The Startup
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The Startup

How to Keep Your Great Ideas From Dying

One question that will change absolutely everything

Photo by Ashes Sitoula via Unsplash

What do you do when you get a great idea?

Do you get excited first?

I know I do.

I start imagining the possibilities. The sky’s the limit. This could change everything. I can take over the world if I put this idea into action. I can barely contain myself. I tell my friends, my family, and even my dog!

Then it happens.

The Enemy of All Ideas

One of your well-meaning friends who wants to protect you tries to keep you from going forward.

The warnings come innocently enough at first.

It might not work.

You might fail.

You’ll look like an idiot.

Are you crazy?

You can’t do that!

Oh, they mean well. They’re just trying to keep you from getting hurt. Isn’t that loving? Isn’t that in your best interest?

Of course, what they miss is that they’ve already hurt you.

Maybe It’s You

Some of us don’t need others to sabotage us. We do it to ourselves with fear and self-doubt.

We start listing reasons why this won’t work. We discount our idea because we’re not big players yet. We see ourselves below the top and use doubt to make sure we stay there.

Then fear steps into the gap. And why not? Doubt just opened the door by priming our mind for it.

Unless you stop the cycle from continuing, you’ll get locked in so tightly you’ll never break free.

You break the cycle by asking and answering one simple question.

What one question did to change my attitude about taking risks.

What if I’m Wrong?

Why is it when we’re thinking through something, we never question ourselves?

Maybe it’s because we spend all our energy complaining about how things are, worrying about what might go wrong, or looking for someone or something to blame for the way our lives are.

Asking yourself, “What if I’m wrong” is radical.

Asking yourself “what if I’m wrong” forces you to push aside self-doubt. What if I’m wrong about being a failure? What if I’m wrong about how few sales I’ll get? What if I’m wrong about how people will respond?

The answers may trigger another fear — the fear of success.

  • What will you do when all those adoring fans come beating down your door?
  • What will you do when you make so much money you have to hire a financial manager to help you take care of it?
  • What will you do when you have so much influence people start coming to you for more and more?

That’s a pretty scary problem, right?

Until that happens, be audacious.

Push yourself to get started.

Do something when the urge hits instead of just thinking about doing something.

Everything Great Starts With an Idea

Ideas are great, but honestly — they’re not enough.

A great idea becomes great when it becomes reality.

It’s one thing to study marketing in a classroom. It’s even good if you can do a mock marketing project to taste what marketing is like. But until you create something and offer it to people, you really don’t know if anything you learned works, do you?

I’ve done this with books in the past.

Actually, writing a book was someone else’s idea for me — a suggestion, really. But I was the one who ran with it. I was the one who made it a reality. No amount of sitting around pondering the possibilities put a single word on the page.

Action did.

Here’s an analogy for the season I’m in right now. It’s summertime where I live. It’s quite refreshing to go to a pool to cool off from the sun’s oppressive rays.

Is it enough to think about going to a pool?


When I go to the pool, will I cool off if I stand beside it and stare at it?

Not a chance.

To fully enjoy the relief the pool has to offer, I’ve got to get in.

The choice then splits into two options. Do I creep in down the ladder and torture myself with the temperature contrast between the cold water and the hot air? Or do I jump in and avoid the long term shock altogether by compressing it into a ten second rush?

I choose to jump in.

Photo by Eleanor Carter on Unsplash

Now It’s Your Turn

What idea has been spinning around in your head waiting for you to take action on it?

Will you let it simmer forever and possibly fade away?

Or will you take action today, even right now?

Here’s a background for your smartphone that will inspire you to make things happen 5 seconds at a time.

Created with Typorama

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Frank McKinley

Frank McKinley


I like to figure things out and share what I find. My favorite topics are faith, communication, business, and personal growth.