1. You HAVE to write all of your ideas down on paper. Get a notebook, a journal, a jotter, a dry erase, whatever. Write it on your hand if you have to. But you’ve got to capture the information.
2. Unrecorded = unremembered = unleveragable.
3. Read books on creativity at least once every few months. I suggest Sam Horn’s new book, POP! Read it on the plane yesterday. It’s amazing.
4. Don’t be afraid to share your ideas with people. Even if they think you’re out of your mind. Especially if they think you’re out of your mind.
5. Which reminds me of what Jack Canfield says, “If everyone thinks you’re out of your mind, you just might be onto something!”
6. Use venues like blogs, forums and bulletin boards to test your ideas. Throw ‘em out there and see how people respond. You can even do it anonymously if you want.
7. It’s tough to be creative alone. Find an idea partner.
8. Especially a partner who’s willing to tell you if your idea sucks.
9. There is no such think as a Natural Idea Guy. Those who come up with the best ideas study and practice and get better at coming up with cool ideas. They aren’t born that way. Get that out of your head. If you’re not coming up with great ideas regularly, it’s your fault. Not your DNA.
10. Crazy, remarkable, cool, hilarious, exaggerated and ridiculous ideas are the ones that spread and last and get supported. For example, here’s today’s number one movie on YouTube. This is SO cool:
11. Kant’s philosophy mentions the “Universalized Maxim,” in which an idea generator asks, “What if everybody did it?” Lesson learned: start asking yourself this question. All the time.
12. Google your idea before you go any further. See if it’s been done before. If so, don’t get mad; get connected. Email the person who thought of it ahead of you and join forces. If not, get the domain name. Today.
13. Lists are your friends. They boost creativity, force you to come up with a quota and organize your thoughts. Just read any of Tom Peters’ books, he’s got this list stuff down. Lists work.
14. Ideas are only as strong as the people (other than you) who support it. Get a fan club. Stay in front of them. Get feedback from them.
15. Like I said, find out where you suck. This is key. It’s the only way your idea is going to get better.
16. It’s not the idea; it’s how you leverage it.
17. If you explain your idea to a stranger and they don’t respond with some permutation of, “Hey, that’s cool!” then it probably won’t spread.
18. Is your idea simple enough that a five year old could understand it?
19. Here’s a common idea-related phrase: “Man, I wish I would’ve thought of that!” My question for you is, are you the person who says that, or the person other people say that to? Hopefully the latter.
20. Ideas might thrive in one environment and die in another. Be sure to frequently displace yourself.
21. I once read that Walt Disney would ask 10 people what they thought about his new idea. If the majority of them said he was out of his mind, he would say, “Great! Let’s get to work.”
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What’s your best idea about ideas?
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Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag