Developing an idea can be as simple as thinking it, then just doing it. Or it can be as complicated as building a flying machine. If you have an idea that you want to develop, before you jump into my 10 steps, let me give you an example of the two things I just mentioned.
Simple idea development. You want to have cookout this weekend with just you and a friend or two. You decide on burgers so you run to the store to get the meat and fixins’. You call your buddies to invite them over. You fire up the grill, throw the burgers on, grab a beverage, and your idea is now a reality. A weekend cookout. Pretty simple. But what about building a flying machine?
Developing an Idea
I would imagine that the Wright Brothers took their idea development much more seriously. They wanted to build a machine that would allow them to soar with the eagles. They imagined themselves flying through the air like a bird. Then they had to figure out all the details. Aerodynamics, materials, design, weather conditions, blueprints, building, re-building, trial and error, fails, what if’s, doubt, re-think, start over, try again and finally; fly.
Their processes to develop their idea to fly took years before it came to life. They had a dream, an idea and committed themselves to it wholeheartedly. Just because you may think it is too much work or takes too much commitment doesn’t mean you should give up on your idea. Quite the contrary. You have an idea, it’s yours and you want to make it come to life.
To make it real depends on how you approach developing an idea. Are you 100% committed? Is it stuck in your head? Do you have the passion to see it through? No passion, no commitment, you will likely flop without ever realizing your idea. If you want to see your idea come to life, get it stuck in your head. Make a commitment to make it real.
Getting started with your idea development.
I have thought a lot about the processes of developing an idea, to learn what it takes to turn them into your tangible, bigger than life reality. I came up with 10 steps that I feel are the basis on which you can build, to take your idea, your dream then make it real.
Step 1. The Thought. Ahha. I have an idea. Now that you have this idea, what do you do next?
Step 2. Get it Stuck. Don’t let it go. Get it stuck in your brain like that song from 1973.
Step 3. Sleep On It. If it is still there when you wake the next day, you just may have an idea worth developing.
Step 4. Think it Out. Go over your idea in your mind to see it clearly through. Then think it out again. And again. Think out your idea until you can see it happening. If you can’t see it coming to life, keep thinking.
Step 5. Write about it. Make notes about your idea, write them down. Then make notes about the notes. What emotions are you feeling when you think about this great idea you have? What do you want to do with it? Make some notes, then you can start to make it real.
Step 6. Tell someone about it. It’s time to tell a few of your family and friends about your great idea. If they laugh, tell someone else. Keep telling people till you find those who like it. Don’t let it die.
Step 7. Commit to your idea. Developing an idea requires commitment. Without it, it’s just an idea. If you can’t make the commitment, keep your notes, you may want to dig up your thoughts later.
Step 8. Plan the outcome. Now it’s time to put it all together to plan the outcome you want. Lay it all out like a blueprint. What are the exact steps you need to take next? Write ’em down. Make the commitment.
Step 9. Execute your plan. This is where you take everything you have just learned about developing an idea, your idea, your “blueprint”, your notes and work the plan. Do what it takes to give it life.
Step 10. Don’t stop now. You now have what was an idea, that you turned into a reality. Your reality. You can pause for a moment to reflect on your accomplishment but never stop.
Bonus Step. Come up with an other idea, then repeat the 10 steps.
Developing an idea, making it a reality, is part of turning your life into one that you can be proud of. One you will enjoy. Ideas are what make things happen. The Wright Brothers had an idea. Henry Ford had an idea. Bill Gates had an idea. And now you have an idea. It’s up to you to make the commitment. It’s up to you to start developing an idea that you have. It’s time to make it real.