It can happen anywhere. Whether you’re in the shower, taking notes in a long meeting, or waiting in line at Starbucks, you can have a creative idea suddenly creep into your mind. Even though these sudden realizations happen to many of us, most of the time we forget about them and are too busy to actually do anything with our newly found ideas. Now don’t get me wrong, sometimes these ideas shouldn’t be taken seriously or properly executed due to it not being a high-quality plan, but in other cases our ideas can be ground-breaking! It’s truly a shame when these are thrown out when they could have possibly changed the world as we know it. After having a few creative visions of my own that I never ended up pursuing, I recently decided to not let that mistake happen again. Here are a few of my pointers on how to properly execute these awesome thoughts.
Have an Ongoing Brainstorming Session
This is one of the most fun and necessary parts of the whole creative process! Brainstorming is where you can let all of the absolutely crazy and darkest thoughts come pouring out of your poor, overwhelmed head. I absolutely love the brainstorming process for many reasons, but especially for organizational purposes. Sometimes an idea might sound wonderful in your head at two o’clock in the morning, but then when you write it down on paper eight hours later you realize you need to tweak it a bit. I like to make a list of sorts of slogans, rough sketches, phrases, logos, and everything else in between just let my mind go wild. As an advertiser by trade, I can tell you that there are so many templates for brainstorming out there! From developing a USP to making a mind map, a quick google search can provide you with the sources you need.
Run Your Results By a Trustworthy Friend
This can be tricky, because you want to MAKE SURE that this person is absolutely trustworthy. Even though your creative works are automatically protected by copyright law, if you have not published your idea anywhere with a timestamp or do not have any tangible proof that the concept is yours, your “friend” can steal it from you. Of course good friends shouldn’t do that, but we live in a crazy world! Another risk you may run into is that the person you entrusted may want to go into business with you since your idea is so freakin’ awesome! Even though that may be flattering to hear, you may want to start out solo. Think about all of these things before you pick the person you want to expose your plans to. All that being said, I do think you should run it all by another person purely for feedback reasons. You might think one product idea will be the next Oscar-winning motion picture, where really it’s a chick flick that ends up going straight to DVD. I know that hurts to hear, but it’s better that constructive criticism comes from a close friend than from multiple Internet trolls.
Find out What You Need to Implement Your New Idea
Out of all my little side projects that I’ve ever done, I’ve learned to never underestimate the power of a well-thought-out plan! Exploring an uncharted territory of ideas always comes with unforeseen needs. It’s okay if you don’t know everything you’ll need at this point in time, but you should have somewhat of a general idea of any software programs, licenses, rights, employees, accounting books, etc. that you’ll need to get your foot off the ground. I’m exploring a side business (or more like a side hustle) that I can’t fully disclose at the moment (since I’m still in the planning phase), but I’m in the process of setting everything up and discovering what I need in order to have it succeed with the least amount of worry as possible. There will always be small gaps that you forget to account for and that’s okay! Honestly, the best thing you can do is to try your best to have as much figured out from the get go. Not only does this relieve any liability on your part, but it also gives you ease of mind.
Set a Budget
Again, just like everything else, this is uber uber uber important! You need to make sure you can financially pull this off. Of course for bigger projects, you won’t have all the money you need up front. Even though you might have to take out a few business loans or seek out funding from investors, I’d suggest having as much of your own money in the project as possible. Long story short: good things don’t typically happen when you owe people that have no emotional attachment to you a whole lot of money. Have you even watched an episode of The Sopranos or Narcos? Well that storyline doesn’t usually end very pretty, let me tell you. I know for many of us it isn’t entirely possible to fund ideas all by ourselves, but trying to make any consequences fall on you is better in the long run.
Start Asking Friends to Spread the Word
Even if it takes a long-winded guilt trip (or two), ask your friends to help you out! I’m sure there are many times that you’ve helped out one of your friends when you really didn’t want to. For example: moving into a new place, going on a class project with them, feeding their dog when they’re out of town, etc. Now is the time to ask for a favor in return. Maybe you need them to help model your product, share links on their social accounts, tell their coworkers, or literally anything along those lines. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Now you should know if you’re crossing the line (like asking your friends for large amounts of money) so please use common sense! If it makes you feel incredibly uncomfortable asking them, then you probably shouldn’t.
I hope all of you feel brave enough to start exploring the creative endeavors you’ve always wanted to embark on! Let me know how it goes and maybe I can share your story on the blog.
Infographic of the Week:
Question of the Week:
What’s your biggest fear about pursuing your passion?