3 yellow roses

Make Ideas Rain on You!

© Ruth Marlene Friesen

How? Like meteorologists seed thunder clouds for a rainfall?

Brainstorming has similarities to thunderstorms. Sometimes you do have to seed the clouds a bit. But once ideas rain down, you get a downpour! More than you really had wanted. Big as hailstones!

You've probably heard how it is done, maybe even tried it in a group or committee setting. But do you ever use it for your business? How about when you need a creative alternative to a problem?

Your authority figure has said, "Do it this way." Yet you can see that it is not a good way. That is a time to brainstorm.

I often complain I get more ideas than I can shake a promising finger at. Maybe because I used to have a job where I had time to think. I gave myself permission to visualize how certain ideas might play out. Sort of like watching private TV in my head.

Here's some helpful tips.

1. Do your brainstorming in stages, not necessarily in one block of time. A five-minute gaze through the window is not enough. Nor is excitedly tossing off ideas with a friend or two over a meal.

2. Step One: Make lots of written lists.

I wanted to plot a new web site, so I made lists of my interests, skills, and the things I enjoy. Also the problems I've had to cope with, as those teach skills as well. The course says, do the lists over again, but keep in mind what you were at five, then ten years ago, and also to ask others who've known you some time. - Circle the key words that pop up over and over.

3. Step Two: separate out the main words or ideas that look like they have a remote chance of working. Hey, I soon had ideas for ten web sites! I still have not done all of them!

4. Step Three: as your fervor dies down and reason comes back, pick out just three ideas to check out further. The other ideas aren't wasted. Just set them aside for now. You might attach them to your main idea later, or come back to start over with one of these. That's why you wrote ALL your ideas down, so they don't vanish into thin air.

5. Step Four: research the three selected ideas to see if they are truly feasible. Will others accept or reject them? Do they have flaws that make them unfit or harder to carry out? In my case, is there a demand for the web sites I'd like to set up?

6. Step Five: find out who else is already doing this idea. How is your idea better? Is there room for you too, or will the field get too crowded? Perhaps you can borrow aspects of the competitor's ways, or - you may just decide to let them carry that ball, and you'll try you next bright idea. You had more than one hail on you, didn't you?

Just think. You can make it rain ideas on you any time you like. Write lists, choose, research for feasibility and competition. Before you know, you are already in planning stages!

Run into a snag? Brainstorm on it.

Ruth Marlene Friesen makes friends wherever she goes!
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Ruth Marlene Friesen

Ruth Marlene Friesen
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