The Paradox of a Great Idea

“That’s a great idea.”

“That’s an amazing idea.”

“That’s a wonderful idea.”

You can think of a dozen variation of these statements. You’ve heard them before. You may have even said them yourself.

I grew up thinking that we need to have a ton of ideas. It’s the main reason I read a lot, listen to podcasts, watch TED talk videos and webinars. I’ve collected tons of ideas in what I call my “ideas notebook.” Non-stop learning. Don’t get me wrong. I love learning.

I look back at the items that I’ve listed in my ideas notebook to determine what constitutes a great idea. I, then, recall those that I’ve provided to my previous customers. It made me realize something.

Great ideas are not the ones that everybody else say they are. I’ve been in a room full of smart people who all agreed that my suggestion was a great idea.

Nor the ones that get buy-in from upper management. I’ve been in meetings where the director already signed a contract to get a project going.

A great idea is something that someone was willing to execute from beginning to end. Click To Tweet

What classifies a great idea from a not-so-great one lie in one word: ACTION. It’s when someone was willing to take risks, put skin in the game and make the idea into reality. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard someone say “I’ve got a great idea” yet lack the initiative to make it happen.

Ideas are a dime a dozen. Not a lot of people like it when I say it like that. The connected world has given us access to unlimited resources that can give us a ton of “great ideas.” But it is really not a question of whether or not it is a great idea.

The real question is whether or not you are willing to turn your idea into a reality.

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