Spend time alone in nature. If your ideas still seem worthwhile in the presence of natural solitude, then they are probably worth pursuing. ~Jonathan Harris
I participated in a workshop called The Ideacamp this past weekend. (In case you speak German, you can check out this link)
We were a group of about 16 awesome people and basically generated online business ideas, strategies and first critical steps to generate revenue in the style of concepts such as the Four-Hour Work Week and the Lean Startup approach.
It was loads of fun, and although my knowledge was already quite advanced (thanks to my 52 books in 2012 challenge this year), I still learned awesome stuff and enjoyed the pragmatic, creative and enthusiastic spirit. The organisers were great and put in a lot of effort and energy, which made the three days a massive pleasure for everyone involved. The whole event was not just about creating ideas though, but especially about making them happen right there in a matter of three days. You basically walk in with no idea and walk out with a setup online business (which is what happened).
[My business idea? It’s awesome, so stay tuned. Hint: It’s related to travel.]
One major thing I took away from the workshop
It’s not about the idea, it’s about making an idea happen.
I repeat that again: It’s not about the fucking idea (we all have many each day in one way or another) – it’s about taking an idea and turning it into reality.
An idea in itself is worth less than the dirt on the floor if it stays in your enclosed brain.
The Lean Startup approach is about just doing it, testing it, seeing how it works. And then after evaluating the realness, demand and practicability of your idea, you can drop it or keep going, altering and adjusting it as you go.
This concept does by far not just apply to business. As much as I’m learning about business stuff these days (duh, I’m calling it “stuff”!), I’m not a business woman, I’m not a corporate bitch, fuck no. I wouldn’t even own the clothes to be one. Oops.
Making Ideas Happen in Your Life – the Lean Way
The concept applies so well to life and all the plans you have for it.
If you want to go and become a documentary film maker and think you need to go to film school for it and own all this crazy expensive equipment before you can get started, take the lean approach: Get the gear that gets you started, read books and blogs, watch what others are doing and go shoot your first docu. Like this guy Andrew, he rocks and I have a lot of respect for his awesome lean approach (I warmly recommend his blog and his daily letter).
If you want to get rich and retire early from your shit soul-sucking job in five years to travel the world, change your thinking and take the lean life approach: Need less, work less and/or create a minimalist business and travel the world on a budget for $1000 a month, forever. Starting in a few months. You will have amazing experiences and a badass life. You’ll be rich with people, experiences and adventures. Screw the $$. You don’t need them to have the best life.
Above All, Get Started Today
What is one step you can take today that would bring you closer to what you want to do? Maybe it’s picking up your iPhone and go out shooting a little film with its inbuilt camera. Or it’s going through all your stuff and throwing most of it out (by that I mean, giving it away or selling it) to reduce your physical baggage, which will take you one step closer to leave on a one-way ticket.
[Sidenote: Participating in that workshop among 15 other awesome souls, I realised: man, there are so many people out there who are so sick of the conventional life, the one where you just work to make moolah and survive the fuckin rat race. There definitely is a movement happening, a proper one. Are you part of it?]
I don’t care about your ideas. I care about the ones you made happen.
In my life, too, everything starts with an idea:
Last year, I had the idea to quit my job and start a no-overhead freelance business. I made it happen.
I also had the idea to start a blog. It was hard work and I had to learn lots, but I made that Idea happen, too. For the blog, I had the idea to write an ebook to give away. That idea turned into reality two days ago when I launched it publicly for everyone to download.
Many ideas are cool. But it’s the part from inception to realisation that matters most cause it’s the hardest.
Do you think I just snip my finger and create stuff? No way!
We all struggle to make ideas happen. But stripping them bare and figuring out how to make them happen in the most simplest way with the least amount of steps from inception to realisation – that’s the magic that will get you closer to success of letting an idea come alive. And if all you figure out is that you failed? Bravo, success can mean failure to.
If you want to know more about making ideas happen the lean way, check out these books (Reward links):
Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky
The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp
Do the Work by Steven Pressfield
How are you making your next idea happen today? What are you struggling with? Let me know in the comments!