How to transform an idea from concept to reality

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Have you ever had a great idea, but then noth­ing hap­pened? I love IDEAS. I love to talk about them, explore and share them. But an idea doesn’t come to life unless you have a trans­for­ma­tion plan.

I share a lot of ideas with peo­ple. Offer­ing some­thing as just an “idea” or a “thought” has a way of mak­ing it seem less intru­sive. I’m always won­der­ing if things could be more effec­tive if han­dled dif­fer­ent­ly or reworked from scratch. Some­times I annoy peo­ple. Some­times I inspire.

My quick example: an idea to make my life easier…

A few years ago, I had an idea that would help make my DJing a lit­tle eas­i­er. At each event, I had to plug in many cables and it became stress­ful ensur­ing that my check­list was up-to-date and that I had each and every item on the list.

Then I had an idea…what if I could buy a “box” that would have a pow­er adapter built in, and dupli­cate cables that would stay in the box? Then I wouldn’t have to “remem­ber” to bring each cable. I could sim­ply bring the BOX—one item—and be ready to go. Instead of my check­list includ­ing 16 items, it would include 3.

Sketch and plan

I sketched out the idea on paper and researched the cost on Ama­zon. It was only around $200 to get every­thing I need­ed. This was a NO BRAINER. I used to spend 20 min­utes at each gig mak­ing sure I had the right stuff. With this new sys­tem, I’d only have to spend 2 min­utes. (And since I have many events that require quick set­up, this was total­ly worth it.)

I pur­chased every­thing I need­ed and BOOM — the idea came to life. The box was/is heav­ier than I expect­ed, but it WORKS and does what I need it to do.

Think > Capture > Act

Have you ever had an idea like that? Some­thing that you first THOUGHT of, then you CAPTURED the thought and MADE it hap­pen?

Too often, ideas can get lost if they’re not cap­tured prop­er­ly and then brought to life.

Ideas are how things happen

Ideas are why change hap­pens. Most every­thing starts with an IDEA and then either dies or comes to life. You have the pow­er to trans­form an idea into real­i­ty.

[share­able cite=“Josh Mitchell”]You have the pow­er to trans­form an idea into reality.[/shareable]

Here are some thought to con­sid­er of how to trans­form an IDEA into real­i­ty. Use these steps and let me know if you have addi­tion­al strate­gies you use to make stuff hap­pen, too.

1. Talk about your idea for a defined period of time.

If your idea only exists in your head, you may run the risk of being too close to it. So, oth­ers’ opin­ions can be help­ful to con­firm you’re on to some­thing. Con­sid­er talk­ing about your idea with oth­er peo­ple, either one-on-one, or in a small group. Get oth­ers’ feed­back on what you’re up to. Their input may help you find your next step, or help you to think about some­thing you haven’t con­sid­ered.

Have a plan when you’re talk­ing about your ideas. It may be good to focus on just ONE aspect of what you’re try­ing to do. Be sure to write down action­able steps after your con­ver­sa­tions.

Keep the time defined. If you’re always talk­ing about some­thing, you may become known as “all talk” to peo­ple. If you can only TALK about your idea, but can’t act on the idea, it may not be worth talk­ing about. (Just some­thing to con­sid­er!) A pur­pose­ful hour is more effec­tive than 2 weeks of unplanned con­ver­sa­tions.

2. Write one sentence about your idea.

I rec­og­nize every­one is not a writer—but if you can’t write ANYTHING about your idea, that may be a prob­lem. At min­i­mum, try to sum­ma­rize your idea as one, clear sen­tence. (This is actu­al­ly hard to do!) Work to refine your writ­ing. You’ll be sur­prised how sim­ple or crazy some­thing sounds once it’s on a page.

You don’t have to be a “writer,” but if you believe in your idea, you will have to do some kind of WRITING about it soon­er or lat­er. You’ll need to text peo­ple and pos­si­bly cre­ate social media posts and email cam­paigns. What do they say? How does it sound? Start with one sen­tence and keep tweak­ing it.

3. Find ways to make your idea visual.

You may not be a great illus­tra­tor or design­er, but I bet you can sketch SOMETHING. A stick fig­ure? Cir­cles and squares? Arrows? Spend some time mak­ing your idea “see­able” so you have some­thing to work with. Use a white­board, chalk­board, yel­low legal pad, con­struc­tion paper, Microsoft Paint, Pow­er­Point, Apple Pages, Loopy. Don’t stop!

4. Find ways to make your idea audible.

What does your idea sound like? Does it sound like a jazz? What exist­ing songs sound like your idea? What nat­ur­al, every­day nois­es artic­u­late your idea? See if you can cap­ture the “sound” of your idea beyond the sound of human speech.

5. Do deep, focused, distraction-free work.

Mak­ing things hap­pen takes hard work. You will have to DO things. Make mis­takes. Knock on a few doors. Be care­ful about con­fus­ing busy­ness with progress. It’s dif­fi­cult to have progress with­out doing — but you can do a lot of stuff and make no progress.

6. Spend scheduled time away from your idea.

When you are more relaxed, ideas will come to you. Sched­ule time to take a bath, go for a run, or what­ev­er it is that gets you “away.”

I heard it said that the rea­son peo­ple have big ideas in the show­er is because you are more relaxed and able to think.

8. Create appointments with yourself and stick to them.

Yes, sched­ule meet­ings with your­self and show up on time. Inspi­ra­tion will not show up unless you do.

[reminder]What ideas have you brought to life? How do you ensure your ideas do not die?[/reminder]

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