I haven’t yet written a summary on it, but I recently read the book “Choose Yourself” by James Altucher. One thing he talks about in the books is writing 10 ideas per day and committing yourself to writing them daily. The vast majority of them will never be acted upon, but there are a couple of huge benefits to this daily practice:
- You get to ‘flex’ your idea muscle. You are forcing yourself to be creative. To THINK. It is like brainstorming, you do not want to create one great idea that is the best idea ever thought- you want to think of 100 ideas and hope there are a couple of gems in there. If you focus too much on creating the ‘perfect’ idea, you will paralyze yourself and the group if you are working as a team. There are all kinds of resources on how to have brainstorming sessions, but most of them revolve around rapid idea generation. Look for quantity vs. quality. Altucher says if you can’t think of 10 you need to up it to 20 ideas- you are holding yourself back too much. Below is a link to a classic story about how even seemingly crazy or stupid ideas can manifest into great solutions http://www.insulators.info/articles/ppl.htm – Back to the concept of ‘flexing’ your idea muscle, coming up with ideas is something that takes practice. Napoleon Hill called it the “infinite intelligence” of the subconcious. By flexing this muscle, you will gain the skill of being an idea generator- which is where you will provide the most value.
- Idea sex. This is an Altucher term that means to take two average ideas and combine them to make a great idea. The resulting ‘idea baby’ can prove to be the most exciting idea on the list. One example of this from the first month of this I have done is what I call ‘blind in a bucket’ which is the combination of a popup ground blind that they make for hunting that is packaged in a bucket that doubles as a seat. I have had quite a few of these ideas or even just improvements on current products.
- Thousands of ideas! If you really commit to this as a daily practice, you will come to realize how quickly you accumulate ideas. I am currently doing this 5X per week (before work every day). That means with around 21 working days per month I will generate 210 ideas per month, and over 2,500 per year! If you go up to 7 days per week that would be 3,650 ideas per year! Even if you only have a great idea 1 out of every 1,000 ideas, you are generating multiple actionable ideas per year.
- Free Therapy- Many of my 10 idea lists have been introspective (see the list below). I have found the idea lists as a way to take a step back and analyze myself, my personality, what makes me tick, what gets me most excited, where I need to grow, and what my biggest fears are. You will be surprised how much you can uncover through this process, but the trick is to confront it. I think this is a method to drive some true introspection, a bit like journaling can be.
James Altucher is this inspiration for this post. He has an excellent write-up on the topic and more specifics than what I went into. I also suggest his book Choose Yourself for additional reading. I will write a book summary in the next few weeks. http://www.jamesaltucher.com/2014/05/the-ultimate-guide-for-becoming-an-idea-machine/
Effective Group Brainstorming-https://www.fastcompany.com/3033567/agendas/brainstorming-doesnt-work-try-this-technique-instead
G.R.O.U.P Brainstorming and Power Line Story– http://singaporeteambuilding.com/teambuilding/brainstorming-in-a-team.htm
Starter Idea Lists– My first idea list was “10 idea lists I can write” and I included it below as a resource. Also, I see this as a living document that I add to whenever I get inspired by another idea list. Notice there are things on this list for introspection, for inspiration, and then just ideas. Enjoy!
10 idea lists I can write:
- 10 business ideas
- 10 ways to make the earth more sustainable
- 10 things I want to learn more about
- 10 crowdsourcing ideas
- 10 ways I can feed my family protein on hunting only
- 10 things I can start doing today to be healthier
- 10 things I need to start doing daily
- 10 things I need to stop doing daily
- 10 things I need to keep doing daily
- 10 projects to do in my backyard
- 10 projects to do in my house
- 10 modifications to hunting camp
- 10 drop shipping products that might work
- 10 products in the $50-100 range that I would buy online
- 10 things that make me unique
- 10 things that I consider myself world class at
- 10 new hobbies I would like to dabble in
- 10 ways I can change the world
- 10 ways I can get smarter every day
- 10 ideas for reducing my household energy consumption by 50%
- 10 business ideas around sustainability
- 10 uses for duct tape (copper wire, hydro turf, plastic bottles, etc????)
- 10 ways to make $5k per month profit
- 10 areas I want to grow (knowledge, skills, abilities)
- 10 improvements you could make on a currently solid product (something like trophy bag cooler)
- 10 impulse buys i have made in the last 12 months (go on Amazon prime) and why. Look for themes
- 10 ways to cut expenses and live on ½ my current salary
- 10 people I would admire as mentors
- 10 phone apps for common problems
- 10 things you could recycle
- Pick 5 products, name 3 dimensions of each product that customers value the most (example: Phone, interface, screen size, internet speed) – 15 dimensions total (Porter on differentiation)
- 10 specific goals I have. Highlight the most important one?
- 10 reasons not to start a company (what are your fears)
- 10 reasons to leave my job
- 10 things at Innotec would incorporate into my own business
- 10 products that could be 3D printed
- 10 things/situations that make me uncomfortable
- 10 ‘world problems’ you are really passionate baout and can start solving https://markmanson.net/life-purpose
- 10 activities that get me to a ‘flow state’ where time flies
I am exactly one month into this idea generation practice. I would suggest incorporating it into your daily routine- especially in the morning to kick start your day and make you sharp for whatever comes your way!