I’m an action person.
I have lots of ideas (some good, and some really dumb ones), but when I think I’m “on to something” I take that idea and run as fast as I can, to see if it can fly.
And then I decide whether it’s worth developing further.
That might be a little impulsive, and probably not the most traditional business advice. After all, there are dangers. If you did that with everything you would be running in circles, and then where would you be?
But here’s my argument for impulsive idea following:
1. It revs your engine. An important part of momentum is excitement. And nothing is more exciting than something new. Brainstorming, feverishly writing, sketching or talking about an idea gets your creative blood flowing. And it makes you want to work harder. So you should.
Personally, I need constant engine revving. I get bored and/or complacent easily and if I don’t have something to get antsy about I get sad instead.
2. It’s a vote of confidence for you. Or maybe I should say it in reverse; If you put your idea on the backburner, you are basically telling yourself that what you want isn’t worthy. Don’t be a biatch to yourself.
I used to put everything I wanted on the backburner. Even the most insignificant “shoulds” came first. It was almost as if my creative energy was a nuisance; the thing that prevented me from being satisfied with my job. If I have any regrets it’s that I didn’t value my ideas earlier in life.
3. It makes your idea dimensional. You can guesstimate forever, but you can’t really know what it will look like until you can see it from all angles. (This goes for tangible and intangible ideas). Problems present themselves, and solutions do too.
Most of my ideas have fallen short. And the ones that are really good now are the result of re-working a million and three times. I have found that having too many details in place from the beginning stifles creativity and makes things very linear. And takes the fun out.
4. If it sucks you’ll know right away. Like the last point, you will see something emerge pretty quickly as you start testing your idea out. And that might be a resounding NO. But it’s easier to abandon at this stage. The longer you “plan” something, the more biased you become.
I used to be a super anal planner. But since most of my ideas haven’t been viable, you can imagine how painful that was (hello, failure). My early feelings about something are intense, like a crush, but I don’t feel like I’ll absolutely DIE if it doesn’t work out.
5. It prevents idea attacks. An idea attack happens when you let something fester and refuse to look it in the eye. They usually gang up on you, a whole smack-ton of ideas gnawing at your ankles and causing heart palpitations. It’s scary. Okay, well not really scary, just frustrating. If you see it through long enough to make a decision one way or another, you prevent buildup and the feeling of being overwhelmed.
I have a method for Idea Catching, that I outlined in this post a while back. It’s how I keep myself from going nuts.
What do you think? Do you ever get caught up in the bullet points of planning and then lose momentum, or interest, or confidence? Or do you think it’s important to let things marinate before you take action?
When is an idea ready for action? I’d love to hear!
Ps, I have never actually run with scissors. But the title made me laugh so I ran with it. Hope you don’t feel too mislead.