Ideas are a funny thing. I love getting them. As a serial entrepreneur, I’m always looking for the next thing. I’ve got my head in the clouds. I’ve had plenty of bad ideas, and a few good ones. But it wasn’t the fact that some of my ideas weren’t that great that killed them. It was the fact that I didn’t know where to start developing them.
The window of for putting an idea into motion is a small, small time frame… which many people underestimate. Sure, you can write it down and store somewhere, but the longer it sits on the shelf, the less likely you’ll actually put it into motion.
I’ve found that my best ideas are ones that I started working on immediately. Instead of putting it in the ‘ol someday/maybe list (which people use a bit too often), try creating the most basic structure of the idea, in workable form.
For example: I decided about a week ago that I was going to write an ebook with my friend. We initially decided to make outlines for the topic, meet and go over the outline, revise, and start writing. In short: plan, plan, plan then execute. In theory, that works great. In reality, it bites.
Don’t Lose That Mojo!
If you wait too long to start acting on the idea, you lose the initial “mojo” surrounding the excitement of the fresh idea. Guess how far my friend and I got into writing the ebook, with all the planning beforehand? That’s right: none. The idea had lost its mojo.
I had another idea for an ebook yesterday. Instead of straining over a detailed outline that laid out the book from start to finish, I quickly dumped my initial ideas into a plain ‘ol text file and quickly started writing. I planned less, and did more. I’m happy to report that I’ve almost completed the first chapter, without hardly any effort.
It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you get out of the way of your idea.
Darwin and Ideas
Another plus side acting instead of planning: it gave my initial idea a chance to evolve. As I’ve quickly written main points and started writing the meat of the chapters, the topic of the book started to change into something even better than my initial idea. I’d given my idea room to grow!
Your idea isn’t finished the second it squirts out of your noggin. In fact, I’d argue that if your idea is complete the second you’re “graced” with it, it wasn’t a very good idea in the first place.
Don’t Start At the Beginning, Silly
I had a college professor who claimed the best way to start writing a paper was to start writing the first thing you can think of, no matter where it fell in position in the paper. The introduction and the conclusion always came last, as your position in the paper started to refine itself.
Most of the time we know what we want, we just don’t know where to start.
So if there is anything to take away from this post it’s this: Don’t try to needlessly plan your idea. Just Do your idea. As you are doing, your idea will probably evolve into something bigger and better than what you initially dreamed.
Don’t get in the way of your idea!