"Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen." John Steinbeck
I will always be a recovering idea guy. Creative ideas are the life blood that keeps me forever young. The most difficult part of having new ideas is knowing which ones to cultivate and which ones should be pushed aside. I have learned through much experience that when you choose to pursue an idea, that idea becomes a project. It begins as a thought, morphs into a notion, quickly turns into a concept and then it's shaped into an idea. It's merely a blink and a nod before you'll find yourself nurturing a brand new project.
In order to grow any idea regardless if it's brilliant or not, it will take an extended investment of time. How much time depends upon your level of resource and enthusiasm. Trust me, at this point if you plan to develop your idea, by definition it now qualifies as a project.
In addition to time, a project takes emotional investment and monetary
support to thrive. This is usually the place where we engage our spouse
or close friend to run our idea past them in order to quantify it's
brilliance before we start investing. What we are really after is for someone we trust to add fuel to the fire of our idea reducing the risk. If things don't go well you gain an immediate ally that will partner with you in burning your idea at the stake.
Every idea has to be launched in order to know if it will do what you
intended it to. Interestingly enough, the word projected applies
here, which means to throw, cast, or impel forward or onward. My
expectation in projecting any idea is for it to succeed. It's that kind
of optimisim that gets me so excited at the birth of every new idea. This same
optimism is what gets an idea guy in over his head with each fresh idea.
I have learned that many of my ideas are best served by composing a
one or two page outline filed on my laptop under "brilliant new ideas". This
way my ideas are not stabbed through the heart, they are properly documented but not yet
projected. I can go back and fill in any required resources, research
or other mission critical information without doing a full blown
launch. This methodology allows my ideas time to simmer at low heat. Your written document can
also serve as a creative brief to share with friends to gain support. This is especially useful on those down low days when you feel like you're stagnent and may be omitting an odor. Nobel Prize winner, Linus Pauling said; "The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas." I think that Mr. Pauling was onto something here.
As a creative person it's very difficult to keep my mind from continuosly formulating wonderous new ideas. My inner dialogue is relentless with the idea chatter, a chronic malody that may eventually require a doctor's perscription. That explains why I own thirty dormant domain names ready to be developed into "the next big thing". My encouragement as a recovering idea guy, is simply this, count the costs in launching your ideas. I am suggesting only a minor pause after you have passed the concept stage, I am not implying that you turn off your idea machine. Let's face it, be it good or bad, a success or failure as the end result, your ideas are going to take a tangible investment. Most likely you already have a few creative irons in the fire requiring your attention at present. Ask yourself this question; can you afford to take on another project right now? If you're anything like me, you may be the least qualified person to answer that question with any sense of reality. So maybe consider writing an exit plan as well.
"Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it is the only one you have" Emile Chartier