Nov 6, 2008

Ideas and Actioning Them

Ideas are great things. They come at you all day, every day, from all angles. Sometimes you're tying your shoelace and an idea hits you. You're daydreaming on the bus and suddenly your eyes light up with a new idea.

Occasionally you're just walking along the street when suddenly maybe you've just figured out the secret to renewable and everlasting energy.

You know what, that's just GREAT!

Invariably, 99% of those great ideas you have during the day you have completely forgotten about by the time you get home.

Write Them Down

air time
Photo: seanj

A number of people carry a notepad with them at all times and I'm starting to come around to this idea too (hmm, maybe I should write it down on Page 1 so I don't forget). Being able to capture those ideas whilst still fresh in the memory is of huge importance. As I said earlier, if you don't write them down now, you'll forget about it completely before the day is out.

All you need is a few notes on the page. If you have a few minutes, just let the creative juices flow. Write down anything you think is applicable, even if you also think it is silly. It's easier to scratch the silly things than it is to re-visit this massive flow of creativity.

For example, let's say you decided to write an eBook to sell online and increase your passive income, you might go through a few things like this:

  • yeah, I'll write an eBook
  • maybe charge $15, okay maybe $10; $20 would be nice though
  • oh, get a proper cover from elance
  • maybe I should write a smaller one to give out free to subscribers
  • or even make it viral and tell people to read it and share
  • get some references from some well known bloggers
  • hmm, now I need to think about what I want to write about
  • how about Personal Finance :-) (too obvious, be more specific)
  • 100 great, simple and frugal recipes for crockpots ...
  • ... ok, how about saving money when grocery shopping
  • I do enjoy going to the market though, maybe something about that

What you'll find after a brainstorming session like that is that you began with a wishy-washy idea (an eBook with no subject) and ended up with about 3 different eBook ideas and plenty of other ideas on how to market it. Within the space of just 2 minutes, you have not one but a number of fully-fledged ideas and many more smaller ones.

An Idea Which Isn't Actioned, is the Same As No Idea at All

However, no amount of ideas are good if they are never actioned. Once you have that notepad, you need to go over it more thoroughly when you have more time. Tick off or circle the things you're going to action or move them over to your wiki or other action list. After all, if you don't do anything about the idea itself, it's just the same as not having had it at all.

Whilst we're still at the start of whatever idea it is you might just want to put a few more minutes or hours effort into figuring out whether the idea is a good one or not. Tell your family or friends and see whether it is something they would be interested in. But remember, many people are negative to your ambitions or ideas so don't let them talk you out of a good idea (but it's okay if they talk you out of a bad one). Use this information to decide for yourself whether going ahead with it makes sense.

Good Luck

As with all new ideas, you need to be a little brazen and a little bold when going ahead with it. You might not see immediate results but keep at it, keep plugging away with it and hopefully the reward you deserve will eventually come.

And if that reward doesn't come, the best thing you can do is learn from your failures and keep moving. Just turn that page of your notepad to your next great idea and give that a go too.

No matter how many times you try, one of them may succeed. If you don't try at all, you're guaranteed to fail.

Tell us what you do to remember, develop and action your best ideas? Any war stories you can tell us about where you failed, succeeded or maybe even both.

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1 comment:

Deborah Johnson said...

I like your blog! I followed the link from On Simplicity.