8 Reasons Your Ideas Fail That Have Nothing To Do With Action

There are decades worth of motivational videos about taking action. With more getting uploaded every minute.

And for many who have experienced the hustle 24/7 always-on mentality, but didn’t feel progress, there’s an even bigger frustration of lack of progress.

You might wonder “how long do I have to do this for?” Or you ask yourself questions like “am I stuck?” Plus more uncertainty about your future.

And the frustration is partly because typically, you are hustling on bad ideas. I’ll explain after this brief statement.

Ideas don’t fail because of a lack of action. In fact, there are more important reasons ideas fail which ultimately keep success just out of reach from you.

And as we have just examined, the first of our explanations why ideas fail is because you:

  1. Hustling the Wrong Idea

When first worked 60 hour weeks (I know these are novice hours for the true hustler) I had this idea that somehow I would eventually make more than below minimum wage simply by working more hours. Maybe I expected someone to discover how hard I worked and would ask me to work for them.

(Fun Fact: It’s possible to work below minimum wage if you work in restaurants in states like Florida where the business can calculate tips into the wage. In California, restaurant workers get paid minimum wage plus tips.)

Sounds like a blind fantasy doesn’t it? Well, I was hustling the wrong idea.

But many of us somehow get sold this idea that if we work hard enough, somehow we’ll reap what we sow. So when was the last time you took the time to ask yourself, what seeds have you sown?

And here’s the spinoff to this…

2. Taking Action on Other People’s Ideas

Whatever you’re doing right now for work, are you in a role where you get to put your innate ability to come up with creative ideas that excite you or solve big problems? Or do you feel like you’re just plugged into a “system” and you’re just part of a process?

There’s nothing wrong with being a “part of the system.” This isn’t some sort of anti-establishment essay. But if you love what you’re doing, that’s wonderful.

But if you feel like you’ve been plugged into a system, and you’re acting on someone else's ideas instead of your own, and you like the idea of making yourself successful more than someone else, then maybe, a reason your “idea” is failing, is because it isn’t yours after all.

Maybe, your idea of getting into that job in the first place wasn’t even really yours, but someone else's? And ultimately, if we’re always working on other people’s ideas, our’s may never see the beauty of the day.

3. The Ideas Don’t Energize You

A great idea can be like a shock of adrenaline. They can make you leap out of your bed and start putting your idea to paper, or make a call to a friend to pitch them the idea, or even start creating at that very moment.

Your ideas have failed when they don’t energize you enough.

Sometimes, we have to take action to do things we don’t enjoy just to survive. But to truly thrive and make our ideas of success, life, wealth, relationships, and more come true, the ideas have to energize us.

If they don’t energize, then we’ll simply go through the years doing the same repetitive survival job activities we’ve been doing.

But this is a powerful section because when we understand that ideas can be like how good we feel after a cold shower, we can start to harness ideas as a powerful resource.

4. Thinking You Have to Act on Every Idea

Leonardo da Vinci, the original Renaissance Man isn’t known for his genius because he turned every one of his ideas into a massive enterprise. If da Vinci was enterprising enough and stuck with a single one of his best engineering ideas and built a business out of it, he may have created a company that lasted a couple of years or decades.

But fortunately, da Vinci had hundreds or thousands of ideas and didn’t stick with a single one. And he became da Vinci, and his ideas became their own legends.

The point is, you don’t have to turn every idea into a profitable enterprise or real invention. And while there is a level of “doing” required by da Vinci to achieve his genius-level understanding of the world, the majority of his ideas were only on paper. In fact, he was notorious for incomplete work or ideas.

And while we’ve still got da Vinci fresh in our mind, let’s consider what he did with his ideas that made his ideas succeed…

5. Not Sharing Ideas

I’m not saying reveal industry secrets, nor never sign an NDA, nor am I saying give the manuscript for your greatest novel away to everybody.

But, what we can tell based on da Vinci’s life, is that he happily put his ideas out there, particularly for the right people. He wasn’t discovered and hired by the famous Italian Medici family because he hoarded his ideas and kept them locked in the confines of his mind.

In fact, if he had kept his ideas to himself, we probably wouldn’t even know who Leonardo da Vinci was. But centuries later, we still admire his ideas because they became available for the world to see. Contrast this to the hundreds of polymaths or engineers who may have had similar ideas, but never even made a design for them.

