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Do Your Ideas Fail to Get Off The Starting Grid?

Aug 17, 2007
Ideas are the very fabric of the world we live in today. From the smallest ideas grow the largest businesses, and from the largest ideas grow nations and cultures. Generating ideas is something we are all capable of to one degree of another, yet the percentage of people who achieve anything with their ideas is tiny, less than one percent.

Hopefully we can make sure that you are one of that one percent, by teaching you how to grow your ideas and nurture them into adulthood and profitability.

The main problem with ideas for business or inventions or anything else that may be profitable in some way is their lack of refinement. People tend to have an idea for something, and unless it crystallizes in their mind fully formed and with no work needed, they will discard it and wait for the next idea to pop into their mind. I don't know about you but I can't remember the last time a new idea occurred to me in a complete state of realization - the worthwhile ideas are usually the ones that require some thought to hone and perfect them, maybe even some research!

A good analogy for the journey of an idea from its inception to its eventual (successful) realization is that of a race car in an endurance race - the Indy 500 for example. Imagine one of the teams getting their car ready to race, placing it onto the starting grid, only there is no driver, and when the light goes green they will jam the throttle wide open.

Do you think that driverless car will finish the race, much less even win?

It's a pretty slim chance, isn't it? Yet the crazy thing is, that's what most of us do with our business/creative ideas, and worse yet, we are surprised when they crash and burn! This is why most ideas fail to even get away from the starting grid. We just line them up and watch them go, instead of adjusting and maintaining them the whole way!

But what if we didn't abandon the ideas as soon as the light turned green? What if we treated it as a loop? What if each time we found a reason for the idea not to work, we went back to the start, and made the necessary changes and continued from where we left off? Again, think of the Indy500 - each racing team KNOWS that they can't finish the race on one set of tires. Does that stop them competing? Hell no, they just factor in a pitstop for a change of tires. It's the same with other wear and tear - they will change/modify anything they can in the course of the race to help them hit that finish line-and even if there is something they can't fix in time, you can bet they will have done something about it for the next race!

Whether we are looking for ideas in business or in the creative side of our life, we can use the analogy of the endurance motor racing as a fitting one to see the progress and steps we may have to take with our ideas before they bear fruit. Instead of treating each idea like an end in and of itself, we should be treating the ideas as the starting grid from which everything begins. A lot of people will abandon the ideas as soon as some difficulty arises, instead thinking it simpler to wait for the next idea, or the next one or the next one, just in case an idea comes along that needs no effort to implement it. This is rarely the case, and in most examples people will find themselves degenerating into a negative spiral, automatically dismissing all but the most perfect of ideas out of habitual laziness. Here's a newsflash: some ideas need to be worked on to achieve perfection! Do you think Bill Gates achieved the success he has had with Microsoft by abandoning everything that didn't work first time, or do you think he spent long hours developing and adjusting, gaining that success inch by inch?

If you take the time to refine and work on each idea until it reaches it's ultimate incarnation (whether as success or failure) you will be leaps and strides ahead of the guy that just tries out the odd idea and abandons all the rest, and you will gain great knowledge of the internal workings and reasonings of your business to boot. Think twice the next time you dismiss something just because it's the easiest choice!
About the Author
Dave Origano runs the Daily Brilliant Idea service, Dave Origano runs the Daily Brilliant Idea service, which gives you those insights that helped him and many others create highly successful businesses. For more information on why this single service is all you ever need, check out the Daily Brilliant Idea Service
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