In last week’s post, I talked about a common misconception of creativity being something you either have or you don’t. Instead, creativity is an separate, spiritual entity you can access and collaborate with to make inspired work. I love this insight because it takes the pressure off to perform and focuses it on you doing the work and fulfilling the responsibilities you were made to do.
Well, that’s easier said than done.
Because to do this well, we have to be able to discern between what is just a good idea and what is a good idea worth working on.
For the self-starter, big-picture, dreamer-types, it’s easy to have idea overflow and get excited about all of the possibilities. The struggle comes when it’s time to pick one idea and doing something about it.
So today, I will show you my process for bringing (good) ideas to life.
Step 1: Capture your inspired ideas in one place. Do a brain dump and write down of all the ideas you have in mind. You can even take some time to dream up some big goals and think outside the box. Jotting ideas down will help you clear out mental clutter and visualize all the ideas you have in one place.
For me, I keep a “Big List of Ideas” in my daily planner that I can refer to, add to, and edit. I also like to categorize my ideas into topics like: marketing, blog posts, education, and community.
Step 2: Pick one idea and test its potential. Not all ideas are created equal. Also, just because you have a brilliant idea doesn’t mean you should do it, or you should do it now. Going through the process of testing an idea’s potential could save you time and money down the road.
To test an idea’s potential, I ask myself some guiding questions. Is this idea aligned with my overall vision and long-term goals (including personal, business, and financial goals)? Am I passionate/curious about this idea? Will this idea better serve my clients? Do I have the capacity to follow through on this idea? Or do I need outside help? Am I in the right season of life to implement this idea? / Is this idea important to me right now?
If I answer “yes” to these questions, then it gets a green light to go ahead. If I answer “no” to these question, then I can let the idea go. If I’m still unsure, I leave it on my “big list of ideas” but don’t take action on it. I want to be confident in the decisions I make, so I take action on the ideas that result in a resounding “YES!”
For my BIG ideas, I also use other internal and external indicators to make my decisions. Internally, I use my intuition and do a “gut check” to confirm the idea I know in my heart I need to pursue. As a Christian, I also pray for wisdom and ask the Holy Spirit for guidance. Externally, I will run talk through the ideas with Joe or my business coach and mentors. Getting feedback is helpful for me to gain perspective and clarity to move forward.
For a visual resource, Jennifer Lee, author of the Right Brain Business Plan, offers an “Idea Assessment” play sheet which you can check out and download for free when you sign up for her email newsletters here.
Step 3: Schedule the idea implementation time into your calendar. Block the time out in your schedule to work on bringing your idea to life. Schedule it, stick to it, and collaborate with creativity to do the inspired work. Taking consistent action is what will move the concept from your “big list of ideas” into the real world.
Leave your ideas in the comments below or email them straight to my inbox. I would love to hear what big things you are creating.
To the dreamers + doers,