EVER HAD AN absolutely brilliant idea, done nothing about it, then a year later see someone else making loads of money with an almost identical scheme, and you’re left spluttering and ranting (quietly) about how you thought of it first?

What’s the difference between someone who has a good idea, and someone who has a good idea and makes it happen? Well let’s think about it. What did they do, that you didn’t?

They probably thought it through in detail, expanded their idea, talked about it with trusted friends and colleagues, made plans, worked out costs, got funding or investment, sold the idea or worked hard to make it happen. In addition, before all that, they believed it was possible, and that they could do it!

I once met a man at a training event, I’ll call him Burt. He really made me laugh. Not in the girlish, he could be the one, sort of laugh, but a real belly laugh at just how differently two people can see the same world.

He was a happy to take risks, open to challenges entrepreneur who had made and lost mini fortunes several times. I’m a play safe, work hard, hope my good work and integrity will be noticed sort of person. That’s not to say Burt didn’t have integrity. He did, he just didn’t see it as something that should stop him trying new things.

We discussed how he took his ideas and made them happen, I was trying to learn what his secret was, so I could do this too. However, I found myself coming up with all the reasons why I couldn’t do it. I had endless inspiration for potential obstacles, and why other people were better placed than me. He, on the other hand, wasn’t going to let a small thing like lack of experience, or no funding or no obvious route stop him.

What made me laugh, was that the more we talked, the more I was seeing, by the extreme contrast with him, just how different our maps of the world were, and how much I hampered and hindered myself when it came to taking risks. I say risks, I actually mean just trying new things!

At one point he was looking at me so incredulously, when I was fretting about what might happen if it went wrong, and he finally said, “What’s the problem? They’re not going to shoot you!” It struck me how true this was. Not that I was concerned my life was at stake, but I did worry about things going wrong, as if each mistake was going to have a catastrophic effect on my entire life. Yet his attitude was - you make mistakes, learn from them!

It’s a fact of life that some people see problems, and others opportunities. Meeting Burt, I realised just how much I held myself back, and at that point I decided to be bolder. I imagine if we were to meet again, I would still be timid in comparison. However, nowadays I am much more likely to give a new idea a run for it’s money, and not give up after just contemplating the first hurdle.

So if you have had an idea, and you are good at thinking of all the excellent reasons why you can’t do it, you too can take a leaf out of Bert’s book, and maybe you’ll discover that perhaps you can.

So what do you need to do to make a good idea become a reality?

Talk it through with people you trust. Put some meat on the bones of your idea. Work out what specifically you want to achieve? Take time to really expand your idea. Literally draw yourself a picture. Once you have a solid, vibrant image or defined scope of where you would like this to go, you are ready to take it forward.

Work back from the vision you have created to see what has to happen before this can be achieved. Make a plan. Who do you need to speak to? Do you need resources? If so, how are you going to get them? Do you need other people to get involved? If so, who, and how are you going to persuade them? What are you actually going to have to do? Make a list, then start doing it.

Once you take your idle daydream down this process, you increase the chances of it happening exponentially. You also enthuse other people, who then don’t let you lose heart and give up.

Not all daydreams are money spinners, or even good, but if you set off down a path with enthusiasm and passion, you will be amazed by the people you meet, and the things you learn. You may even stumble over different options, or amalgamate your idea with someone else’s to create an even better one. None of which can happen if you just keep it in your head and do nothing.

So, how do you turn your good idea into a reality? You think like Burt and just do it!

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