“I Don’t Have Any Ideas!”

By Jamie McSloy / February 22, 2018
build skills not ideas featured image

You might think that your lack of success is due to not having any good ideas.

The good news is that it’s not that at all.

The bad news is that it’s something else.

It’s not that you don’t have good ideas, it’s that you don’t have enough valuable skills. This might sound harsh, but it isn’t. Let’s find out why.

“I Don’t Have Any Ideas!”

Skills come first, ideas come second.

There are billions of ideas and billions of people with ideas. Yet most of these things never come to fruition because it’s one thing to have an idea and another thing to bring that idea into reality. Also, because most people have no skills, they have no idea of the process of bringing an idea into reality. By this, I mean its feasibility, effectiveness and cost to bring into reality.

You might think that your idea to reinvent the vacuum cleaner is the best idea ever, but it’ll cost you many thousands in development costs and you’ll never put the money down and realise it doesn’t work.

(Time Out: If you’re enjoying this article, then you should probably sign up to my mailing list, where I give out ideas and business tricks that I don’t share publicly. Click here, fill out your details and get yourself on the list! You won’t leave this page.

Now Back To The Regular Programming Schedule…)

This lack of feedback also leads to people overrating their ideas. How any times have you heard, “I could be an inventor or business owner if only I had the funds!”

If they’ve never tried to execute an idea, they think the idea is what matters. It isn’t.

Some of the most original ideas never take off because there’s no way to implement them. Yet people can have completely uninspired and unoriginal ideas and because they implement them well, they succeed.

The idea is only as valuable as the skills that’ll lead to its successful implementation.

Let’s Flip This Over For Practical Advice Reasons

If you have skills and the ability to complete projects, then the ideas come to you, and you have an infinite amount of projects to choose from.

You also have an advantage over everyone else.

Let’s take my skills for instance. I build websites, write a lot and create products, among other stuff.

Whenever I take up a new hobby, it’s a fully fleshed-out project before I even begin. I have a list of things I want to achieve, I take copious notes and set deadlines; approaching the hobby in the same way I would a business project. Except I have a lot more fun.

I might create a niche site to review the products I’m going to buy. This funds the hobby (a big thing in itself.)

I might journal my struggles with the hobby or write about the basic how-to stuff I need to know. This can be a quick Amazon book in a couple of months.

I’d do the whole “connect with people who know what they’re talking about” thing on social media/forums/emails/real life so that I’ll quickly get real world feedback.

Most importantly, I’ll be experimenting right away, finding “hacks” and other better ways of doing things that I can share with others. This then becomes part of the wider feedback cycle.

I can do this for any hobby or thing I take a marginal interest in. (See my ever-growing domain name addiction.)

Skills Give Structure

The skills I’ve built give a structure to any idea I have. I’m not talking purely in money and profit terms, but in general. Because of the skills I’ve developed, I’m more likely to stick with a project or hobby now than I was a few years ago.

I already know how to research what’s important so I won’t spin my wheels as much. I know how to put subjects I don’t understand into terms I do understand and I’m better at the whole Pareto Principle thing of pulling what I need out of a subject.

Any success I have in terms of money or social skills or whatever is icing on the cake.

Compare that to someone who doesn’t have these skills.

They fund their project outright.

Any traction they gain is hard fought.

Most importantly, they overvalue their idea and are afraid to commit to it. I don’t really get emotionally attached to ideas anymore because I’ve already got too many to work with as it is.

“What If It Fails?”

If you have enough skills, then chances of failure massively decrease on the one hand, and on the other your reliance on any idea working diminishes.

The bigger your skill set, the less ideas you need, but the more ideas you’ll have.

The process I highlighted above will work for pretty much any idea I have. Build your skills (doesn’t have to be my skill set by any means) and you’ll find the same.