5 Critical Questions to Ask About Your Idea Funnel. Many people beam with great ideas. In fact, there is rarely ever anyone who is without ideas. As much as it is great to know that most of us have great ideas, the truth is, these numerous ideas have crippled many from pursuing anything. For example, someone was sharing something with me a few days ago. And when I asked what was holding him back from pursuing the idea, he confessed, “Charlie, I have so many ideas that I don’t know which one to start with.”
I immediately shared in his challenge. I have been a victim of having many ideas but unable to pursue any one of them. I still do have those ideas, perhaps even more now, but by the use of a simple technique called the idea funnel, I have now been able to pursue some of those ideas.
The idea funnel is a “screening” mechanism you need to put in place to screen out certain ideas and make clear those you have to pursue.
The truth of the matter is, not every idea that comes to your mind is yours to pursue.
Sometimes, you can share that idea with someone you believe has an interest in it and has the will to pursue the idea. Also, not every idea is ‘pursuable’. Some ideas must be discarded to make room for those you actually have to pursue. Other ideas are complementary. Pursuing one will easily lead to the other. For example after writing my book entitled ‘Study Abroad’, organizing the “Study Abroad Workshop” became complementary. One follows right after the other. In order to pursue those numerous ideas you have in your diary or journal, follow these few guidelines.
5 Guidelines for Choosing the Best Ideas
- Which of these ideas can I share with someone else who could pursue it?
Don’t be selfish about this. It will help you cut off those you don’t need. Which of those ideas will you not feel so much pain if you let them go? Don’t just let them go; share them with someone who could take it up.
- Which ideas are complementary?
These are closely related ideas and your pursuing one will lead you to the other(s). The problem with some people is that they focus too much on the complementary ideas rather than the major ones.
- Which idea can I pursue from today?
Ideas are time-bound. Ideas have a maturity stage. If the time for an idea is not yet due, leave it. Go on to an idea whose time is up.
- Which of these ideas can I pursue now, with the time and resources I have? Ideas need your time and other resources to kick-start. If an idea will require more time and money, for example, than you can afford right now, leave them for a later date.
- Who can I speak to about this idea?
The fact that it is your idea doesn’t mean you pursue it all alone. Your ideas aren’t too unique from what others have done in the past. In a discussion with a friend three days ago, I discussed my next major project with him, and he advised I spoke to two people who have shown so much exception in that field.
There is always someone who’s gone ahead of you to do what you want to do. And oh! Don’t ever pursue such people and expect them to sign a confidentiality agreement before you share your thoughts with them for their counsel. That is a sign of disrespect. You are the one in need of counsel here, not them. They can steal your idea, but may not pursue it with the enthusiasm you have. Speak to at least someone about your idea. It helps and it’s worth it.
So here you are. They are your idea funnel through which to screen them. They have helped me, and I believe they will help you, too.
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