This is a guest post by Shenee Howard – a writer, designer and lover of all things innovative. She is currently in start-up mode, developing her new creative power house, You’ll Look Great. She tweets about fun things she finds around the internet and her ( hopefully) temporary life in the suburbs @sheneeh. She’s on Facebook too.
The Bachelor is one of the most successful failures in TV history. Think about it. The show sells love. Rose ceremonies, romantic getaways and tearful goodbyes. Problem is, no one ever seems to actually fall in love. Why is that? Well, the relationship never actually happens. A series of awkward meetings in an isolated settings isn’t a relationship. Everyone talks about it but in reality, the actual dating won’t start until the show is over. Ok, you don’t see the connection between questionable TV and your “next big thing?” Bare with me, you will.
Ok, now think about your world changing idea. You think about it, obsess about making it happen. You plan and plan but what are you preparing for if you aren’t actually taking the action steps to make it happen? Mistakes you and The Bachelor both make:
Don’t exist in the real world
On most reality shows, contestants are put in the most isolated environments. They are usually put up in some big house where none of the real world rules apply. No job, no TV, no family and no responsibilities. Who can really understand what the real relationship is like in those conditions? The same goes for your idea. How will you know if your idea has legs if you keep it guarded. Creatives often make this mistake of “revealing” our work/ideas when they come into fruition and not sharing them as they go along. We think that by revealing our work this way, we are protecting ourselves from criticism. By keeping our ideas close to the chest, you are doing your big idea a huge disadvantage. We all like to think that we are creative geniuses. Not always.
Hot dog eating photo too much? Maybe so.
Surround yourself with people who won’t challenge you
Oh, the producers of dating shows. This could go into a large rant on feminism but I won’t go there. In the case of The Bachelor, Flavor of Love, Rock of Love and (enter your guy-centric dating show here) the women ( for the most part ) are doing anything possible to please the man that they think they want. They are very gracious with compliments and mostly reactionary in their interactions with the lucky guy. As a result, The Bachelors ends up with women who act as mirrors for their own reflections. The same goes for your ideas. Don’t just share your ideas with people who love you. If you really want to have your idea come to life, you gotta face a tough room. Imagine if The Bachelor had a room full of well-adjusted, educated women who weren’t wanting to be on TV. We might actually get somewhere.
You haven’t spent enough time to know if that’s what you really want
In Scott Belsky’s book Making Ideas Happen, he says that Ideas should be killed with linger. It seems simple, right? Why would you feel fit to marry someone that you have known for six weeks while you simultaneously dated someone else? Pick an idea, get excited about it and stick with it for a while. See your idea out to the end and you have a better chance at making it happen.
Too many options
You are Andrew Firestone. You are rich, attractive and have a room full of girls to choose from. You also know that after this show is over, you could have even more women to choose from. Who wants to settle down? Why not keep your options open. The same goes for the notebook full of ideas. You have so many ideas that it doesn’t make sense to just pursue one. Why not go after all of them. Again, Scott Belsky: “A surplus of ideas is as dangerous as a drought. The tendency to jump on idea to idea spreads your energy horizontally rather than vertically”
Don’t have good intentions
This is pretty common for reality TV love. In fact, most of the time people don’t have good intentions. How many aspiring actors/songwriter scandals have we had on The Bachelor? Take a good look at your ideas that aren’t working out. Do you just want to make money or become famous? Sure, making money is a part of it but make sure you are trying to make a contribution to the world. I imagine there are a lot more well-intentioned success stories than ones motivated by making money.
So,do you have any great ideas that haven’t come together because of all the life distractions? What type of methods do you use to get projects completed? Have you seen The Bachelor Pad? It made me want to wash my eyes.