Become An Idea Hitman In Order To Give A Few Of Your Concepts A Fighting Chance Of Success
One of the hardest things any entrepreneur is going to face – apart from the wall they are currently banging their head against following another failed venture – is actually coping with the astronomical amount of ideas that seem to constantly invade ones thoughts, dreams and unconscious periods (I had a pretty rough football match yesterday, long story). We, as a collective, have a problem.
The Problem Of Creative Genius-ness
At any one point in time I am sure that there are literally hundreds of possibilities, quick ideas and flashes of inspiration bouncing around and fighting dirty in your head for which you hurriedly hunt down a pen, pencil or sharp object to slice your own finger in an effort to jot it down in blood should you, God forbid, ever let one of the slippery buggers get away. If this is not the case with you then I can only presume that you are either a. dead or b. in the wrong line of work.
The problem then, is that you have so many ideas; some good, some not so good and some, quite frankly, more than likely illegal, and so little time.You cant possibly pursue all of them and yet to let one goes seems to be an evil akin to smothering a small fluffly kitten while watching Pop Idol.
Case in point. You have to do it.
NOT SMOTHER A SMALL KITTEN, but let a lot of your ideas go in order to focus on what is most likely to work. Don’t become a Failed Ideas Man (Or Woman)
The Failed Ideas Man
I would put forth that it is one of the major contributing conditions to why a lot of start-ups fail and creative entrepreneurs go insane and end up making meaningful small talk with trees is that they try to pursue every idea they have without taking the time to access it’s merits as a workable concept.
The trick to success is to get strategic and start streamlining the ideas, very much like a hitman would streamline the competition. That is not to say stop white boarding new ideas – or indeed going on a killing rampage – but instead give the appropriate amount of time to each idea and cut them as soon as they appear unworkable. You need to have a system for accessing the quality of an idea and wether it is indeed worthwhile investing your precious time commodity into. Most of your ideas will not be worth the investment. I know this because most of mine are not either.
Some of my ideas are just down right unworkable, solely self serving or horrendously unethical and no doubt so are a few of yours.
In addition to weeding out the weak ideas at the beginning, you also need a series of gateway points in the development of an idea that accesses if it is worth continuing on with as it develops. Not all ideas are remain valid and sometimes they have to be cut mid way through development if situations change. This is usually harder then cutting them in the beginning as now time has been invested.
You have to be brutal, if things aren’t working, tell your idea to hit the showers.
I will follow this post shortly with another, probably entitiled “ A Sexy, Simple System for Surmising The Success Of An Idea” on how I access the quality of my ideas and put them through a rigorous series of testing in order to eliminated wasted time on ones that are likely to fail.
Too Much Forward Leaning And You Are Going To Fall Over
In addition to being able to cut ideas like a well trained sheep sheerer, an ability to think to the future but focus on the present is critical.
I also tend to pursue ideas for my company and ventures that are too far in the future. It’s important to plan ahead, essential in fact, but if your spending a majority of your time planning the advertising campaign for a future product you will be looking to launch in 2014, then I would suggest that something needs to change otherwise I doubt you will have a company in 2014. I have been guilty of this countless times.
Now spending time on creative ideas looking at where your company could be in the future and even designing the office you’re going to have or scoping the cars your going to drive is not a bad thing, my own business partner and I do both of these currently. Some may think it’s naive or crazy but actually it’s a very good way of keeping the passion and motivation going through the good and especially through the more difficult times. It all ties in with having that goal and the more vivid you can make it the more likely you will achieve it.
However, that said, there needs to be a balance in the amount of time dedicated to those forward thinking thoughts. For example, if my business partner and I spent everyday in the local Audi garage (we like Audi’s) then yes we would probably be very, very passionate and very, very motivated but then we are never going to create a business that can afford us to drive one, (although maybe they’d give us a job or pay us to go away.)
A strategy is required to ensure that time is focussed on ideas closer to the present to make sure your company continues to move forward while still keeping the long term vision in view.
When I have some more time next month I will also write a post of some simple systems to allow you streamline your projects in phases and ensure your are focusing on the critical stuff at the right time. Watch this space.
Pick a small selection of ideas and get focussed. Look to the future but don’t neglect the present.
The SUCCESS Ebook
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