For most of the past year, I’ve been intentionally working on my idea muscle. And as a result, I can honestly say that I have more ideas (products, services, things to write about) than ever before.
And a lot of times, I get very short-term excited about them. I see how it would work, how I could pull it off, who would pay for it, etc…
But then I go into pessimistic mode.
It usually starts with some general reasons why something wouldn’t work or the things that could go wrong.
And if that doesn’t talk me out of pursuing it, the lizard brain pulls out the big guns: competitive market analysis.
Well, here’s a similar product.
This person has more experience than I do.
He’s been doing it for years.
I don’t believe in original ideas. Sure, technically there was someone who thought of something before everybody else – but it’s likely to be within days, and there’s no way of knowing.
Ideas are a dime a dozen – victory goes to those who execute. That’s why Starbucks became a massive success but most people don’t remember the first peer-to-peer ridesharing app, SideCar.
Telling yourself that you shouldn’t pursue an idea because a version of it exists is a very easy out of pursuing any idea. And I’ll admit, in some cases it may be a valid excuse.
But a lot of times, you aren’t just selling an idea – you’re selling an idea created and provided by you. That’s why freelancing or independent consulting works.
If you can put a unique spin on something that may exist in other forms elsewhere, it becomes a battle of positioning – and that’s a battle you can win.
PS: This realization was inspired by an interview with Paul Jarvis on the Last 4 Years podcast. I’d recommend checking it out.