You’re bad at coming up with good ideas on a regular basis. The Ideas Struggle is all too common for small business owners. Still, if you’ve gotten this far, you’ve at least one good one. All successful business owners had a great idea that they executed. Not only were the original ideas good, the plans to support those ideas were also good. There are thousands of great products and inventions that never survived. Their creators lacked the ideas necessary to complement the great one.
We only know what we know. Our ideas come from our experiences in the world around us. In business, we must constantly generate new ideas. New products. New marketing techniques. New productivity. New processes. New content. The cycle is endless, especially if you want to stay competitive and relevant. Thinking of new ideas can be exhausting. You need to rethink the way that you evaluate them.
You think you have a great idea—so what? Everyone does. You need to find a way to check whether your ideas are good. Otherwise, your bias will make you blind.
Will it fly?
Pat Flynn wrote a great book about validating your idea called “Will It Fly.”
Australian Shark Tank
One episode featured a guy who invented software to split mobile phone usage between personal and business use. He spent $250K on this idea. He pitched it and got laughed out of the room. Why? The tax office allows you to give a guestimation of your usage in a percentage. Since phone bills are only around $50-$100 a month, it’s too small an amount to worry about claiming accurately. Who validated this idea? Did he speak to anyone? No, he didn’t. Otherwise, he would never have built software nobody wanted.
Not all ideas are great. Some are better than others. Some need a little refinement. Some should be buried and never resurface because they are terrible. All of them should be checked.
How do you know which category your idea fits into? Your first step is to talk to other people about it. Then, get a second, third, or even fourth opinion. The feedback you receive should help shape it until it transforms from good to great. Who do you know who can listen to your ideas? What team of advisors to you have at your disposal to help you turn lemons into lemonade? On the other hand, who will be honest and tell you when you have a bad idea?
Ideas are Just Thought Farts
Anyone can have a great idea. No big deal. Lots of people have good ideas all the time.Unless you follow through with it, you might as well have never thought of it at all. It takes something special to turn an idea or vision into reality. But, if your idea is unique, solves a genuine need, and is validated, why aren’t you pursuing it? What’s the ‘something special’ everyone else has that you don’t? How many people come up with a great idea, but never follow through? They drag their feet and never put in the effort. They’re likely to see somebody else with the same idea actually turn it into a successful business.
My Wife Doesn’t Understand me
Actually, this is not true. In fact, she often understands me better than I understand myself. I frequently came home from my office full of ideas and questions, looking for feedback and advice. There was only so much she could give me. During my decade in business, I often turned to her for input and suggestions. I didn’t really have any other trusted advisors to turn to. I wasn’t connected to many people with whom I could share this information and ask for advice.
That all changed when I joined a Mastermind group. It was only then that I was able to regularly bounce around ideas. I could ask questions and brainstorm. I was with a group of people that understood my problems and questions. They all had similar issues.
Finding the right people to help you with your ideas is tough. Napoleon Hill summed it up best when he said, “No mind is complete by itself. It needs contact and association with other minds to grow and expand.”
Go find the right people and get your best ideas polished, validated, and implemented.