6. Not Valuing Ideas

Ideas are a “thing” where the popular phrase “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure” holds tremendous truth.

The internet and free YouTube content has made information and ideas abundant, which leads us to believe that ideas are essentially worthless because there are so many just a search away. And how many people have you heard say something like “I learned it from watching YouTube?”

But this change has led us all to believe that somehow ideas are worthless, easy to find, and commodity. But that is so far from the truth.

Think of it this way. While you may not value an idea that get’s shared on YouTube because it’s free, YouTube, and the uploader value it, because they are making revenue from your attention.

Yes, that’s right. The uploader of the video can get a commission or earn income from you simply by watching the video. The uploader, advertisers, and YouTube very much value the idea in the video if it captures someone’s attention.

So there is financial value in everything that gets posted online. But idea’s hold value even beyond action. In fact, if you knew that an idea could add even $1 to 1,000,000 people’s lives, would you be willing to share it, essentially adding $1,000,000 in value to the world?

Well, that all depends on how much you value your idea… But don’t let the commoditization of content fool you.

7. Wrong Combination of Ideas

An idea doesn’t fail because of poor execution. An idea fails because it fails to combine itself with ideas for good execution.

We’re not talking about perfectionism here. It’s fine to learn from mistakes. But what’s better is to learn from other’s mistakes, get ideas that are already working, and plugin.

But what makes and keeps people successful isn’t the inability to act. Most of us will act when we figure out an idea that works or find the idea that works with our personality. But it’s the wrong combination of ideas.

Here’s an example. There are lots of people building businesses around Real Estate, and Real Estate is determined as one of the major ways to make a lot of money in a reasonable amount of time.

But the thing that keeps most people from doing it isn’t the idea of getting into the Real Estate business. It’s a combination of ideas they don’t know that holds them back. Because if they had the right ideas in Real Estate about how to find, buy, fix up, sell, profit from Real Estate, most people would do the work.

And most of us operate on the wrong combination of ideas about life in general too. Think about it. Here’s another example.

There are people playing the dating game right now who operate on ideas like “if I ignore this person, that will make them like me more.” There is a science to “attraction” through a concept like scarcity, sure. But the oversimplified idea of just “ignoring” someone hoping they’ll like you would be a wrong idea. And people operate on those similar ideas in many areas of life without knowing the full what, why, and how, or even…

8. Listening to the Wrong People

Isn’t it interesting how if we follow a politician, celebrity, or highly publicized business executive, we do a quick search online to find out the gossip about them? Some of us might spend weeks or more learning about certain types of people.

Yet, when we do quick searches online, or uncover journalistic stories, or look for relationship or health advice, we don’t always do research into who is writing the information we find.

And looking back at your school teachers, did you ever stop to wonder what exactly their background was? We often trust the school system to provide young people with the right teachers. And as students, we’re trained to basically trust teachers to know their stuff.

But looking back at some people I know who became teachers made me wonder whether the teachers I had when I was a kid truly knew what they were talking about.

And this isn’t a criticism of the school system or anything. But the point is, we often get ideas online by listening to the wrong, or even anonymous people. So let’s ask ourselves, why would we not spend more time to evaluate the information we get from the internet?

Listening to the right or wrong person can mean the massive difference between success or failure. Wouldn’t you agree that someone who has accomplished what you want to accomplish, and cares about your success is more likely to provide you with helpful information than someone who doesn’t know you, doesn’t care about you?

As we’ve seen, failure doesn’t necessarily come from a lack of action or spending too much time finding the right idea. Some people don’t succeed until much later in life because it took them that long to accumulate the right ideas — not because of a lack of action.

And there is something to be said about testing ideas out or getting over the fear of going all-in when the timing and idea(s) are right. But what truly explains why ideas fail, are not just because of a lack of action.

For more stories like this, please consider subscribing to The Ideator Journal from our official website. And you’ll find an astonishing exercise routine learned from a millionaire whose friends call him a genius. This is something you can get started on right now to unlock your ideation superpower.

Click to download your copy of “Ignite Your Ideation Superpower”




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Emmett Ferguson

Emmett Ferguson

10x Author, Udemy Course Creator, Youtuber, and Podcaster.

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