Chances are, most of your ideas don’t really matter right now. Why?
There are at least 3 reasons:
1. Ideas are plentiful.
The planet is crawling with them. I googled “idea blogs” and there were 544 million results.
2. Everyone else has ideas too.
Having an idea doesn’t make you unique. Take publishing as an example. In 2002 there were 33,000 non-traditional books published. In 2010? There were 2.8 million published.
3. Ideas are easy to come up with.
Brainstorming is always the part of the process everyone has fun with.
For those 3 reasons and many others, just having some ideas isn’t enough. Because they don’t matter.
So what do you do when you find yourself with a whole bunch of ideas?
You’re starting a new business.
You’re writing a new book.
You’re heading into a new career.
How do you make your ideas matter?
You execute them.
You finish. You get stuff done. You walk that difficult, often narrow road from concept to completion. That is the only way to make ideas matter. And Derek Sivers recently blew my mind with his views on this subject.
He’s the founder of CD Baby and I just got a copy of his new book, “Anything You Want.” His understanding of the relationship between idea and execution is brilliant. Here’s an excerpt of his book, which I strongly encourage you to buy immediately:
“It’s so funny when I hear people being so protective of ideas (especially people who want me to sign an NDA before they tell me about the simplest ideas).
To me, ideas are worth nothing unless they are executed. They are just a multiplier. Execution is worth millions.
AWFUL IDEA = -1
WEAK IDEA = 1
SO-SO IDEA = 5
GOOD IDEA = 10
GREAT IDEA = 15
BRILLIANT IDEA = 20
NO EXECUTION = $1
WEAK EXECUTION = $1,000
SO-SO EXECUTION = $10,000
GOOD EXECUTION = $100,000
GREAT EXECUTION = $1,000,000
BRILLIANT EXECUTION = $10,000,000
To make a business you need to multiply the two components.
The most brilliant idea, with no execution is worth $20.
The most brilliant idea takes great execution to be worth $20,000,000.
That’s why I don’t want to hear people’s ideas.
I’m not interested until I see their execution.”
I love that! (All credit, coolness and compliments go to Derek Sivers and his book “Anything You Want.”)
The challenge for you and I is to be honest about how well we focus on both sides of the coin, the idea and the execution. Me personally? I’ve spent years rolling around in the fun, fluffy idea side of things. But it’s only been recently that I’ve become fascinated by the execution side.
How about you?
Do you ever have a hard time executing an idea?