I would probably venture a guess that coming up with a viable idea is the number one barrier that most people face when they want to go into business for themselves. It has been for me, and still is when I want to start something new. The truth is, it’s hard to come up with ideas, good ones that is.
I wish there was a magic formula that I could share with you to come up with your next great idea, but unfortunately, there is no magic.
It takes work and awareness to generate good ideas, they don’t happen by accident.
Nothing drives me more crazy than people who are dismissive of their creativity. Everyone is inherently good at coming up with unique solutions to problems.
It’s one of the reasons we are the dominant species. We’ve had to solve some really hard problems to get to where we’re at.
Give Your Idea Some Credit
Unfortunately, the system does it’s best to suppress your natural creativity, it doesn’t serve much purpose in the workplace or the schoolyard. But trust me, it’s there. You never forget how to ride a bike, or walk, or swim, so it is for your idea gene.
When my friends tell me in casual conversation that they have an idea for a smart phone app or an online business, I encourage them to pursue it, probably to the point of being an annoying asshole.
But that’s just me, I want people to follow their creativity more and rely less on the rules they’ve been brainwashed to follow (the same rules that keep them stuck in a job they mostly hate).
Their number one objection is dismissal, they don’t think their idea is any good.
Related: Entrepreneurship Doesn’t Have To Be About The Next Big Thing
In other words, they’re certain their idea will fail miserably and they will be laughed off the planet (has never happened in the history of mankind), all before they give it a deserving try.
There’s a name for this sort of disease, that I’m going to dub, right now, the “Million Dollar Idea Syndrome.” I know Steve has written about this before, where people tend to get stuck coming up with good business ideas because they think they need to hit a home run on the first swing.
Related: Starting Your Own Business Does Not Have To Be Risky
They dismiss common, every day good ideas, because they’re not sexy enough, because they are not the next Google or Amazon or Facebook. Could this be you?
Good Business Ideas Evolve Over Time
Keep in mind that ideas are a dime a dozen. Everyone has them, all the time. They are floating around everywhere. They are a commodity. An idea only becomes valuable when you claim it, when you begin the hard work to make that idea come to life, when you paint it with your own brush, your personality, your style.
Even if no one cares about your idea or what you’ve created, it’s still valuable to you. I’ve built lots of things, written lots of stuff, including recording a bunch of songs, that nobody gave me praise, or money, for. I don’t care, they’re still mine.
Related: Business Ideas That Didn’t Pan Out For Us – Part 1
Out of those ideas, and really me taking action on the ideas I had, spawned new ideas and new directions. Sexy ideas don’t start off sexy, they slowly evolve into it over time.
I share a lot of ideas I have for businesses or creative pursuits with just about anyone who will listen. I don’t always have an overabundance of ideas, sometimes I have zero, but when I do, I have to let people know about them, no matter how stupid I think they are.
People ask me where I come up with this stuff, and there’s no answer. I don’t quite understand the question, because I almost always have an idea for something rattling around in my head. If someone held a gun to my head and forced me to answer, I would probably say that ideas come within the context of doing something and being aware of what you’re doing.
Ideas Are Derived From Experience
That’s too vague to be useful though. What it means is, ideas come from trying new things, meeting new people, visiting different places, going a different route to Starbucks, going to a different Starbucks entirely, trying a new hobby or sport, having dinner with your family and friends, interacting with other people who are running their own business, asking questions and listening to answers, reading interesting books and blogs, all while being aware of what’s going on.
This isn’t to say that inspiration is just going to jump out and smack you in the face. Moments of clarity like that are very rare. It’s only happened to me twice in my almost 40 years on this planet. Ideas will come though, if you’re looking for them.
Related: Starting A Business: Convincing Yourself To Take Action And The Key To Behavioral Change
This means you have to put down the iDistraction devices and pay attention. Write down every idea you think of, even if it’s ridiculous. I have a whole notebook in Evernote dedicated to ideas that are stupid, but could possibly, one day, turn into something.
In fact, that same notebook is filled with book ideas, business ideas, comedy ideas, blog ideas, and ideas for web apps.
For the record, you don’t have to be a savant, or a super creative type, or a latte sipping hippie, or an over achieving go getter to come up with great business ideas. You don’t have to be an ivy league graduate. I’m none of those things either, by the way.
All you need is a little awareness, a little adventure, and a handful of conversations each day to generate new ideas. Follow this simple formula and I guarantee you’ll be rolling in ideas in no time.
This article was written by A-ron, a regular contributor for MyWifeQuitHerJob.com
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- Are You Cut Out To Be An Entrepreneur?
- Why You Should Worry About Your Topline More Than Your Bottom Line
- Starting Your Own Business: Getting Beyond The Excuses
- Dealing With People Who Doubt Your Business Ideas
- Finding a Niche Market for Your Online Store
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