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What’s the value of an idea?

by Alan Berg, CSP
Certified Speaking Professional® 
www.alanberg.com

Take a look around you. Everything you see is the product of an idea that someone had at one time. Your desk, your chair, your computer, your shoes, each of those started as someone’s idea. If you’re like me you have lots of ideas on pieces of notepaper, or on a white board in your office. There’s no lack of good ideas. The ideas have no value until someone takes the actions necessary to make that idea a reality.

We act upon our ideas all the time without consciously thinking about them. Some of our ideas are simple. Some are complex. Some will take a lot of time and thought and some can be accomplished quickly.

Action, action, we want action

If you started your own business, that was the product of an idea. If you’ve created a new way of doing your job or craft, that was the product of an idea. Where the magic happens is when you put that idea into action. If you think about doing something, but don’t take any actions, the idea has no value. Not only does it have no value to you, it has no value to the countless others who could benefit from it.

Have you ever seen a product and said “I had that idea”? Most of us have. The reason you’re thinking that instead of profiting from that idea is that someone else acted on their idea, while you didn’t. The difference isn’t the idea. It’s action.

When I published my first book, “If your website was an employee, would you fire it?”,  I had so many people say to me “I’ve been wanting to write a book. How did you do it?” I told them I wrote it one word at a time. I started writing and then I wrote some more. Then they ask me “How were you able to get a book published?” I found an editor and sent her my book. Then I found a designer. Then I found a printer. Then I wrote a check to each of them and a few weeks later I had a pallet of books delivered to my garage.

One step at a time

Each of those steps required action. Had I only thought about writing a book instead of putting the words down on paper, or in my computer, there would be no value to the idea. Had I written it without giving it to an editor or designer, there would be no value to those words. Had I not actually printed it then no one would be able to benefit from those words I had written… not even me. I get benefit from the feedback I get from those that read my book. The idea to write a book became valuable through a series of actions.

Are you thinking about updating or making a new website for your business? Are you working towards a higher certification or level of training so you can do a better job for your clients? Are you thinking about writing a book or learning a new language? Are you thinking about losing weight or stopping smoking? Those are all good ideas. What actions are you going to take, today, to make your idea a reality? It’s probably not one step it’s a series of actions. Most projects can be broken down into many actions and once you think about them as smaller actions you’re more likely to move forward.

So what ideas have you had this week that you’re not yet acting on? What’s the potential value of the ideas you’re having right now to you and to others? If you take no action, they have no value. If you take some actions they could be priceless. I look forward to hearing of your successes.

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