This week’s book, What Do You Do With An Idea, is a bit lighter than the last few weeks. Despite its child-like appearance, this is one my favorite books and a great gift that I recommend sharing with anyone who is coming to terms with “having an idea.”
So what’s your idea? And what do you do with the damn thing?
“At first, I didn’t think much of it. It seemed kind of strange and fragile. I didn’t know what to do with it. So I just walked away from it. I acted like it didn’t belong to me.”
How often do we do that? Distance ourselves from something that interests or excites us? Or how we deny parts of ourselves to fit into the mold of what is “professional,” “appropriate,” “responsible” and “mature.”
“I was worried what others would think. What would people say about my idea?”
What would they say? What do they say?
I can’t tell you how often I still get links to potential jobs or get asked if I’m still doing that “social media thing.” And I’m a decade into this journey. I have come to understand that is just part of the experience. Not everyone will get your idea or agree with you or support you.
But here’s the thing – why do they need to?
Reflecting back on last week’s book – The Crossroads Between Should and Must – what is the Should that is happening when we’re so concerned about what other people think?
“But there was something magical about my idea. I had to admit, I felt better and happier when it was around.”
This is the sign that you’re on the right path. As you invest more in yourself and more into your Must, everything starts to change.
“They said it was no good. They said it was too weird. They said it was a waste of time and that it wouldn’t become anything.”
In the words of Jesse Graham (sorry T-Swift – you gotta acknowledge where you grab your rhymes/inspiration from), “haters gonna hate.”
People will also criticize. It’s easier and safer than doing.
But…Are they in the ring with you? Doubtful.
You’ll find that other idea gladiators don’t have time to tear down. They’re too busy kicking ass and taking names.
So to all the haters a simple “fuck off…with love” will do.
“And, at first, I believed them. I actually thought about giving up on my idea. I almost listened to them.”
The keyword here is “almost.”
“But then, I realized, what do they really know? This is MY idea, I thought. No one knows it like I do. And it’s okay if it’s different, and weird, and maybe a little crazy.”
I decided to protect it, to care for it. I fed it good food. I worked with it, I played with it. But most of all, I gave it my attention.”
There’s a concept. What if we paid less attention to what people think of our idea, and gave more of our attention to our idea?
“My idea grew and grew. And so did my love for it.”
So that’s what happens when we ignore the background noise of what other people think of our idea, and we pay more attention to it. Our idea grows, and with it, our love for our idea.
“I liked being with my idea. It made me feel more alive, like I could do anything. It encouraged me to think big… and then, to think bigger.”
There is so much honesty in that, isn’t there?
Our ideas — which are typically rooted in our passions — make us feel more alive.
When we engage with our ideas, time flies and we feel disappointed when we have to abandon them to tend to other things. And the more time we spend with our ideas, the bigger they get.
“And then, I realized what you do with an idea… You change the world.”
BOOM! #micdrop. Children’s book, my ass.
If I could dictate required reading, this baby would be on that list – ages 1-100.
How would the world be different – better – if we all treated our ideas like our good friends? We believed in them, we nurtured them, we loved them regardless of what others said about them, and then we used that to change the world.
Join the Modern Entrepreneur Book Club and share your idea…or at least how you treat it.
Does the concept in What To Do With An Idea make you think differently about how you treat your ideas?