I was talking to a friend the other day and I was telling him about this great new idea I had. I literally only got through half of my monologue when he cut me off and told me all the reasons it wouldn’t work. He hadn’t even heard the best part!!
I’m sure this has happened to each and every one of you reading this. So it got me thinking. How does an idea become more than an idea. I’m not talking about necessarily "tipping" and then going viral, I’m talking simply, how does an idea move from your head to the table?
So as I went through the process in my head, I realized that all ideas take the same path. That path I’d like to share with you now. Ten steps.
First: An idea is born. It could be the next coolest toy, or some gadget you could make better, or an idea to spruce up a relationship, or something so grand it revolutionizes how we think.
Second: You’re so excited about the idea that you think about it all the time. You take notes, draw a diagram or map it out. You’re obsessed and you’re sure it’s the greatest idea thought of by man or woman.
Third: You start telling everyone. Your partner dutifully listens to you, even though he or she has heard every ONE of your unbelievable ideas. She would really just like to finish reading the chapter that you so carelessly interrupted.
OK FINE! You start calling your friends and you tell everyone. Some pretend it’s great! Encouraging you. You get more excited. You can’t believe you’re the first person who’s ever thought of this! But then……
Fourth: WHAM!!! The doubters surface. They fall into two camps. Let’s start with your friends. They honestly don’t think it’s a great idea and they’re trying to save you from the disappointment that will surely come. Or they may be trying to save you from taking out another mortgage on your house. Or having to sell one of your children. (You say, “NOT FUNNY!”)
The other camp of doubters pretend they’re your friends. But really they’re what THE GUYS call, Eeyores. Yes, from the beloved Winnie the Pooh. Always curmudgeonly. Always negative and hell bent on bringing everyone down with the ship. They are not happy for you, they’re jealous. Not necessarily jealous of your idea, but jealous that you actually HAVE an IDEA!! And jealous that you’re excited about anything!! Nice friends, huh?
Fifth: The problem is you believe the doubters. The first camp makes you THINK, but the second camp drives the sword straight through your heart. You’re now in true pain. You come crashing down. It’s as if you ate your kid’s ENTIRE bag of Halloween Candy in one sitting, and you’re now feeling the tremors and the impact hours later. You get depressed. You sleep a lot. Your partner even misses you rambling on. What is going on??
Intermission: This is where many people hop “Off the Train.” They’re done. They went for it and lost. They resign themselves to defeat and they’re sad. Some even join the Eeyores. But no not you!! You pick yourself and dust yourself off, because this is where the real battle begins. This is where the true ideas hit the ground running!!!
Sixth: You believe again. But you believe more realistically. You may have tweaked your idea or maybe not. But you’re excited again. This time you don’t tell everyone. You know not everyone cares. Most people don’t. You search for your supporters or they find you.
Seventh: You start to collaborate and find like minded individuals who are truly interested in your idea. You may actually partner up or just use them as a sounding board to help you navigate a scary world. But you’re moving and it’s good. And you have people who are actually watching your back!
Eighth: You formulate a plan and you get to work putting all the pieces in place. This is a ton of work, but it’s all good. Words and ideas are nice, but now it’s time for ACTION, because ACTION speaks the loudest. And you move!! Boy do you move!! The wind is behind you and you feel the ship moving. You’ve got some serious momentum!
Ninth: You’re on your way. You’ve put the idea out into the world and you’re still standing. You’ve shed the doubters, you’ve grabbed supporters, you’ve tweaked your ideas, you’ve formulated your plan and you’ve taken action. SWEET!
Tenth: But nothing happens! The doubt creeps in. Damn! That idea must have sucked. But, what a minute. You didn’t fail. You succeeded! You realize your goal wasn’t to get rich or become famous, although both would be nice. Your goal was to dream, and see if you can make your dream become a reality. And you did just that! So congratulations on your IDEA BORN…. NURTURED…… AND LIVING IN THE WORLD!
And as my grandma always said, “If you don’t succeed at first, try, try again.”
And now I rephrase that: “Dream big and GO FOR IT. You can do it.”
Or even shorter: “Don’t be an Eeyore!”
“ONE of THE GUYS”