It’s easy to get caught up thinking that all you need is a great idea. The truth is that the idea is only the beginning. It takes more than an idea to achieve greatness.
Success in business is a direct result of action. Sit at any coffee shop and listen to stories of ideas that never came to be. People wax about how, “I thought about opening a coffee shop way before Starbucks did,” as they sip their Mocha Frappuccino®. They lament how, “The studio stole my movie idea,” the idea they never put on paper.
Corporations and studios get their ideas from people, but ultimately ideas are a dime a dozen. It’s what is done with the idea that makes all the difference. Here are five ways to put an idea out of into action.
Imagine the Idea
Visualization is the first step to taking any action. Seeing the idea in a real scenario. The first step is to sit in a quiet place that is free from the distractions of everyday life. Next clear the mind. Begin to see the idea take shape. Develop a clear, specific mental picture and imagine it becoming real. How does this feel, sound, taste? Daydream. Explore the feelings. See it actually happening and own that feeling.
Write It Down
Writing things down gives them form. It brings them from thought, which is abstract, and starts to give them life. Take time to do this when you are calm and relaxed. Write out all of the details. This isn’t a formal plan that others will see, it’s an exercise to help define the ideas and thoughts.
Talk It Over With a Trusted Advisor
Examine the idea from another perspective by talking it through. Does this person understand the message? Is the value self-evident or does it require hours of explanation? In searching for answers to the questions the original idea is expanded and a plan begins to take shape.
Create an Action Plan
No is the time to create an action plan. Include small and large steps and leave room for the unexpected.
Get to Work
Too many good ideas die on the drawing board because no one takes action. Be the exception. Action is required before there is an opportunity to succeed.
It was BC Forbes who said, “A business, like an automobile, has to be driven to get results.” He was right. A stunt car driver for many of the popular 1980’s television shows once said that he could be in a Pinto while someone else was in a Ferrari and he would out perform them every time. That’s why people who are successful in one business tend to open up other businesses and make them successful. It’s not the car … It’s the driver!
Learn to be a good driver then get moving when the ideas come.