“A great idea is born in the mind, resonates with the soul and is rooted in the heart.” – me
The United Nations estimates that there are 7 billion people in the world. Let us assume that every day each person can come up with three ideas (though obviously three is a very low number, just go with me on this). Then everyday you have 21 billion ideas floating around in people’s brains. This could be any idea – for business, for self improvement, for the community, an alternative theory about why the sky is blue, whatever. In a year humans would have thought 7,665,000,000,000, that’s 7.6 TRILLION ideas!!! WOW. And were being conservative here… we not even planning to multiply that by the average human life span.
The reality is most of our ideas remain as ideas, and honestly that is OK. But I am sure that for each person, there is at least one idea that you’d really want to make real. Or if you are like me then there are a million ideas you want to realize…if so then take a look at this post.
In my experience, an idea is realized in what I call 5T-Phases:
1. Thinking Phase
An idea is born in the mind. Your imagination and visualization is a powerful tool in idea generation. When an idea captures your attention, play around with it in your mind and express your thoughts through writing or illustrating it. Think about it and think about it some more. When you are ready, describe your idea – whether it be a product or service or your ideal life for yourself. Concretize your idea and vision – commit it to writing or illustration.
Next, think about how to make your idea real. Identify what you have and what you need to make things happen. Make a ROUGH plan on how to make it possible. I say rough only because a frame of reference will be very helpful as you proceed but a down to the details plan can actually deter the growth of your idea even before it begins.You may want to involve other people in refining and/or realizing your idea – they can bring a different perspective and their expertise and experience into creating a really great thing. Plus, I’ve found that working with a team also helps in keeping me energized to see my idea through to reality.
2. Try-out Phase
Simply, try out what you thought of and make notes along the way. It’s best to think small for now – just prototype or test run your idea and take note. Be super anal in taking note of improvements, challenges, opportunities, threats – don’t dismiss an observation. Call things as they are. How it actually works can greatly differ from how you thought it would work. You’ll also be able to observe the participation and reaction of others to your idea. If there are negative reactions, don’t be discouraged at the outset. Again, take things as it is and then reflect on things in the next phase.
3. Tinkering Phase
Go back to your thoughts and plans in the Thinking Phase and make changes according to your observations. Revise your idea and plans accordingly. If you need to, go through the Try-out and Tinkering Phase as many times as it is needed until your idea is refined enough that it can proceed to the next level – the level where your intuition that you have a great idea is validated and refined by initial results.
Sometimes, it takes a while for a new idea to take root in yourself and with others. Assume a neutral perspective in dealing with negative reactions and initial failures. It does not mean that your idea is worthless – just that it needs further molding and that there are other factors you need to consider.
4. Take THE Step Phase
Take THE Step – is making the initial commitment to seeing your idea through to reality. Here is where you are going to go all out. Invest time and effort into your idea. If it is appropriate, bring in more people, more resources to really make your idea real. in this phase you scale up your activities.
5. Total Commitment Phase
Total commitment is different from the Take THE Step phase as here I refer to your continuous commitment to your idea and realizing it. Assuming that you have achieved some measure of success and your operations validate that long-term success is indeed possible, you’ll come to a point where you will have to decide whether you want to fully commit (your future) to making this idea a reality and HOW that commitment will look like.
How long should each phase take? It depends on what your idea is. If were talking about changing your life or aspects of your life it could be as quick as a day per phase or several weeks, for business ideas a good rule of thumb is 6 months to one year from Thinking to Tinkering Phase.