Listen up, gentlemen. By now you know that to achieve success, you have to combine great ideas with effective action. So what happens if you have all the motivation in the world, but are lacking in the ideas department?
If you dream of building a fortune from your brainchild, then you cannot just sit around waiting for inspiration to strike.
Instead, you have to go looking for it.
Here are a few ways to throw kindling on the fires of innovation.
Some guys like to think they would be out there changing the world if they just had more time. Well, that attitude is not going to get you anywhere. Life is busy for everyone, so if you are serious about becoming successful then you need to make time for pursuing that vision instead of hiding behind your “packed schedule.”
Besides, if you are honest with yourself, you probably are not as busy as you claim. Instead of watching yet another episode of Mad Men, turn off the TV and engage in some creative thought.
Crank It Out
Brainstorming is the classic system for generating new ideas for a reason—it works. There are a variety of methods you can use to brainstorm. Some people like to blast rock music while making word diagrams on whiteboards; others prefer to set timers and spend five minutes scribbling their thoughts in notebooks. How exactly you brainstorm is not that important— you just need to find a method that works for you and get cracking.
It is important to note, though, that you cannot brainstorm effectively if you keep second-guessing yourself. Do not stop to evaluate your ideas for their practicality during your brainstorming session. Instead, focus on coming up with as many ideas as you can, no matter how weird they seem.
The concept of non-judgmental brainstorming is so critical that some of the world’s most successful companies incorporate it into their very structure. For example, Don Gayhardt of Speedy Cash dedicates herculean effort to creating an atmosphere where employees have the freedom to produce and share new ideas without fear of negative backlash.
Write It Down
Have you ever thought of a great idea while you were busy doing something, only to completely draw a blank when you tried to revisit it later? Yeah, it happens to most guys. The trick to remembering these fleeting thoughts is to write them down as soon as they come to you.
Carry a small notebook in your pocket or save notes in your phone. Just like with brainstorming, write your ideas down no matter what they are. You will probably come up with some flops, but you will come up with some winners, too.
Talk About It
No man is an island, so you should look beyond yourself for new ideas. For the sake of your relationships, you should always be an active listener, but being engaged in your conversations could also open your eyes to the unmet wants and needs of the world around you. Listen to what your friends and family are saying.
What bothers them? Maybe you can fix it. What do they love? Maybe you can create more of it. If you tune in and ask follow-up questions, you might open the door to a new world of inspiration.
Know What Makes You Tick
Say you do come up with a million-dollar idea. You want to enjoy the process of bringing it to life, right? One way you can make sure that happens is by generating ideas through the lens of your interests. Remember, the inventor of Under Armour was a football player who was tired of sweat-soaked T-shirts.
So think about your hobbies and how you could improve them. Do you lift? Maybe you could build an app that would make it easier to track your progress. You will be more motivated to act upon your idea if you are passionate about it.
Get out of Your Comfort Zone
You might have areas that interest you, but just plain being interested is not going to cut it. Say you do decide you want to build that lifting app, but you are clueless about software development. Well, now is the time to learn. Sure, it might be scary, but you are not going to make any money just sitting around.
On the other hand, taking the leap and trying something new will arm you with the knowledge you need to take your future into your own hands. Furthermore, the learning process will be a goldmine of new ideas in itself.
Keep at It
A lot of men are not willing to do what it takes to achieve success because they think building wealth and acclaim seems hard or even impossible. But you are not like other men. While it is indeed difficult to rise to the top, it is certainly possible.
Keep pursuing the life you dream of, and eventually you will set yourself apart from the rest. All you need to get started is that one electrifying idea.