Five years ago, I created a notebook to hold my business ideas. Looking back, there was a common theme that ran through all those wonderful and million-dollar ideas. The theme – all those ideas stemmed out from all I knew till that point: five years ago.
Over time, I have learned new things, explored previously inaccessible fields and tried some of these ideas.
What I learned after reading through my five-year old ideas.
1. Ideas are important
Not all ideas are good ideas, nether are all practical. Some may even not be reasonable, others may be pure nonsense. Some will be okay, others, good. Very few will actually be awesome. But awesome is nothing if it is not practical, doable and potentially successful.
So why go through so many ideas to get a good one? When you write down your ideas, you make room for other and newer ideas. When you free you mind of the bad and mediocre ideas, you create room in your mind to think up better ideas. In fact, when I read over some of my ideas of old, I was surprised that I thought of them and actually wrote them down. I wonder how some of those ideas could make me $1,000,000. Now I’m wondering if some would even make me $10,000.
But in the multitude of those ideas, a few have stood the test of time. And my current business is in line with an idea I wrote down five years ago.
2. Ideas reveal your scope
Reading through your list of ideas, it is easy to see a general pattern as to how you think and what kind of things you think about. When you realise that the scope of your ideas is small, it is time to think outside. Think of bigger things, larger markets, diversity and more creative solutions. Your scope is likely to be defined and limited by what you know. So to expand your scope, expand your knowledge. It is easy to fall victim to our own deceptions when we try to convince ourselves that ideas are rock-solid, ground-breaking, futuristic….the list goes on. But do a reality check, rethink your ideas.
3. Ideas help you to streamline your thoughts
As unrelated as some ideas may be, writing them down and thinking about new ones keeps you from wondering about imaginary things and convincing yourself that your thoughts are actually great ideas. When you write down an idea, you force yourself to think a little beyond what could make this idea worthwhile. You get to think a little bit beyond what sets one idea apart from the others and what chances it has to becoming real. When you write down your ideas, they do not just stay as wishes in your head, but they start a journey, no matter how short or long, to become crossed-out ideas or a realities worthy of pursuit.
Ideas in themselves have little or no value. The value emanates from their execution. So if you have an idea for a product, a service or just about anything that needs a better approach, do something about it. Start the process of nurturing that idea to see how far it will go. Do not give up because an idea fell by the way. Pick up another one and run with it.
Once you do not stop moving, you will get to wherever you are going.