Why those great ideas may never come alive

You were driving, cooking, laying on your bed, and this bright idea sparked in your head. You probably spent all day and half the week thinking of ways get the idea out there; yet months or years down the line, the idea is barely a part of your sub-conscious thoughts. The reason is probably one or more of these seven reasons below;

  1. Over-analyzing your good intentions to ‘change the status quo’ with your idea. You may have spent so much time talking and thinking about the idea without actually carrying out a research to quantify the time and cost required or what the benefits will be. Analyzing an idea to know what it is worth is necessary but it shouldn’t become all that you do with the idea. Don’t let it become an ever growing figment in the mind until it loses its essence or you find out that someone else just launched something similar.
  2. The urge to do it alone. Idea thieves are real and you’ve got to be careful who you share your ideas with or invite to your gig. Still, ideas get bigger when shared with competent people that you can trust to an extent. Or even better, get either a copyright or a patent on the idea before sharing it and be ready to work on it almost immediately. Also, there might be similar or complementary concepts that already have a structure; it may be effective to latch yours to the existing one. Don’t let the fear of sharing credit keep you from doing something big with your idea.
  3. Always looking for ways to fatten the idea. For some reason, you imagine that successful companies had all the right curves before launching out. This is not the case. The best way for ideas to get fed and get bigger is to get them off the ground. Start with the skinny thing playing around in your mind and watch it start carrying weight.
  4. The urge to do it all at once. Do you remember those times you stuffed your big meat in your mouth as a child and still had to take it out because it just didn’t fit? Some things actually do work better when done in small bits and then allowed to grow. Breaking your idea down into small goals and phasing the process gives it a higher chance of getting achieved.
  5. Not wanting it to look like anything else that already exists. There’s a cheeky saying that ‘talent imitates, genius steals’. Of course, no one wants you to steal ideas. But it is good to realize that new ideas are usually born out of the fusion of two or more existing products or service. All that some of the greatest achievers had to do was find a way to make an existing product or service work just a little better. Imagine if Henry Ford decided that cars already existed anyway and didn’t make his own innovative and affordable models? Don’t sacrifice a credible idea that could solve real problems on the altar of originality.
  6. You are too afraid of failing. A lot has been said on this. From the mouth of one motivational speaker to another, there is a strong call to ‘fail forward’. There are hundreds of examples, thousands of stories to tell about people who hit their marks of accomplishment after falling flat on their faces countless times. I especially love this quote in J.K Rowling’s speech on ‘The fringe benefits of failure’:

So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me… And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life

Failure can help people see better, think faster because left without options or anything to lose (reputation of never failing), you’d get up and do             the only thing you’ve got a hold on. And to use Omilola Oshikoya’s mantra, Do It Afraid.

  1. You are waiting for the auspicious time when all factors are well in place. If you have the idea now, it’s probably because there is an existing problem that it can solve. The right time is now and at no point in time will all the factors align and announce their readiness to you. If you’ve done your research and you have a clear picture of your goal, then the right time is now. Just start working.

The longer you sit on an idea without acting on it, the weaker it gets. In the end, it’s not really about the ideas, but about execution. What’s that idea you are sitting on? You might want to get started on it today.


Image from – Gurprriet Siingh

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