March 27th, 2008

Idea Killers – 3 Ways to Stifle A Great Idea

Ideas are like seeds. They have the potential to grow into a bountiful harvest . But it takes a lot of patience and hard work before you can achieve this. Here are some of the things that might be counterproductive to the growth of a great idea:

  1. Not giving your idea a chance to grow
    You have with you a handful of magic beans, which have the potential to yield 10 times more than those already available in the market. You are excited about the prospects but then you stop and start to question yourself : Will this really work?Am I wasting my time on an unproven product?

    Magic Beans

    Idea killers come in many forms but do you know who is usually responsible for destroying most of your ideas? You. We are usually our worst critic. We are extra hard on ourselves because we are afraid to fail. But look at it this way — if you don’t even start something, you have already failed at your shot of success. When you go to a funfair, you gamble a few dollars at the coconut shy for a chance to win a big teddy bear. Why not give your idea a chance to develop? The pay-off could be much, much bigger than a silly teddy bear.

    Take a few minutes to think why your idea might work. Write down all the positive things about the idea. Picture yourself at the height of success. Done that? Now it’s time to dwell on the realistic aspects. What do you need to do to make the idea work? Do you have the commitment to see it to its fruition? Imagine your journey to success. What are your roadblocks(there will be quite a few, trust me)? What are your plans to overcome them? See, there’s a difference between being negative and being realistic.

    Being realistic means accepting that there will be humps and hiccups beyond your control, that will slow you down on your journey to success. But it also means that you are trying to find alternative ways to avoid, reduce or work around these road blocks. That’s creative problem solving. Being negative just means that you give up before trying.

  2. Sharing your undeveloped ideas too soon
    You’ve decided to planted your magic beans . You cannot contain your excitement about this new project. You tell your neighbours about this exciting new venture that could possibly make your town very prosperous. Grump asks, “So what happens when there’s a drought?” You give a weak laugh, “We’ll pray that it rains?”

    Magic Sprout

    A good idea is well-thought out . Unless you need to brainstorm with a group of people, it is best to iron out the kinks and find solutions to possible problems first before presenting it to the world. An ex-colleague of mine had a lot of fantastic campaign ideas which he tended to pitch to the boss without giving much thought to the execution. When asked about how he planned to realise his ideas his reply was always, “I’ve not thought about that”. After awhile, despite his many good ideas, he’s labeled by the boss as an “All Talk” simply because his ideas were not supported by proper research. As time went by, this guy came to accept that his views may not be as great as he thought. Eventually he stopped proposing new ideas, even if he believed they had the potential to effect a positive change in the company.The next time a little light bulb goes on in your head, take some time to analyse it thoroughly yourself first before sharing it with others.

  3. Sharing your ideas with the wrong people
    You now have a fledgling crop of magic wheat. You have toiled and tended over it with much care and dedication. You might even be able to reap the fruit of your labour in a few months. You tell your best friend, Mr. Coeliac about how good you feel about this. Mr. Coeliac exclaims, in his most ridiculous tone, “Why wheat of all things?!”

    Magic Wheat

    In the real world, it would be like trying to sell a Google-killer idea to your non-internet-savvy aunt. She won’t get it and the worse part is, she might make you doubt that there’s a market for your product/service.

    Feeling apprehensive, you divulge the news of your sprouting money-makers to cousins, Green and Know-All. Green huffs, “Why don’t you just stick to your job as tech-support? You’ll be happier there. I bet the sprouts will die come spring.” ” You turn to Know-All, “Well, sorry to burst your bubble. I planted a magic bean year ago, and it didn’t work” he offers.

    We all know a Green — the last thing she wants is to see you succeed. She likes put you down and makes sure you don’t aspire to do more than what she is comfortable with. Her statements usually sound scornful but some are smooth operators spouting niceties laced with poison. Her claims are usually unsupported by real evidence.

    Mr. Know-All is a little tricky. It may seem that he’s giving good advice out of experience, but think — there are many reasons why other people don’t succeed doing the same thing. They might not have the same drive, skill and personality. Sometimes it also depends on luck. What you can learn from Know-Alls is what not to do. If Know-All failed because of poor marketing, then make sure you put in enough in marketing to avoid going through the same route. If you’ve done your research well, and know the pitfalls to avoid, you ride to success will be less bumpy one.

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