Inspiration is a mysterious thing. Even when the conditions are perfect, you never really know how and where it’s going to strike. It’s truly one of the most remarkable things about the human mind that we can envision a future that’s not like the present; that we can see beyond what already exists.
Businesses that work have a way of seeming inevitable, like someone was always going to do it. But in point of fact, you have to work just as hard on ideas as you do on anything else. At Ideator, we think of ideas as currency, and you can’t just print that up: you have to earn it.
Even though you never know for sure when or how a great business idea is going to be born, there are lots of ways to make sure the creative ground is as fertile as it could be. Think of it like farming: there can be droughts and there can be floods, but if you tend to the land, sooner or later you’ll grow something beautiful.
Here are some ways to keep those fields of dreams lush and green.
- Focus on collaboration
Ideas are like sparks. From time to time, lightning strikes one place – but more often, you’ve got to keep hitting those rocks together. You’re not in this alone: ideas usually come from a lot of open-minded people collaborating towards the same goal. Take advantage of how people inspire each other. Just like those rocks you knock together, more heads are always better than one.
Sherlock Holmes once famously explained to Watson the difference between seeing and observing by asking him how many stairs led to the apartment they shared. Holmes and Watson had both seen that staircase a thousand times before, but only Holmes had observed it: he knew how many there were.
The first step in any successful business idea is noticing: noticing what’s missing and what the world could really use. That means paying close attention to how things are, and listening to people’s needs. Being observant is the disposition that leads to inspiration.
- Believe in yourself
Sad to say, many of the best ideas people have simply disappear back into their own minds because they weren’t willing to commit to them. Inspiration isn’t just about having an idea; it’s about believing in it and dedicating yourself to its realization. That takes confidence, and unfortunately a lot of us don’t have as much of it as we should.
Have faith in yourself and in your judgment. If you think it’s a great idea, it probably is – and great ideas deserve our respect. Believe in yourself, and you won’t let inspiration slip through your fingers.