling unfulfilled from their existing commitment or return from where we are today. 

We can never seek comfort in the status quo but explore new possibilities and lead with conviction, a bit of fear and courage to keep going. That’s a better place to be, for all of us.

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