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How to Turn Your Ideas Into Reality

How to Turn Your Ideas Into Reality

When we think of Facebook, we think Mark Zuckerberg. Yet for a number of years after the launch of Facebook, Zuckerberg was being sued by 2 brothers from Harvard University. The Winklevoss twins claimed Zuckerberg stole their idea when they asked him for help coding their site ConnectU. As you delve into the history of big successes, you find that accusations of idea stealing occur quite a lot! Even this week, two writers from the first GI Joe movie are suing Paramount and MGM, claiming the studio stole their ideas for the sequel.

The truth is that ideas are worth nothing unless acted upon. It is merely a thought that has been given enough kudos to be written down. Yet having an overfilled notepad or an app full of ideas serves no purpose unless you are going to act on your best ideas in some way or another.

There has never been a better time to turn ideas into reality and make an impact in the world. The internet has created massive opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals for potential collaborations, cheaper technologies have made access to necessary resources even easier and websites like Kickstarter has presented opportunities to get funding for ideas that were once out of our grasp.

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So what would stop you even attempting to turn your ideas into reality? When I coach clients there are a number of common barriers my clients face early on:

Fear of failure

As humans, we have a natural aversion to risk which can make us resistant to trying if we think there is a chance we might fail. However those who pursue their ideas in spite of a potential for failure find that their ideas can transform into something even better because of the setbacks they experience along the way.

Overwhelm of ideas

A common problem can be simply too many ideas, finding it hard to pin down one idea they want to pursue. This comes down to having a criteria about what excites you enough to go for, combined with the purpose for the idea; is it a hobby or to make profit?

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Delayed Gratification vs. Instant Gratification

Worthwhile ideas require creation. They do not appear instantly by magic and this requires a focus to go through the process of turning the ideas in your head into something real. Yet life can get in the way with tempting offers that provide more immediate gratification. It is important you believe in the process enough to not always succumb to the delights that instant gratification can bring.

Despite these common barriers, ideas are being created everyday and you can turn your ideas into reality with a simple process that gets your idea out of the notebook and making an impact on the world.

1. Make the idea concrete

It is important before you start to make sure the idea that starts as an abstract concept is turned into something more concrete. There is a distinct difference between “I’m going to set up an online business” and “I am going to set up an online business selling vintage clothes to students.” A good marker is, “If my idea was in front of a video camera what specifically would people be seeing?

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2. Find out what resources you have and what you need

To bake a cake, you need ingredients. To bring an idea to life, you need resources. Some you will already have, whilst others you will need to obtain. It is important you do not trap yourself by using a lack of resources as a reason for not starting. Even if you need money, you can still get started. A good marker is finding an example of something similar that has been created and seeing what needed to be present in order for that to be made real.

3. Decide on the purpose of the idea

This is the fuel that drives you towards making your idea a reality. If there is no purpose, you may last a week but as soon as the first setback appears, the temptation to give up may be too much. Is it a personal hobby you want to get good at or is it an idea to earn money? Your commitment will be determined by the answer.

4. Decide what needs to happen in order to move towards an outcome

What needs to happen regularly? This is your strategy to making your idea a reality. By creating systems you make the process easier and allows a consistency for ensuring things get done.

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5. What is the first thing that needs to happen?

People can get overwhelmed by creating too many steps they feel they must follow, when in reality you can just start with the first step and then ask, “What next?”

Ideas are nothing on their own, that is not where the magic is. Everyone can have ideas. The magic is in creating it and showing it to the world. Go and create.

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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