The Idea Machine
Creativity is something that not all of us have, but those of us who do have creativity can sometimes become an ideas machine. The ideas pop into our heads like ninety to nothing and it takes all we can to stop and actually pay attention to how crazy our ideas might actually be. Ideas are a good thing and a person who becomes an ideas machine can be a good thing, but there are some things that it is important to think through before throwing your ideas out there like a machine.
When I was in college I served on a leadership team and the sole purpose of the team was to take student’s ideas and turn them into reality. We were the operation of the ideas machine. I remember being selected to serve on the team and being so excited. It was my chance to have my ideas actually happen. The first meeting I came armed with ideas and ready to roll with how to make these ideas exciting and amp them up for the team. I learned really quickly that not all my ideas were great, doable, or even cool. It frustrated me to no end and I remember time and time again trying to understand why no one cared about my ideas.
Since then, I have been through bouts of fear that maybe my ideas are dumb and maybe I should stop having ideas and I should just do what is in front of me. Throughout the thought process of my life, I learned the importance of shaping an idea before spitting it out.
The biggest lesson that I have learned is how important it is to believe in your idea. To have an idea is one thing, but to believe in it enough to put the idea to work and actually showcase the potential are two very different things.
Recently, I had an idea about a social media post. Before I spit out my idea for the world, I investigated the potential. Was this something that could actually be done? After reading over the information that I was looking to condense for a graphic I realized there was potential. The next step was to see how that potential would be made. I took the large amount of information, condensed it into words that would fit on a graphic and then started thinking through the visuals. What would make this graphic sharable and easy to use on social media? In this part of the process I started looking at other social media pages and seeing what they had to offer. Here, I gained more narrow ideas that helped me to see what was doable and what was easily shareable. Throughout all this process, I was researching and gathering and then came the next step that I think is most important. Pitching the idea.
When I pitched the idea, I came armed with sample posts like the one I wanted to make. I came armed with facts and ready to defend any questions that might come up. I presented the idea in a way that was engaging. What if we took this massive amount of information, paired it down to bite size and made it something people would want to share on social media? The entire process made my idea more accessible to those I was pitching it to. Instead of blurting an idea, I came ready to show what could be done. And guess what? I was able to put my idea to use and actually build out the social media post I had imagined.
When you are looking to share an idea it is so important to take time and research pieces of it first. Without the research it makes it harder to convince people your idea is worth their time or investment. I have learned that being an idea machine is not a bad thing, but a thing that has to be reigned in and one that has to mature.
People have a hard time trying new things, so you have to show them how the new idea is something they can get behind and get excited about. So, please be the idea machine and be creative and enjoy having the type of brain that has ideas.
If you’re the non creative type, please have a little grace on the ideas people and ask good questions that help them to see where they can improve their ideas. At the end of the day, ideas become a group effort and we all need each other to make the ideas a reality.