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Sink or Swim: What to do with new ideas

  • By Jayme Kemmish
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Sink or Swim: What to do with new ideas

I have lots of ideas.  It’s both a blessing and a curse. 

One thing I’ve learned is that not all ideas are GOOD ideas. Not all ideas deserve to live to see the light of day.

Of course, many amazing businesses come from that “light-bulb” moment that causes you to jump out of bed in the morning because you are so energized by the mere thought of it.  An unpredictable spark of genius CAN happen, but we all know that most ideas rarely turn into those coveted business unicorns.

BUT….if this happens to you and your fingers and toes get that inner entrepreneurial tingle from the excitement of taking that idea to the next level, this is what I suggest:

Try to sink the boat.  TRY TO SINK THE BOAT really hard!  Either you will fill the holes or it will sink.

  1. Do your due diligence research. Find all the things wrong with your idea and write them down.  Don’t spare yourself ANY detail and pile it onto the shit sandwich you will have to eat IF you pursue this idea….Can you stomach it?   
  2. What’s the competition like? Can you rise to the top and be the BEST at this?  Do you have the money it takes (and are willing to spend it) to be the best?
  3. Will people pay actual money for YOUR unique idea, service or product rather than get it from someone else?  Will it bring in money? Will the time spent justify the monetary return? (ROI)
  4. What kind of time will be required and do you have the time?
  5. How will your life be affected if you pursue this?  What if it fails? 

There are a million questions you will need to ask.  If the questions bring doubt or you fall out of love with the idea in a few weeks there’s a good chance the idea will sink. 

On the other hand, if you wake up in the middle of the night so excited you can’t sleep and you jump up each morning before your alarm just to get started, keep going...Keep going!   If the idea starts to take shape and floats rather than sinks…keep filling in each hole will solutions and keep moving forward.  Go slowly.  Time will tell you if you are truly, passionately, in love with this idea enough to sail it across a very big sea and stay committed to the voyage. 

A truly great idea will hold up against the waves, it will stay afloat in rough waters, it will weather the storm that is sure to come in the those early stages of start up life.  

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