The Truth About Being an Ideaholic
What was the last greatest idea that you had? Were you able to execute it? What's the status of your idea right now? Those are three questions I like to remind myself every now and then when evaluating my overall work and progress as a freelancer. Hi, my name is Melissa and I’m an ideaholic. It’s been 10 minutes since my last idea.
Now don’t get me wrong, having ideas is awesome. What’s even better is being able to follow through with them and turning those little thoughts in your head into a reality. Here are a few ways I justify and work as a perpetual ideaholic (aka here's a glimpse into my workflow in case you were wondering!).
1. Ideas ignite passion into my soul. Pretty intense sentence, I know. When I get bit by the idea bug, I find myself not being able to sleep, thinking and re-thinking about who/what/where/when/why/how for the idea, and going through all of the steps needed to fulfill that idea. It goes something like this:
a) Idea pops into my brain
b) I do some market research and competitive research surrounding the idea
c) If I give myself a green light as to the idea filling a void or having the potential to be successful, I go ahead and lock down a name.
d) From there, I buy the domain, reserve social media handles, and start creating the foundation of the website and brand.
e) Once a website is created, I fill it up with the content/information/products/services needed to start attracting people and followers.
f) I launch the idea. I start promoting on social media, perhaps buy a few Facebook ads, and network with others to inform them of the idea.
g) I continue fulfilling the idea’s goals, continue networking, and continue brainstorming about ways to make things better. I evaluate the idea often so that every step before this one is still relevant and still able to attract others.
2. Know when to break up with an idea. Not all ideas are good. I think it takes a lot of courage for someone to think up a new concept, only to throw it all away. Now, the trick when breaking up with an idea is to do it at a point where you haven’t invested too much into it. It's not always ideal or realistic, but sometimes you need to foresee the timeline of your idea before you dive head first. Thoughts and concepts are free, buying wholesale boxes of mugs and hats with your new idea’s name on it aren’t. Take time to go through every possible inch of investigation when it comes to your idea – who’s your market, how long will this idea be relevant, what are some obstacles that you’ll face for the idea to come into fruition? If you come to a standstill at some of these questions, maybe it’s time to put that idea on the back burner and start "dating" a new/renovated concept. The one that’s more long-term, less risky financially, and comes with at least a six-pack…okay moving on!
3. Put yourself in a position to keep falling in love with your idea. In this digital day and age, it’s easy to place an idea on the internet and let the internet do the work for you. By doing so, you may lose interest in your idea or forget why you started in the first place. Put yourself in front of your audience, be open to hearing criticisms and comments about your idea, and be willing to adapt and refine your idea to industry changes, consumer/client shifts, and financial circumstances. For instance, I find a new sense of urgency and passion whenever I hear someone talk about Femme & Fortune. Feedback from the site’s audience is what helped mold Femme & Fortune’s manifesto, and the constant interest from women, contributors, and brands is what makes me fall in love with that original idea over and over again.
4. Above all, try to maintain a real life. Being an ideaholic means lots of late nights buzzing off of caffeine, data and statistics running through your head while you sleep, and days devoted to your idea rather than to your clients or “real life.” Take a breather once in a while and go outside. Inspiration can come from anywhere, so give your ideas some time to simmer. You never know what kind of new opportunities or new inspiration for your idea might occur from the time you let other things into your brain. Trust me, if it’s a great idea, it’s a great idea. Don’t let your health, relationships, client work, and so on suffer while you cultivate this great idea.
I hope that gives you all a little insight on what it likes being an ideaholic! Ideas are what make my world go ‘round, and I’m so happy to be in a career and position in my life where my ideas can sustain my lifestyle, create new opportunities, and open the doors to new friends and clients.
What are some of your rules for being an ideaholic?