Don’t Play It Safe. The Highly Underrated Strategy Of Taking Your Whims Seriously.

If you want to get something done you have to have a plan, I’m told.

That’s tried and true and works well for most. But I think you miss out on a lot of interesting ideas going about things this way.

Innovative ideas are in high demand, but most end up with safe ideas. I think this is because they interrogate an idea until all the edges have been smoothed out before it even has a chance of coming to life.

My most successful projects including my Raindrop Cake business, have come as a result of me putting more effort into my whims than most would expect. If I actually stopped to research whether a flavorless jelly, with a weird texture for most Americans that looked like a giant drop of water would sell, the answer would have been a resounding no.

It was a whim that I found interesting enough to expend resources and bring life anyways. My motivation wasn’t to create a successful business, it was to share my whim with the world cause it amused me. I wasn’t sure why, but that didn’t matter. Not everything needs to be explained.

Instead of putting a lot of effort, time, and resources upfront to analyze and test this idea, I used all that effort, time, and resource to jump straight to execution.

A couple of advantages to doing it this way. The resources went directly into making the idea happen instead of thinking about whether the idea will work. This lowered the overall cost to launch.

An idea that’s made real and physical is a lot different than the conceptual idea. I realized things about it that I couldn’t have predicted or expected.

Once it was real it motivated me to keep going. Problems and next steps became apparent instead of risking analysis paralysis.

So why don’t more people take this route?

I think people are naturally risk averse so they want some indication of success before doing something. I also think people are bad at identifying risk, particularly present cost vs future cost. It’s equally as risky to spend resources to interrogate an idea as using resources to execute an idea. If it fails, it’s just a matter of where the cost was incurred.

Why does this matter?

I’m a person that’s never had a passion.

Every once and a while a whim pops up. I don’t know whether they’re good ideas or not, but they’re interesting. Even if I can’t verbalize the why, it’s something that is inherently aligned with my interests. If I find it interesting there’s bound to be others who will too. Therefore, it’s worth pursuing.

I’ve seen a lot of motivational videos tell me to follow my passion.

I don’t have a passion and I may never find one. Frankly, I’m not even looking anymore, I don’t think it exists for me.

But I do have whims, and those are valuable too. Whims are often not taken seriously but consider the possibilities of what could be if you put more than a little effort and resource behind them.