Bursting the Idea Bubble
Focus is essential to idea-making, but could it also be detrimental?
Over the past few months, I’ve met several people that were so focused on their respective projects that they lost touch with the world around them. They had missed some key innovations, time-sensitive opportunities, and even overlooked some of the relational cracks that were forming around them with the ones they love the most. One particular person I met shared his story of how his focused pursuit of a business idea created an insular environment that repelled many from helping him strengthen his ideas.
Was it ego? Fear? Control?
Been there? I have.
Focusing on ideas alone to the point where we don’t allow others to help shape what we’re doing is a huge disservice to any endeavor. Whether intentional or not, we have to remember that our pursuit of an idea always has the potential of creating an insular bubble for us that limits our potential. Ideas aren’t shaped in a vacuum. It needs ideas outside of itself to provide perspective, missing elements, and points of reference for innovation.
Wisdom is usually found somewhere between never focusing on an idea for an extended period of time or over-focusing on an idea to a point of disconnect with the rest of the world. Here are some questions that I’ve found helpful in either avoiding or bursting the idea bubble:
- Are there elements of my idea-making that is beyond my skill-set? Who needs to speak into these areas?
- Who are the latest competitors to my ideas and what could I learn from them? Where are my competitors?
- Are there any new technologies or books that can help me better implement my idea? How should I invest in them?
- When was the last time I went to an event seemingly unrelated to my pursuits?
- When was the last time I took a breather from working on my idea? When was my last day off? Why is this darn phone or iPad attached to my side? When’s the last time I went to the beach or park or the mountains to look at something bigger than my project?
- How’s my health? When’s the last time I exercised? Am I eating healthy?
- Do my friends and family still remember who I am or care about what I do? Have I heard any recent concerns or criticisms from them about how I’m living?
Take a look around. There’s a huge reservoir of people and resources that can help you with your idea. It’s just takes some intentional effort to look up from time to time.