My friend, Bob, seems to have a command of a bottomless fountain of great ideas. Whenever someone has a problem that they can’t seem to solve, Bob has a solution. He also has started, bought, and sold several businesses; some of which rewarded him handsomely.
Do you know of someone like my friend, Bob?
Most people do. You may say things like, “He has the Midas touch. Everything he touches turns into gold.” or “They seem to enjoy so many fantastic trips together…what is their secret?”
It all begins with a blank sheet.
Today’s society has conditioned us to be constantly on call for a response from a call, message, or email. When we are constantly in response mode, we sacrifice our creativity.
What would happen if you turned it all off for 15 minutes or an hour?
Maybe you would have time to think and write down an idea to solve one of your problems.
So, why not try it! Turn all your electronic devices off, take a blank sheet of paper out, and write down one or two ideas.
Earl Nightingale says in his book “Transformational Living” that he keeps paper and pen handy in all the rooms in his house and office to write down ideas as he thinks of them. He does not want to forget any of them.
Nightingale, “There has never been a monopoly when it comes to getting good ideas, but the number of people who will take the raw material of a good idea and from it fashion reality in the world is small indeed. And it’s also true there is nothing in this world of less value than an idea about which nothing is done.”
Do you write down your ideas daily?
Do you take action on the ideas you have conceived?
Victor Hugo, “Nothing in this world is so powerful as an idea whose time has come.”
Do you have a place to think and write down your ideas?
Do you set aside time, each day, to think and solve your problems?
Dr. John C. Maxwell, one of my mentors said, “When I was younger, my thinking spot was a rock on a hill. Later, I set up a “thinking chair” in my office, which I use solely for that purpose. These days, I also do some of my best thinking while swimming laps in the pool. It doesn’t replace the writing time that I still schedule. (I just haven’t found a waterproof legal pad yet…) But an hour of swimming laps back and forth, with its silence and rhythm, gives me just what I need to focus on one or two specific problems or ideas.”
Dr. Maxwell continues, “Maybe deep thinking and introspection comes more naturally for you. Even if it does, setting aside dedicated time for creative thinking will help you be intentional. No one can afford to go about their daily life waiting for the muse to strike. Instead, chase after and tackle her, doing so in a way that works for you.”
Do you have a special place to think and write your ideas down each day?
Do you keep paper and pencil handy or a recorder, where ever you are, to write down or record an idea before you lose it?
Perhaps one of your ideas can solve a problem that you have!
Do you take action on your ideas?
Earl Nightingale: “Do you keep a list of your ideas handy? When was the last time you acted on them? Make it a goal to choose one idea a week or a month to investigate, improve, or act upon. See if there are ways to build upon the original ideas you generate.”
Earl Nightingale says, “Turn your problems into projects.” His friend, Parky Parkinson said, changing the word problem to project.”
Earl Nightingale’s 4 Simple Steps in Straight Thinking
1) Separate facts from opinions and analyze the facts.
2) Define the real problem and consider possible solutions.
3) Secure evidence on possible solutions.
4)Weigh the evidence and arrive at a sound conclusion.
“Anytime a person comes to you with a problem you feel you should help with, say, “Let me think about that. I don’t like to make quick decisions on important matters.”
How will you capture the important ideas running through your mind each day?
How will you turn your problems into projects?
Do you read books or take courses to get new ideas?
Many years ago, a young man decided he wanted to learn about stock investing. He bought and read a book by Benjamin Graham called The Intelligent Investor . The young man embraced Graham’s philosophy and system, Mr. Graham became his mentor, and the young man signed up to take classes from Professor Graham at Columbia University. “He even offered to work for the professor for free.”
Benjamin Graham in 1954, hired this young man to work for him at Graham-Newman, his New York investment firm, for a yearly fee of $12,000. (In 2021 dollars, $119,131.90 per year.) Graham retired two years later closing his investment firm.
The young man in 1957, began an investment partnership “with seven family members and friends who invested $105,000.” ($991,271.86 in 2021 dollars). The young man “investing $100 of his own money.” ($966.89 in 2021 dollars) Eleven years later in 1968, his investment partnership business was worth $104 million ($553 million in 2006 dollars).”(p.137) (8 Attributes of Great Achievers by Cameron C. Taylor) (original story)
This young man throughout his life “continued to apply” Graham’s investment strategies. His net worth today, September 8th is $103.9 billion. This man’s name is Warren Buffett. He is 91 years old.
“Like most other overnight successes, it was about twenty years in the making.”
– Sam Walton, Founder of Wal-Mart
Learning new skills is a process to follow with a mentor modeling how to do it step by step. It takes many years to master these processes.
What books do you read to stimulate your mind and give you new ideas to achieve your goals?
What mentors, courses, apprenticeships have you taken to develop your skills?
Madeline Frank, Ph.D., is an Amazon.com Best Selling Author, speaker, business owner, teacher, concert artist, and parent. She helps businesses and organizations “Tune Up their Business”. Her observations show you the blue prints necessary to improve and keep your business successful. Her latest book “Leadership On A Shoestring Budget” is available everywhere books are sold. If you need a virtual speaker contact Madeline at: firstname.lastname@example.org