“I just don’t have any good ideas.”
Most people fall into 2 categories. You are either idea drowning or in an idea drought. When you find yourself drowning in ideas don’t need any more. The heavens have been raining ideas down on until you’re in giant puddle of possibilities trying to find the time to flesh them all out. But when you’re in an idea drought it feels like all your potential profits are dried up with your crispy crops and you wonder if it will ever rain again.
What you really need is an ideastorm.
And while I can’t teach you an actual rain dance, I can give you the requirements for the perfect [idea]storm.
Get over it. This is the first step, and truly the biggest obstacle you have to tackle to make it rain down ideas. You need to get over the fact that your creative juices are completely sucked dry and your lightbulb won’t even flicker. Even the most creative artists, writers, actors and inventors will tell you this is a common experience. It isn’t that you aren’t creative, you just need to turn the water back on.
Grab a buddy. This does 2 things. Firstly, it provides you a little moral support/accountability to make sure you actually do the ideastorm. Secondly, it boosts your confidence (which is really what creativity is all about) because they get to play the part of your capable assistant*.*Who keeps quiet and just smiles and writes making you feel like each new idea is the best one yet.
Start the storm. There are NO bad ideas here. List every possibility, every strange concept and every giant dream. List them one after another aloud while your buddy jots them down. You can start with simple and obvious to begin with, and grow into crazy. Aim for 20 ideas.
Walk away. This is the last critical key. Walk away. Treat your buddy to ice cream. Catch a movie or go to a game. The point is, you need to let your ideas soak in. Don’t go around splashing in your rain puddles making everything muddy or psyching yourself out by judging the fact that you just listed “raisin-maker” as a legitimate idea.
What you do with all your ideas is another post, but for now just perfect the art of ideastorming. And for the all-time best clip of this in action, see below: