Generally speaking, if you can think of ways to make things better, you are possibly on to the next great big idea. Often too much thought is put into coming up with an idea, let’s say, to expand a small business. Obviously economics is a big factor because the quicker a small business owner comes up with an idea and gets it assessed and implemented, the better off financially the business will become. But sometimes there is just too much pressure put on coming up with the next great idea, and that may not be really necessary. Time IS of the essence, but a calm head and open mind and heart, makes it easier to receive an idea.
I have a friend who owns a bakery with a gift for great designs in suburban Atlanta. One big seller is designer cupcakes, so I am always measuring up cupcakes that I may encounter when I am traveling or just trying different desserts while dining out. Because I would really love to see my friend’s business succeed, I think my brain may be tuned to anything having to do with cupcakes. So when I was in hair salon recently and my stylist and another customer began talking about a cupcake truck that used to round their neighborhood up north, I became intrigued by the idea and couldn’t shake it because I thought it such a clever and creative concept. They kept referring to it as a play on the Mr. Softee ice cream truck and all Icould do was visualize myself as a young girl waiting for the truck to pull over in front of my house. The next day I told my friend about it and suggested she consider it as an entry in her idea book for when she decides to expand her business.
Even if my friend doesn’t act on this particular idea, just by the act of receiving it or writing it down, she may be inspired with a different idea. After all, all ideas are just springboards of ideas already in existence to improve upon or make something better or more useful.
I recently read about a North Carolina businessman who developed an idea management software application (idea-act.com) that captures data and helps businesses to create new products, develop clear strategies, and maximize technology. In a sense, it’s an electronic version of brainstorming or “idea accelerator.” I love this concept!
Brainstorming is the act of taking random ideas to create a solution. This act often occurs in group settings and team environments. However, individuals can use brainstorming to their advantage. While the solution discussed above targets established businesses looking to expand or create efficiencies, an individual can create their own personal idea accelerator, such as an idea journal. Each time a random idea pops in your mind, write it down in the journal. It doesn’t matter how nondescript it may be. My motto remains to “just get it on paper.” The journal can serve as a starting point for personal or professional growth because you can refer back to it when it’s time to take proactive strategic action — whether its the next day or next year. In essence, it becomes your personal written motivation when the time is right to accelerate one of your ideas into an innovative solution.
The statement “life is not fair” is a misnomer. Life is the natural act of existence, breathing, and experiencing physically and mentally. Everything about “life” is great. While it may sound cooler or cliche to make the statement — especially when you are in a position of authority or power — the better statement is “life experiences are not fair.” And who has not had their fair share of less than favorable experiences. The challenge is to creatively work around the experiences that cause life to not feel good sometimes. It’s these acts of unfairness that can ignite the spark of passion for doing something you’ve always loved, or mentally challenge you to tap into your inner strength to do what is not so obvious to you. The art of idea development is as simple as breathing, but sometimes you need to shape the idea, or pull it out from a quagmire of mindless internal (and sometimes) external chatter. The next time you want to feel inspired and don’t have any ideas brewing off the top of your head, try to take a minimum 15 minutes to become still and quiet and let your mind float. You’d be surprised at some of the things that come to mind unfiltered. I’d encourage you to write whatever it is down. You may have to come back to it later (and that’s relatively speaking), but getting it on paper is the first step to owning your idea. Try this for an extended period of time (let’s say two to four weeks) and see what you come up with. And then the next time someone tells you “life is not fair”, you can just smile, because that’s just your cue to retreat into idea mode.
Enriching your ideas…telling your story…
We are all creators and every great story and idea begins with a passing thought in the mind. Your vision is simply an idea that has not made it to paper…yet! Once you take action by bring the idea to life, you have begun the ownership process for your divine inspiration.
Do you have a story to tell and need help getting it on paper? Do you want to document significant family or personal historical information and just don’t have the time to write it? Have drawers full of journals and want to turn it into a book? Struggling with an idea or concept and want to establish clear objectives so you can act on it? Not sure of next steps after you’ve developed the idea? Or just need someone to help you organize your thoughts and ideas?
Own Your Idea LLC is an idea strategy and writing services business dedicated to helping you honor your unique idea and divine inspiration. We help you to enrich your ideas and tell your story.
We all have glimpses of inspiration. What’s yours? Try acting on it in small ways each day to begin the building process toward the world’s next big idea, like Twitter or Facebook. I saw the movie The Social Network this weekend with my son, and I remain impressed by the theme on how one person’s passion created a billion dollar business. In case you aren’t familiar with it, it’s a story of the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, and two lawsuits he found himself facing with the success of the social networking site. I get the impression from the movie that it wasn’t Mark’s initial intention to make money from the site, but to create an online social platform. But get this, he was inspired through anger and frustration (and some jealousy), and today we have Facebook, the largest social networking tool. Wow!
Even if your inspiration doesn’t lead to a billion dollar business, it may lead to a way to change lives, and that is PRICELESS. So be inspired and write down your thoughts! You never know where it may lead you.