If you were going to make a cake, what would your first step be?

Alex Trebek and I will give you a second to think about it.

Ok. Whatcha got?

Maybe you said you’d need to find a recipe, go shopping, or turn on the oven. Perhaps the more seasoned chefs out there jumped straight into mixing up ingredients. I’m not really a cake baker (or a cake eater – much prefer pies), so I’m not here to say what’s right or wrong. What I’m willing to bet, however, is that, when asked the first step you’d take in making a cake, you didn’t say: grab a jar of sprinkles.

And yet, I watch myself and other creatives and entrepreneurs repeatedly fall into this trap. A new project or business idea comes to our mind and, instead of getting down to the nitty-gritty business of making it happen, we run straight for the sprinkle cupboard, buzzing with excitement. In our minds, the project is already complete and now we’re happily decorating our beloved creation with all the bells and whistles and adornments we can imagine.

Here are some sprinkles-first errors I have witnessed in myself and others: Continue reading