Helping Creative People Create

Stick to Your Guns!

Clint Eastwood says to stick to your guns
Image by MacQ

As I’ve written before, I love sharing ideas, and think it’s a crucial aspect of developing a project.

Yet oftentimes the people I share ideas with don’t like or understand them. They’ll let me know quickly if the idea is a stinker.

But there are a few occasions when my friends won’t like my idea, and I’ll still think it’s great. But instead of listening to my gut and working on the idea anyway, I dropped it.

I can think of three specific and recent examples where if I had just stuck to my guns and developed the idea, it would have done really well. Yet I chickened out.

Odds are your convictions are what will differentiate your ideas from the competitors. Think about Steve Jobs at Apple. His strong convictions of how an MP3 player should look and work created a music empire. He reportedly had meetings every day with designers and engineers to make sure the iPod was exactly as he envisioned it.

I always love the story about how the founder of Starbucks Howard Schultz held to his convictions about giving even his part-time employees insurance. His company could be saving gobs of money by doing what other coffee companies (and pretty much the rest of corporate America does) and not given his part-time employees insurance.

And the reason he did it? He wanted to create a company that his father would want to work for. That’s a strong, deep-rooted conviction right there.

When people don’t agree with your ideas, it doesn’t mean you should just accept their opinion as the Gospel. Remember, it’s your idea. They may have valid reasons for not liking them, (and you should definitely take that into consideration), but at the end of the day you’re still the one calling the shots. Not your friends or coworkers.

So don’t be afraid to pursue an idea even if nobody likes it. If you feel strongly about it, the disagreement will only add fuel to your fire to work even harder at it.

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  • Great post man. I read a quote given by Ronald Reagan the other day that summed things up for me, “When I've gathered enough information to make a decision I don't take a poll, I just make a decision.”

    I think people get caught up in getting the approval of others before acting on an idea. I think the truly successful people in the world act first, and then adjust.

    Great blog and thanks for this post. Also, I'm always looking for in-text link exchanges.

    • “I think the truly successful people in the world act first, and then adjust. “

      Couldn't agree more! I think people are just too plain scared (myself included), to just shoot from the hip and create.

      Great thoughts!

  • Great post man. I read a quote given by Ronald Reagan the other day that summed things up for me, “When I've gathered enough information to make a decision I don't take a poll, I just make a decision.”

    I think people get caught up in getting the approval of others before acting on an idea. I think the truly successful people in the world act first, and then adjust.

    Great blog and thanks for this post. Also, I'm always looking for in-text link exchanges.

  • Another great post! I like the bit about Starbucks. (I just learned something new.) Keep em coming!

  • Another great post! I like the bit about Starbucks. (I just learned something new.) Keep em coming!

  • There is definitely a need to get input from other but the final say for me should always be my gut. If an idea is good you'll feel it there. Normally it'll make you feel something, whether it's fear, anxiousness or excitement. The good ones are the ones you need to temper and tinker with but not throw out.

  • There is definitely a need to get input from other but the final say for me should always be my gut. If an idea is good you'll feel it there. Normally it'll make you feel something, whether it's fear, anxiousness or excitement. The good ones are the ones you need to temper and tinker with but not throw out.

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