Ideas are powerful. It can cause a seismic change in the way people go about with their daily lives. Do not let you idea die by sharing it with the wrong people.
Every now and then, while mindlessly gazing into the abyss, you are jolted to life with a sudden burst of neurons firing up in our brains. You have an idea! A solution to a problem that was giving you sleepless nights. You run (or just make a phone call), as fast as you can, to tell it to the people you trust – and s/he shuts you down. What an anti-climax.
We’ve all come across a situation like this in our lives. We believe we have this ground breaking idea to a problem, however big or small. We share it with the other person with the hope that s/he “gets you”, believes in your idea and works with you to make it a reality. More often than not, the other person doesn’t share your excitement. Your eagerness is often met with mediocre responses like.. “What a stupid idea” or “Umm… So? That’s your big idea?” or “Tere pass kaam dhanda nahi hai kya?” (Hindi for – you don’t have any work or what?)
Imagine all the bright ideas that died in that nascent stage because your closest aide responded to you with the above discouraging words. Unless you’re highly motivated to pursue your idea on your own (mega difficult), even through all the negativity, that idea will be forgotten as that “stupid” idea.
The people you share your idea with are just as important as the idea itself. These people are the ones who make or break your idea at its earliest stages. These people help you shape your idea from a rough sheet of paper to the ground breaking venture it is capable of. You have to choose the right people to go to with your ideas. I believe it is extremely crucial that you find the right people to share your ideas with. It will only help you grow, as a person, as an entrepreneur.
How do you know who are the right people? Well, I look for a couple of things in people who I share my ideas with. Listing them below, in no particular order.
1. Do they give me constructive feedback on my idea?: Constructive being the operative word here. The other person must be critical of your idea and give you brutally honest feedback. If it’s good, why? If it’s stupid, how can you improve. I hate people that patronise me when I go to them with an idea. It’s the worst kind of feedback
2. Do they engage in a meaningful discussion about the execution of my idea?: I long for this in people. It is unfortunately so rare. People react impulsively to things they’re told. We’re all just so involved in our phones, that we’d rather play candy crush than have a meaningful conversation. But that’s a topic for another day. They have just forgotten to give something a thought and then react to it. Having a meaningful discussion is paramount to my relationships with people. It is only through meaningful conversation that something constructive and productive comes out of the discussion. More often than not, action points are the by products of a meaningful discussion
3. Most importantly, do they ask pertinent questions about your idea?: According to me, this is the ultimate quality I look for, when I share my ideas with people. Asking quality, pertinent questions is so underrated. Always look for questions asked by the other person. It will tell you a couple of things: a) the person comprehends what you’re saying b) the person is thinking about helping you c) the person is looking to structure your idea to give you a couple of action points in the end
The above really helps me spend quality time discussing the feasibility of my ideas. To be honest, it saves me a ton of time, as more than half the people are eliminated from the first pointer itself. After it goes through a couple of people in my circle, whether an idea gets implemented or not does not matter. What matters is that it went through a rigorous process, where in the end, I was either convinced that my idea was in fact the solution or just another way the problem couldn’t be solved.
The above are a couple of pointers that I use in my day to day life. You may have a couple of different things you look for. Would love to hear them. You can write your thoughts in the comments section below.
As always, I invite your feedback on this post.
Also published on Medium.