People who paint or draw their own original artwork are the most fascinating people to me. It’s something I can’t comprehend… how you could possibly decide to take that step of putting your paint covered brush on a canvas and hope that image in your head comes to life. It sounds terrifying.
I especially love modern abstract art, which is even more mind boggling.
But maybe you think that the fact that I can just start up businesses, or create marketing campaigns and brands for my clients is mind boggling… which helps me realize the commonalities between painting and business: ideas and creation.
Where do ideas come from?
I was asked how long the process took to go from idea to having a pseudo plan, business name and logo in place, and it’s hard to say. I believe that ideas come from a collision of what you know, what you’ve experienced and what you want. I’ve slowly become more attuned to my love for food and flavors over the past few years and also I’ve learned a lot about starting businesses through my own endeavors as well as those of my clients’. I want to do something that allows me to help other business people while still being able to actually make something with my own two hands (and also the hands of people I can hire, positively affecting their lives as well).
The fact is that A LOT of ideas have passed through these brain cells of mine. This is just one of them. And by a lot, I’m sure I’m thinking of at least 50 real ideas that I fleshed out in my head or on paper, many of which have nothing to do with food at all, and then have died.
And I’m ok with that.
Some ideas have to die (or if you don’t like that terminology, how about you read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert where she explains all about how ideas are just like little fairies that float around and if you don’t use them, they move on to someone else who will) so that you’re able to finally say “yes” to the one you really love.
Here’s the thing. Everyone has ideas. Nearly every night of beer drinking with my friends (before I had a baby and a business and therefore never go out anymore) resulted in at least 10 ideas for new businesses or how some business could do something different or some very odd art project… it just happens.
But most people don’t act on them. And we shouldn’t feel bad about that. But we also shouldn’t fear that our ideas have much value until we act on them.
This is when I realize how artists likely work. Many ideas come to them and they likely don’t complete them, act on them or they decide the final product isn’t what they had hoped. They let it go and move on, improving and innovating as they go. Those tossed aside pieces do not have value, other than they have taught us a lesson about what isn’t important to us.
Let’s say your idea you have right now… the one you daydream about… the one you kind of don’t want to tell anyone about until you’ve got some investment money in the bank or finally settle on a name or whatever? It’s not that valuable until you do something with it.
If you share the idea, people probably aren’t going to steal it. If anything, they might hold you accountable, which is REALLY the scary part. At worst, it’ll spark their ideas… good and bad… and you might have to just nod and smile as they carry on.
Here’s my suggestion. If you have an idea, write it down. Give it the who, what, where, when, and why. Spend a day writing as much as you can. Then stop.
Sit with this documented idea for a few days. Imagine yourself immersed in it. Envision your future should you choose this path. Is it right for you? Is it exciting? Is it possible?
Yes? Go for it. (I’ll write more about the next steps soon).
No? Let it go.
Once you decide which way to go, that idea is suddenly valuable – either way.