Shawn Christenson's
You don't have to just be someones 'Web Guy'

Capitalize on Your Inspiration in 5 Steps

Entrepreneurship, Inspiration

Do you not Act because you think someone else already is?

3 Months ago, I realized something about myself.

When I had an idea – I didn’t act on it.  I didn’t write it down.  I didn’t move on making it happen the moment I thought it.  And I also thought of a reason why i shouldn’t act on it.

Do you do this?  I’m almost positive you do most of the time.

I think a LOT of people do this.  Seth Godin (of Seth Godin fame) gave away a KILLER iPad App idea on his blog.  He wanted this App so bad he just put it out there for the world to make.  Seth has thousands of ideas to act on, he can afford to give some to others to do.

So anyway – this Killer iPad App – is out of this world awesome.  And Seth has broken it down to it’s ‘must have’ features.  He’s described what it can do, how it can do it and even how much he thinks it’s worth ($500!).

This idea was given away on February 6th, 2010.  So on May 27th 2010 – Seth Godin shared his 2nd Killer iPad App idea.  Also a freaking awesome App idea, flushed out and given reasons why it would work and features it could have. Seth also shared that no one has acted on his first idea.  It’s been almost 5 months!

I would surmise from this that no one has contacted Seth to work WITH him to make it happen.  No one has said ‘Seth, I want to make this – can we build it with you so as to make it the BEST it can be?“

You know why already, don’t you?

Everyone that read that awesome App idea decided someone else is likely already moving on it.  Someone else read it and is going to make it, so they shouldn’t spend their time and resources on it because they’ll be the second one out of the gate to do it.

I have a story from my Dad that he told me a few times while I was young.  He had the idea to bring Personal Storage to Canada.  At the time, it was only in the USA.  He wanted to open up Personal Storage in Canada, and his lawyer told him it was a dumb idea.  My father was going to move on something before someone else, and he didn’t because he was advised against it.  Someone else eventually did (and now it’s everywhere).

Here’s the thing – if there is an idea and it’s worth moving on – START on it.  My dad’s lawyer may have been an idiot.  But at least my dad started down the path.  He didn’t think about it and decide it was stupid.  He isn’t telling me today ‘So I thought of this idea once 30 years ago’.  He acted on the idea and followed it to a point where it felt maybe it wasn’t as good as he thought.

If you have that moment of inspiration – do these 5 things in order:

  2. Capture the feeling of the inspiration – describe what it is that you see in your mind – and write down the details too.  (See the Killer iPad App for how to do this.)
  3. Revisit your idea no less than 12 hours later.  If it’s good you’ll feel it.  Don’t let it linger – recapture the feeling quickly!
  4. If it’s still powerful, within 3 days take one hour to expand on your idea.  Write more about it, flesh it out further.
  5. No less than a week later, you should be taking action on your idea.  If it’s a good idea, why wouldn’t you? If you can’t do it, who can?  If it’s worth doing, who can do it with you (or for you)?

Essential tools for capturing your inspiration – a portable notebook and pen or a voice recorder – it’s faster than writing and you can do it while driving. Do whatever is going to be the most fluid for you to do it.  Recording a video might be the best!  Give that a try (if it’s easy and quick for you).

I’m practicing what I preach – and I’m actually attempting to write down or record each great piece of inspiration I have.

You’ll discover that doing this (capturing your inspiration) will actually cause you to have MORE inspiration.  The brain LOVES this stuff!

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  • I really enjoyed this article Shawn! I followed you from your recent guest post at Nathan Hangen's blog (which was an awesome post by the way!). I love your attitude and what you are doing to help push people into being all they can be. I feel inspired to keep making sure my ideas make it into reality.


  • Hey Mandie!

    Thank you for taking the time to comment and let me know you enjoyed this article AND that one over at Nathan's Blog. I really appreciate that.

  • Just wanted to add that Evernote can be another great tool to store these idea. Also, a Livescribe pen... you can draw and talk at the same time and it records the whole thing. Really good for recording ideas, not to mention allowing others to understand your idea so they can implement it. :-)

  • I agree about Evernote. I just started using it 3 weeks ago. On my iphone, via a web browser, on my Mac. It's accessible everywhere and it syncs everything. My brain dump got easier using it!

    And that Livescribe pen - is pretty amazing. If I had more people I worked with draw out their ideas as they talked about them, and sent me a video - i'd be in heaven.

  • Great post and well written...glad I found your blog! Also brings up a point I highlight in workshops...if you have a good idea, one that you're passionate about and feel in your gut, don't let anyone stand in your way. No matter what, anyone blazing a trail will run into people who will warn them against it. Stay true to your vision, your idea, your brilliance! And yes...getting the idea out of your head and into action is the first HUGE step!

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