Don't Give Up On Big Ideas.

Here’s a cup of confidence for all you creative professionals out there. If there’s one thing we idea-makers can be insufficient in, it’s self assurance. Let’s start knocking down a few barriers that can keep us from bringing those big ideas to life:

1. I have no budget to do anything really good. More money to execute your great idea is nice, but definitely not required. In the advertising industry, you realize that many creatives at the mega agencies get spoiled, even lazy with super-sized production budgets. The mindset becomes “we can make an average idea look really cool with the money we have available.” I think a smaller budget works to push us more. Makes us move to new, original places for idea launching because all the expected starting spots are too expensive. Attack that low-budget project with pride and purpose. Opportunity is the only requirement for idea generation.

2. People keep saying it won’t work. This one is tricky. Either your idea really sucks or it is really great. Bottom line, if you are passionate about it and believe in its purpose, you should keep fighting to develop that idea. Most people, in all types of industries, who have introduced innovation faced tremendous resistance along the way. A famous quote we have up in our office for inspiration is “Great ideas have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” Remember this, if your idea is really original, people may be uncomfortable with it. That’s natural. And may be a true sign that you are creating something very special.

3. I’m too young, too old, too dumb, too smart, too cool, too uncool to create anything really spectacular. (Go ahead and toss in any other self-created excuse for not pushing forward to make your great idea a reality). Want a quick way to crush these barriers? Google. Look up the innovators you respect. The people who refused to follow the masses and through their ideas created paradigm shifts that left us with a better  product, a better world. Could be advertising professionals, musicians, movie directors, novelists, politicians or spiritual leaders. What you’ll find in all of them is a full range of backgrounds. There is no required starting point or status. Ideas generators are all different. But they do share one thing: they refused to give up on their dreams.

1 Comment

  1. Bling4Less

    I like your article a lot. I tell my students the hardest thing in the world to do is think, the second is to write down what you think. Well, Atmosphere says it best, “America is the mother of convenience.” Americans are the best at trying to find ways not to think. We have a gadget for every stage of our day to wisp away the pain of the thinker, and you’re exactly right when you say point to the innovators for inspiration. Da Vinci, Plato, Poe, Whitman and Thoreau were simply beacons of creative energy, super-charged atoms of ideas. Shawn is right, the light each shed in their time changed the hue of individual perception. In short, in each case an individual’s ideas changed the world.
    One sad element of modern society is that everyone seems to think that new ideas are dead, or that everything has already been thought of. I like to look to the greats and try to relate to them, to twist their mores and ideas and place them in the present. Just doing something like analyzing Whitman’s “Song of Myself” and mentally pasting it in the present tense, into my tense, my perception and situation is the invention of a new idea, is the process of creativity in itself. The best thing about referencing past innovators for inspiration is that you bring their ideas to life in a way that’s never been done before–your way.

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