Ideas Are Like Sticky Octopus
Written by Laura Prather on March 22, 2013
You have lots of ideas. What do you do with them?
I don’t know about you but I am constantly deluged by ideas for my business. They come to me in the middle of the day, in the shower, in the middle of the night. That’s part of having the “entrepreneurial spirit”, I guess. Is it a curse or blessing? Well, at 2 a.m. it sure doesn’t feel like a blessing, but that’s when they seem to hit me the most. I’ve learned to keep a small notebook (leather of course!) with me at all times to jot down thoughts and ideas. New ideas are NECESSARY for a thriving business. Sometimes I get them all at once and at times I go through a really long dry spell with nada.
So which ideas are good and which ones are like chasing your own tail?
Today the perfect illustration came to me. Ideas are like sticky octopus. Remember these?
You know, the ones we used to play with as kids in the 70s and 80s? You throw them against a window (or my favorite was the back patio glass door) and if they stuck they would wobble down the window (leaving a sticky mess for Mom!).
So did I just lose most of you?! Seriously. Throw your ideas out there. Some stick. Some don’t. You never know if it will be a good idea until you try it. If one sticks I take the next step. If it still sticks. I take another step and so on…
Never Give Up.
What about the ideas that don’t stick? I keep them stored away. I NEVER throw away an idea until it is obvious that it has become completely irrelevant. You never know if it was just a timing issue. For example, recently a little idea for a second store had been brewing in my head. I thought it was a long way off so I didn’t even bother considering it. I mean, good grief, I’m still trying to get my legs on solid ground with my first store. Well, last week I was approached about moving to a different store location. I knew there was no way I would move my existing store so I essentially said “no thanks”, but before this person left I back-tracked (since I am never one to throw away any opportunity) and asked him to give me a couple weeks to ponder ( wasn’t sure WHAT I would be pondering, but something inside of me said to just consider it). So I pulled out this obscure idea that I didn’t think we were ready for and “threw it out there”. Guess what? It stuck! So I went to the next step. Kept sticking. A few more steps… the idea is still sticking. Talk about surprised! So I am in the middle taking one step at a time with this crazy idea – unrealistic really – and I am watching what I thought was an impossibility become very probable. (That’s the kind of God I serve. Step out in faith and you never know what will happen.)
It’s not a given yet. I still have two more hurdles to jump but if you had told me a week ago that I would be seriously looking into opening another shop when it seems like the WORST time for me to open one, I would have laughed and said, “NO WAY”. Even if it doesn’t happen right now I have learned that everything is possible and that even the most ridiculous ideas are worth keeping around.
Just throw that “octopus” out there (no matter how crazy it may seem) and see if it sticks! What have you got to lose?
If it doesn’t stick right now, tuck it away, and you never know what might happen later on. That idea that didn’t stick might actually lead to another one that will!!