The Beatles sang ""You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away" and there’s a good chance that at work you "Hide Your Ideas Away." You know the drill, your brain tells you that someone will either take credit for it, steal it for their own purpose or look at you like you have three heads.
Regardless of the risks, if you want to really make a name for yourself, especially in a creative industry, you must give all of your idea away so that more come back to you.
The Top 5 Things to Do With an Idea:
– Share it
– Believe it
– Stick with it
– Don’t get emotional
– Create it
I remember once reading a quote by TV writer Stephen J. Cannell (Rockford Files, A-Team, Knight Rider, etc.) which explained that the odds of someone "taking" your idea and actually running with it is miniscule. In fact, in his 30-year-plus career, it’s never happened. I’m not saying you shouldn’t protect yourself, but there’s a smart way to share your brilliance.
As an "ideas" guy myself I had a hard time believing that "there are no original ideas." But after seeing many of my gems pop up through the years, I’m now convinced that an idea is not really yours – it’s just floating around waiting for someone to grab it and run with it. One of my first ideas that I remember feeling very strongly about was the "SmartBreak." The concept was simple: a series of LED break lights; the harder you brake, the more lights that are lit. This would enable the people behind you to better gauge what you’re doing, increase their reaction time and cut down on accidents. Now I’m sure you can find some holes in that idea – but imagine how floored I was when years later a friend came to me saying "I have THE idea." And you guessed it, it was for the same exact thing.
There’s no point in getting huffy and puffy that someone "took" it from you – it was never yours to lose if it was only in your head.
If you have an idea that doesn’t exist – and you really believe in it – it is up to you to make it exist. Don’t let the naysayers judge you or laugh. There have been too many times in my life when I let other people’s words stop me from carrying out what I thought was a solid idea. I’ve learned that if people can’t see, hear it, touch it, etc. – they have a hard time understanding.
An example of this is the well-chronicled story of Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane. No one would back his idea for a movie. Not any movie but the FIRST movie. They just didn’t get it. But he made it happen, and once he had a physical project to show people, they started to understand.
"I haven’t failed, I’ve had 10,000 ideas that didn’t work." – Benjamin Franklin.
I’d love to hear what tips you have when it comes to ideas. Don’t hold back. If you do, you haven’t read a word I wrote!