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.

Conclusion

Pick a small selection of ideas and get focussed. Look to the future but don’t neglect the present.

The SUCCESS Ebook

If you already know about it and have got a post ready for the 1st of Feb head over to the group and let others know so they can bookmark your site in anticipation.

If you haven’t already, head on over to the SUCCESS Ebook Facebook page and sign up so you are the first to get hold of it when it comes out at the end of the month. This group will be there for all who have read the book and is a place for discussion, idea bouncing and general networking between like minded and motivated people. Click this link, it is likely to be the best thing you do in the next 30 seconds, guaranteed.

24 Comments

  • January 19, 2010 Reply

    Nathan Schmitt

    Crazy, I was just doing this about 5 hours ago. I’m video blogging my upcoming surgery/recovery and I SUCK with a camera so I spent some time today streamlining the process so it’s more workable and hopefully more professional. If all goes well, I’ll be able to look back on my earlier videos (my current ones, haha…) and recognize exactly what I’m doing wrong. Video is a whole different world–it really helps you identify your bad speaking habits and fix ‘em.

    • January 20, 2010 Reply

      Jonny

      Surgery/Recovery? I hope everything is ok mate and I will definitely check out the new videos, see what you come up with my friend.

  • January 20, 2010 Reply

    Oscar – freestyle mind

    Great post Jonny. It’s important both to give ideas enough time to see if they are working, but also to get rid of them once you understand they aren’t.

    • January 20, 2010 Reply

      Jonny

      Oscar, I know you are the type of guy that has hundreds of awesome ideas going on in your head so hopefully this helped you get rid of some of them that are unlikely to succeed and focus on the ones that are.

      Also, I really enjoyed your Brain Rules post, good overview of 5 major lessons.

  • January 20, 2010 Reply

    Moon Hussain

    I recently had to tell my idea to “hit the showers”, haha. I really like your style of writing. I think even if you’ve invested a bit of time (or money) into an idea and realize later it’s not going to work.. drop it!

    Come around to my site if you find the time! Thanks for the enjoyable read.

    • January 20, 2010 Reply

      Jonny

      Hi Moon, Thanks for dropping past the site and thanks for the awesome comment. I think once money and time has been invested into an idea it is much harder to cut it so it’s always best to make sure it has passed through the right test gates at the right stage of development.

      Checked out your blog and I wish you every success in developing your passive incomes. Stick around at the site for the free SUCCESS ebook that is coming out next week.

  • January 20, 2010 Reply

    Nate

    I constantly have ideas running through my head, so I can really appreciate what you have to say here. About a month ago I decided to focus 100% of my energy on two ventures, and those two only. It’s going pretty well so far. But that doesn’t mean my mind doesn’t wander and I have to remind myself to stick with the program or I’ll never get anything accomplished!

    • January 20, 2010 Reply

      Jonny

      HI Nate, We all get that. As it happens I too am focussing on just two ventures at the moment but other ideas keep stealing my time, more discipline required I think. Thanks for the comment and afting reading your last post I have to agree that the American work culture is pretty hardcore.

  • January 20, 2010 Reply

    Boris

    Jonny,
    Excellent post! If we have too many ideas, the best thing that we could do is to kill all them except the best one and take concrete and persistent actions until we make that great idea a reality!
    All the best,
    Boris

    • January 20, 2010 Reply

      Jonny

      Heres to killing all but your best ideas Boris. Love the look of your site.

  • January 21, 2010 Reply

    Keith Douglas | Real World Muse Building

    All too true Jonny. Especially in the affiliate marketing route that I am taking. I have a giant diagram on my desk with niche ideas a-plenty but I know from experience that if I pursue them I’m likely to build a really nice site and then get bored and have it rot at the bottom of the internet heap.

    Tricky part is knowing when to give up. It can take months to get any traffic and you can’t even test your offer until you do get traffic.

    For affiliate marketing I’m giving new sites the courtesy of working on them for 6 months before deciding they are winners, mediocrities or no-use-to-man-nor-beast.

    cheers,
    Keith

    • January 21, 2010 Reply

      Jonny

      Hi Keith,

      I like the idea of a 6 month test benchmark for sites. Out of interest, have you made or lost money so far with you affiliation experiment?

      • January 24, 2010 Reply

        Keith Douglas

        So far I’ve invested a lot more than I’ve made. However, I’m hoping my investment is going into building assets and skills that will provide an ongoing income rather than it just disappearing.

        I’ve made some costly mistakes (especially with PPC) but I’m learning a hell of a lot!

        • January 24, 2010 Reply

          Jonny

          Great to hear Keith, I am enjoying following your progress and wish you luck with all your ventures.

  • January 21, 2010 Reply

    Srinivas Rao

    Jonny,

    As you and some other bloggers probably know I’ve been involved in quite a few different projects. It’s the nature of ADHD I suppose. But, I think you make a great point in that focus is key. One of the keys to peak performance in any role is being present. Anyways, I’ve been trying to find your “contact me” link. I’d love to get in touch with you about being part of the interviews with up and coming bloggers podcast if you are interested.

    -SRini

    • January 21, 2010 Reply

      Jonny

      HI Srinivas,

      Thanks for the comment. My contact link does seem to have gone south and I am not entirely sure why. I will correct it but untill such time just drop me a line at thelifething@gmail.com. Love to be involved in your podcast man.

  • January 22, 2010 Reply

    Mike Key – Entrepreneurial Ninja

    The old saying “You’re to smart for your own good” comes to mind here. I’ve had the problem of just having to many random ideas to focus on the ideas that are the best. I love the way you paint the mental picture of targeting and shooting down the ones that aren’t worth your time. If it ain’t producing fruit, lop it off.

    • January 22, 2010 Reply

      Jonny

      As long are you aren’t in suggesting that I am “too smart for my own good” :) From the comments so far it seems everyone is plagued with idea overload and so the successful ones really are going to be those that can get brutal and cut the weak ones. Not everyone can.

  • January 22, 2010 Reply

    Christina

    I have so many ideas running in my head, the thing is sometimes I get crazy lol but honestly I can relate to this. thanks for the advice, I really have to clean up my act and learn to focus.

    • January 22, 2010 Reply

      Jonny

      Not necessarily clean the act up, getting dirty is part of the fun, but focussing is a sure fire way of giving yourself a better shot at success.

  • January 22, 2010 Reply

    Amit Sodha – The Power Of Choice

    Surprisingly my idea for cardboard toilet paper didn’t work, so I tossed that one out, now onto sponge roofed cars, it’s a winner I tells ya!

    • January 22, 2010 Reply

      Jonny

      As is a chocolate oven or concrete flotation devices.

  • January 23, 2010 Reply

    Ash

    Your best quality (besides being married to me): Your ability to convey important information in an entertaining manner. Smothering kittens? Downright hilarious.

    We should write a book together in which your thoughts appear on the leftside of the page and mine on the rightside, discussing our respective internal dialogue of our married life together. Well, I mean….it *would* be pretty hilarious if we were actually married and actually had something to talk about. Although, knowing us, we’d just make everything up anyway and it’d be twice as funny.

    That has nothing to do with entrepreneurialism, and I refuse to apologize for it.

    So there!

    • January 24, 2010 Reply

      Jonny

      But I am more a right hand side kind of guy.

Leave a Comment

Error: Please check your entries!