If you’ve ever struggled coming up with a product or service you’d like to sell or start a company around, then you may want to read on. I came across this book, Choose Yourself by James Altucher, and was blown away with the material in it. For those who have read the book then this post may sound a bit repetitive. However, I provide some tweaks to the method he preaches that I’ve seen to be very beneficial.
In this book, James tells you about how to believe in yourself and your own ideas. In order to believe in your own ideas, you need to have ideas. Duh. For some people, this comes easier than it does for others. If you read my blogs, then chances are you have some level of desire to own your own business and be your own boss. You can’t get to that point if you struggle coming up with ideas. Here is the exercise that James preaches and that I’ve tweaked a bit to make it right for me. The idea of the exercise is simple. Come up with ideas. Force yourself to have ideas. Sounds easy right? And it is for the most part. The difficult part is the consistency. That’s the basis of it. Now let’s get into the details of what exactly I mean.
The goal of this exercise is to train yourself to become an idea machine. On a side note, this will help in more than one area. I’ve seen improvements in other aspects of my life as well like having more creative and interesting conversations and becoming a quicker thinker. Every single day I come up with at least 5 ideas. These ideas could be a product, service, or improvement to something that already exists. There are no limitations to these ideas. They could be ideas where it’s not even possible yet with the current technology available. The point is not to come up with a million-dollar idea for a product that will work as a business venture. The point is to train your brain. If one of your ideas happens to be a ray gun that styles your hair in the morning, then write it down. That may be a little too much, but you get the point. No limitations! It starts out easy for the first few days, but it will get difficult until your brain is trained enough to think of ideas on the spot. And that’s the point where we’re trying to get to. Before I write down my 5 ideas for the day, I like to start off by writing down everything that I found to be bothersome, difficult, annoying, or something I think can simply be improved. The same rules apply to this warmup as well. No limitations. If your elbows are getting sore from having them on your desk all day, then write that down. If your roommate is too loud, write that down. You may not necessarily come up with a solution to each and every problem, but it is a good warm up to get you thinking. Then write your 5 ideas. That’s all. Just 5. Simple right? I prefer to write with a pen and pad vs writing on a computer or phone. I’m not sure why, but there’s just something about the pen and pad that feels better.
Since I’ve started doing this exercise, I’ve notice myself breaking down literally everything I do. I look at every small step in my routines and my brain goes off thinking about how I can tweak this and that and how I can improve it. How can I put my socks on easier? How can I zip my jacket up faster? The more detailed the questions you ask yourself the better the solutions will be. The best answers come from the best questions. In a way, your brain will naturally become more present in the moment since you’ll be so focused on what you’re doing at that moment. This is how you become an idea machine. Ask a marathon runner how to become a better runner. I’m no marathon runner, but my only guess would be he or she would tell you to run on a consistent basis. I’m telling you to come up with ideas on a consistent basis so you can become an idea machine.
I haven’t even gotten to one of the best parts of doing this exercise days after days. Let’s say you come up with just 5 ideas a day and continue this exercise for a year. What’s 5 x 365?…1,825. After one year of doing this easy exercise every day for a year, you’ll have 1,825 of your own ideas! Wow! I’m not saying all of them will be winners. But maybe just 5% of those ideas are actually good ones that get you excited. Still, you will have 92 good ideas! That’s still a ton of GOOD ideas and at least one of these is going to be THE idea!!! After some time, you will have compiled a giant list of ideas. You don’t have to be a numbers person to know that the more ideas you come up with, the better your chances are of finding that great idea or ideas. Give yourself a chance to come up with your best ideas for a business or simply just train your brain to think quicker and more creatively. There’s still one more thing that I haven’t mentioned yet. If you really want to get creative, then you can start combining two totally different and random ideas and see if they stick. You’ll be surprised how many great ideas come from combing two random ideas.
Please drop a comment if you have any of your own tips for becoming an idea machine. Hope this helps.