Many people have brilliant ideas, but few act on them. It might be an innovative design, a brilliant invention, a fabulous book idea, or a unique business concept. It’s what you do with your creative notion that matters. The world needs pioneers who have groundbreaking ideas. If you don’t act on it, someone else will, and you’ll be standing on the sidelines saying, “I could’ve done that!”

So, you have a big dream, a brilliant idea, a flash of insight, for a new and improved or never before done…something. How do you put it into action?

Concept to Completion

1. Determine what need it fills

There has to be a need for your idea. Are you creating or inventing something new that fills a need people have? Have you thought of a new or better way to solve an existing problem? Will your idea improve the quality of people’s lives? Does your idea save time or streamline work? If one doesn’t exist can you create one? Sometimes a great idea doesn’t fill in existing need but if it’s fun, creative, or interesting it’s fairly easy to convince people that they need it.

2. Research and Brainstorm possibilities

Now you have an idea and you know what need it fills, it’s time to start looking for possibilities. Do your research. Has a similar idea been tried or successfully implemented? Look for successes and failures. Learn from the mistakes of others. What can you do better? Cheaper? Faster? Brainstorm additional ways your idea could be used. Is it a product that could have different applications? Is it a concept that could be developed for a variety of businesses or activities? Step back and look at the broader view of possibilities.

3. Flesh out your idea

You have an idea that fills a need with all kinds of possibilities. Now it’s time to flesh it out. If your idea is a tangible product, what does it actually look like? Sketch out or draw it on a computer. Consider colors shapes and materials. If your idea is an intangible concept, system, or process, use a mind map or notebook to capture details.

4. Decide what end result you want

Now that you have a concrete idea with details and for, narrow it down to the end result you want. Often there are lots of possibilities, but it’s best to pursue only one at a time. There will be time later for alterations revisions or related ideas. Now’s the time to consider a prototype or business plan.

5. Assess Motivation and Commitment

You have a concept and an idea of what you want the end result to be. Are you motivated and committed enough to make the sacrifices necessary to take your ideas to completion? Having a brilliant idea is wonderful, but only at if you have the determination, and will to keep pushing through criticism, setbacks, and roadblocks. If after an honest assessment, you don’t have the motivation or time necessary, consider offering or selling your idea to someone else.

6. Get support /Tell someone

No matter how brilliant your idea, you won’t be able to successfully put it into action without support. Share your idea with someone. An individual or a group that will be honest and supportive can help keep you on task and accountable. Find a mentor who can help guide you through the process. Whether it’s product or business development, planning, implementation, financial backing, marketing, or any other aspect of putting your idea into action, there are people who have successfully done it before that are willing to share their experience with you.

7. Make a plan of action

You’ve got your fully formed idea, you have enlisted support, and you are ready and eager to get started. What steps will it take to get from here to the end result? What actions need to be taken four research, business planning, financial backing, production, presentation, and promotion? Determine if there are phases and set interim deadlines. What needs to happen first? Determine the first step.

Now, do something!

Just start in some small way to take steps to move your idea forward. Otherwise, in a few years you will be that sad, pathetic person who says, “If only…”

Featured photo credit:  Little Blonde Girl Flying via Shutterstock

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