Having ideas is one thing, but making them happen is another story. I guess we’ve all been familiar with this problem at some stage in our lives and in all honesty, it’s my everyday reality. While I consider myself an idea generator, I’m struggling to make them happen. Sure, some of the ideas I have are a little crazy and too ambitious to realize in a matter of weeks or months, but there’s still so much that can be done a smaller scale. In the end, all big things achieved are the sum of lots of small things. Here are my tips and personal thoughts on how to get good ideas and to ACTUALLY make them happen…
Good ideas all start with brainstorming, whether that’s done in the solitude or with a friend or business partner. Sometimes you might not even be aware that you’re doing it. I always thought there couldn’t be much complicated about this process, until I sat down with my friend Tatiane a few days ago and I suddenly became aware of my own thoughts. Not only did I realize that I didn’t know nothing about a healthy brainstorm, I also discovered I’ve forced myself to think within limitations too much and I thus kill every potential idea by chucking it into the “impossible” or “too difficult” bin immediately. Brainstorming is meant to have the creative juices flowing, so setting limitations is a process killer. Let go of all box thinking and limits and simply write down every idea that comes to mind.
After your big brainstorm, write down a selection of the 10 best or most important ideas and set a deadline for each of them. A few weeks ago my “ideas” were a complete mess: I had notes in my phone, drafts in my email, random word documents with bits of info and little pieces of paper everywhere. It didn’t do justice to the thought I put into these ideas and it definitely didn’t help me to get anywhere near to realize them. So I sat down and gathered every “idea” (some were pure word vomit) and started prioritizing, categorizing and re-phrasing everything I came across. I filed it all into one word document and divided each idea into tasks and deadlines. The “rough” ideas I put together in a separate file to maybe look at a later stage.
The best ideas come at the weirdest times. In the shower, just before you go to sleep or while you’re running to a meeting. From a personal experience, I can say that it’s the ideas that somehow “come” to us, that usually turn out to be the best ones and require our attention. The tricky part is that when ideas pop in our head at an inconvenient time, it’s easy to wipe them off the table and forget them. Don’t! Write them down in some form, even if it’s just in a few words to help you memorize it later. I always use the notes in my phone and it’s been a great help.
I’m one of those cheesy people that appreciates a good quote and I took a lot of inspiration out of this one:
“Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use.”
A lot of the ideas we have for our lives, our businesses or anything really will take a long time to complete, but that shouldn’t stop us to making little steps every day. I remember when I first started FashionContainer: I simply posted random photos of what I wore, with no structure, poor writing (or no writing at all), but over time I started to have a feel for what I like and how I could do it better. The point of me saying this is that unless you’re some kind of super human, you’ll suck at anything you first start doing. And that’s completely normal. Instead of letting it discourage you, you should praise yourself for having the guts to take on the challenge and feel vulnerable trying something new.
If you have an idea, an ambition or a plan for your life that is a little different than what most people do, you’re going to get challenged. Not just people who don’t know you will do so, but also friends, a partner or family members. To stay on track with whatever idea you have, you have to remember that no one, not even the people that are very close to you know your capabilities or understand your plan. It’s great if you can surround yourself with people that support or understand all your ideas, but reality is that not everyone will. Live for yourself and only justify your decisions to yourself. I really believe that all of us have an inner compass telling us what direction to go, what idea to put into life and what ambition to follow and we should always do just that.
6. Start & Enjoy the process
Keep it simple. Just start where you are, with what you have and do what you can. You’re not expected to move mountains in one day so the most important step you can take is to just start. With every idea that you’re putting into life, focus and enjoy the process rather than thinking about the final result or how far you’re still away from it.
When do you get your best ideas? What are your best tips to realize them?
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