Ideas are only ideas until you test them. We need more testing in our life and work to give good ideas a chance to rise to the surface. Of course, for every good idea that floats up, several (hundred) have to sink.
While the whole sinking, falling, failing idea may sound scary, I think it’s magic. I know that simply by testing and experimenting with my ideas, one of them will eventually be buoyant. I know that the more ideas I put out there, the closer I’ll get to finding the one with a floatation device. Knowing that, why would I sit on one more idea?
I test my ideas and try to do so with very little up-front emotional or financial investment. This is the process that works best for me …
- Keep a running list of ideas: blog posts, book ideas, partnerships, projects, challenges, or new business ideas.
- Pick one. (no science here)
- Play with it: Write about it. Walk with it. Turn it upside down and inside out.
- Research it: I spend very little time doing this, but I take a look to see if anyone else is doing it and if they are doing it well.
- Share it out loud : Before I dig in and get too crazy in development, I share my idea publicly. (note: negative feedback does not equal a sinking idea and positive feedback does not equal a great idea)
- Make it happen: Here comes the digging in and more of steps 3-5. Based on what I’ve discovered during the idea bending process, I make something.
- Share the final result: This might be a something I give or sell to one person, or every person interested.
How much time you spend on each idea will vary and how much time you spend does not always indicate the quality of the creation. My latest microcourse: How to Create a Microbusiness that Matters took about 7 weeks from conception to completion. My first ebook took 9 months. The microcourse is better.
The idea could start sinking during any part of this process and you have to make a decision to let it go or sing it to the surface. It is important not to allow very much time in between steps. If you walk away for too long, an idea will just float out to sea and you will never know if it had the potential to rise up.