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Ideas Are Worthless

Ideas Are Worthless

Recently I had the privilege of speaking to a group of students from Southern Methodist University (SMU), my alma mater. These young men and women are members of the Delta Sigma Pi Business Fraternity at SMU's Edwin L. Cox School of Business. Whenever I have the opportunity to speak to young people I always try to think back to my college days and what were some of the things I wished somebody had talked to me about when I was getting ready to go face the world on my own.

At that age we tend to feel invincible, full of unlimited energy and world-changing ideas. We think we know it all and are ready to teach everyone how things are done. With time we begin to realize that things aren't always as easy as we thought they would be. We start running into walls, office politics, incompetent co-workers or managers, broken systems and our boundless energy starts to wane and begins to give way to conformity which then leads to mediocrity and frustration.

I decided to share with them, and now with you, 3 simple but powerful ideas I have embraced that I believe are key to the success of any venture in life and that will keep you from stagnation.

Ideas are Worthless... Without Action

When we look at the great stories of success and people that have transformed their industries, companies, organizations, schools, etc., the unifying factor is that they executed on their ideas. They moved forward. It isn't a matter of socioeconomic level, education, access to capital or family name.

Thomas Edison, one of the most prolific inventors in history correctly stated, "Genius is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration". The idea is only worth something once you build it. Once you write that book, or implement the new accounting system or when you launch that new website.

Don't stop on the idea, get to work.

Don't Fall Victim to Fear

One of the main reasons we fail to execute on our ideas, why we don't challenge the status quo and why we don't move forward is fear. We fear failure, making a fool of ourselves, not having enough money, speaking in public, we fear the unknown.

We believe that we don't have what it takes to get things done and our big, scary idea looks too daunting.

A great way to overcome the fear of diving into that BIG idea, is to make smaller, tiny decisions.

Break your idea apart and commit to smaller goals that will get you closer each day. You don't have to leave your job just this second, but you could start by talking to someone who has already done what you're wanting to accomplish. Begin by doing some research, reading that book, do a trial run, you get the picture.

The issue is to do something and not to let fear stop you from taking that next step that will get you closer to achieving your goals.

Be a Problem Solver

People, organizations, companies love someone who can help them solve a problem. Businesses come to us because they want someone who can help them tell their story more effectively and deliver their message to the right people. We solve their communication problems. As a business or an individual, you will always be in high demand if you can solve problems better than your competition. This will make you indispensable to your customers, to your boss and to your organization.

To sum it up, go out there and don't be afraid to solve problems by executing on your ideas.

Image: Will Chrimshaw, "Ideas, Problems, Solutions", via Flickr Creative Commons Attribution

Posted by Ramir Camu on 04/19 at 08:57 AM in BusinessMarketing

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