New Ideas

lawn gnome

 I had an email exchange with my close friend and business partner earlier this week.

“I get ideas but think they are probably stupid.  Okay,  I have some ideas. Again, I get scare you’ll think I’m reaaaally dumb.”

My response?

“No ideas are stupid.  You start filtering **** like that, we’ll never find the ******* gold.

 Brainstorming has no filter.  You never know where a “stupid” idea might lead or what associations it might trigger.”

When you are trying to generate new ideas, applying a filter like “That sounds stupid” won’t get you anywhere.  It’s idea suicide.

Could a discussion on the possibilities of becoming a lawn gnome distributor lead to becoming a successful manufacturer of combat gnomes?

Brainstorming involves turning off your stupid filters and running with it.   Keep a recorder or a notebook handy and keep track of everything.   Go off on tangents and see where they lead.  Maybe they’ll lead to the gold.

The one thing you can’t do while brainstorming is criticize.   If you start shooting down ideas, you are destroying the opportunity to find greatness.  Even if an idea is  impractical, build on it.  There has to be an angle that becomes worthy of consideration.    On the off-chance that there’s not, run with it anyway.  It’s an exercise in creativity.

I regularly send my friend emails with potential business ideas.  Most of them come to nothing, but once in a while, something clicks and we launch a successful venture together.   If I were filtering ideas because they might be stupid, we might not have some of the projects we’ve got.

In addition to random & odd emails, I’ve got a notebook of some kind with me everywhere I go to record any passing idea I may have.   In my car, I use a voice recorder.   I periodically review everything I’ve noted and copy most of it into evernote.

Someday, those pieces may come together into a billion dollar idea.

How do you generate ideas?  Do you bounce ideas off of friends or get drunk and shuffle a Trivial Pursuit deck into a Monopoly game?

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  • 3 comments

    Comments

    1. I don’t sleep well, so I get a lot of great ideas before dawn when I’m lying in bed wide awake. Also when I’m driving if I don’t put music on it’s good brainstorming time. I bounce ideas off my Mom first, because she thinks everything I do is genius, then my husband, because he’s a pessimist who thinks nothing will ever work. She stokes my fire and then he puts it out! But seriously though, their completely opposite responses to my ideas are both helpful, just in different ways.

    2. I bounce ideas around my head and then just spill them to several friends until one seems to gather interest. That’s how I got pushed into finally writing my eBook and that is probably how I will continue to accomplish anything, lol.

    3. Darn someones already doing combat lawn gnomes. I was going to steal that idea.

      Great post. I probably make the mistake of stopping idea streams to early by shooting them down instead of continuing the flow.

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