Image Copyright Rodd Chant


People have often asked me how I know if an idea is a good idea. To be honest the only way I know is I trust my instincts and my gut feel.

This is not a scientific method, nor is it flawless, but it seems to work if you trust enough in your own abilities and judgments.

Sure, you can ask others what they think, and that can be a good thing too to get a litmus test, but at the end of the day you should be the one making the call on your ideas, because, as I like to say — “You don’t see statues of committees for a reason.”

Creating ideas be they art, writing, pieces of branded communication, a product, invention, a song, or whatever is more often than not a personal experience between the idea and its creator. That would be you.

To trust your own instincts you have to believe in the idea you’re creating, and if you believe in it then that should be good enough to start bringing it to life.

Will there be some failures? Absolutely. But that’s how you learn and that’s how you hone your gut instinct.

The more you do, the better you will get.

The best sports people in the world don’t succeed at every play or every move they make, but it’s the ones they don’t succeed at that help them get better, but at least they tried and put in that effort.

As Michael Jordan once said — “You miss 100% of the shots you never take.” I really hope he did say that and it’s not a copy line from a Nike ad, either way it is good.

I’ve been doing this whole creative thing and coming up with ideas thing from a very young age, from painting, drawing and writing as a young child through to music, and then onto the commercial creative world. Do I still get it wrong? Yes.

But there’s a reason I get it wrong sometimes, and that’s because I am not perfect and I am not infallible. Nobody is.

More often than not when I have gotten it wrong it’s because I listened to outside influences and didn’t listen internally.

If I was to allow some missteps to stop me from thinking then I would have nothing to do, because thinking and developing ideas and creative solutions is my life, not my job, but my life.

The path to finding the good ideas or even the great ideas is to do a lot of them. A one trick pony will never succeed in the business of ideas. You have to keep thinking. And coming up with the wrong ideas or ideas that simply are not right can often lead to the much better ideas.

Prior to launching Microsoft Bill Gates had a business called Traf-O-Data, it failed, maybe it wasn’t a good idea. But it goes to show even those who eventually get great ideas had a few clunkers on the way there.

In a previous post I outlined how I make myself come up with three new ideas a day, not related to anything I am working on. Then it was brought to my attention that James Altucher comes up with ten ideas a day. Damn it. I felt like I wasn’t trying hard enough.

So now I am throwing down the creative gauntlet to myself and I am going to push myself to come up with twenty new ideas a day. Take that Altucher, I will see your ten ideas and raise you another ten…your move buddy.

But will every idea I come up with be a winner? Never going to happen. Will it be fun pushing myself to do this? Yes. Why? Because it’s what I love doing.

So who will let me know if any of these ideas are any good?

My gut. I’ve known it for a long time so I think I can trust it.

© Rodd Chant

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