Ready to come up with some IDEAS?
Pull out a piece of paper.
Now, write down 10 (ten) ideas that solve the #1 biggest problem you’re facing.
I’ll wait. . .
Have you come up with 10 ideas?
Yes? (Good. Continue below…)
No? (Write down some ideas! If you get stuck then continue below…)
Out of those 10 (ten) ideas you should have at least one good idea.
Coming up with good ideas without knowing where to start can be tough.
But if you keep working at it, you’ll eventually combine different things to come up with something unique.
That’s how ideas work.
So, when I find myself in a room with executives, I don’t just “come up” with ideas on the spot. I use a proven step-by-step formula that comes up with ideas for me.
(Note: This formula doesn’t guarantee you’ll get ideas, you still have to put in the work. It just makes it a lot easier by giving you a map to follow.)
Step 1: The “Idea” mindset
My favorite TV show genre?
A group of people searches the jungles and shores of an island, to find clues of lost treasure, and eventually finds it. Did you know there is billions of dollars of gold buried in the Philippines from WWII? Insane.
Ideas are CLUES that gets you to the GOLD.
You are a treasure hunter.
Every clue (a.k.a IDEA) matters.
If you’re on a team, then everyone on that team has input that matters…dismissing a clue too soon could cost you the gold in the end.
Step 2: Why exactly?
Why is searching for this idea important?
What is the purpose?
(e.g. We’re searching for a new name so that we can brand our new business division within the company toward millennials)
Step 3: Soak it all in
Do as much research as you can through Wikipedia, blogs, articles, scientific journals, books, etc.
Gather everything you can.
This is laying the groundwork.
Soaking up information is like planting seeds. (You reap what you sow)
You can’t come up with ideas without knowledge and/or experiences.
Step 4: Let’s make some ideas from scratch!
- Proper Names
- Significant Numbers
- List of Descriptive Words:
- Literal → Synonyms & Antonyms
- Allegory (Metaphor)
- Opposite (Satire)
- Each idea contains its own ‘string’ of ideas
Do not erase any ideas you come up with. You need every single one right now.
Step 5: Now combine ingredients for flavor
- Name + Name
- Name + Number
- Name + Word
- Name + Metaphor
- Etc. x 1,000
Step 6: Clean up and focus
Remember all those ideas you hated from before?
It’s safe to NinjaFruit them.
Remove words or ideas that you are 100% sure you will not use.
Step 7: Is your idea taken? Does it need a website?
See if the top-level domain is available.
Google will also make suggestions based on keyword searches.
Step 8: Take it easy
Now put the information aside.
Go on a walk.
Take a Shower.
Take a nap.
Your brain will take everything you just told it and chew on it.
You don’t need to do anything else. You don’t need to think about it. Your mind is far more powerful than you give it credit for.
When ideas come to you during this down-time. Write them down.