Who’s It For?

Great ideas have little chance of making it through the gauntlet of opinion. Succumbing to rejection by friends, family, peers, staff is why we walk away from ideas which we eventually see implemented successfully by someone other than ourselves. You can you get your out-of-the-box thinking idea to market by doing one thing consistently: don’t seek opinions from people who your idea is not for.

All ideas are not going to deliver results we desire. But no idea has a chance when it’s scuttled on the launch pad or in development. The test of whether an idea is worth implementing is to implement it. Expose the idea to the people it’s designed to speak to and you’ll get the only feedback that matters. Be willing to learn something from the results of launching.

If it’s that easy, why do we seek the approval of people who the idea is not for before we are confident enough to launch the idea to people it’s designed for? Are we derailed by the people we trust when they are unimpressed? Are we sidetracked because we are embarrassed when our idea falls flat with people who the message is not for? When you’ve done the work you’ve considered more of what will never cross the minds of people who have not gone where you’ve been. The need for affirmation is debilitating. Self doubt is a killer.

It’s easy to ask people we know to comment on our idea. From the perspective of the person who’s asked to comment, the consequences of approving something that ends in utter failure are great. The safe route is to encourage the person to stay within the norms. Very few people are willing to go where you’re going. That’s probably a good indicator that your idea has a chance. Launch something moderately of interest to the masses and you’ll get encouragement. Launch something that may be massively accepted by a narrow market, and the chances are the people who give their opinion will not get it. They won’t see what the narrow market sees because they are not in the narrow market. Your message is for some people. But it’s not for them.

Your idea has never been tried. Oh sure, something like your idea may have been tried, but it’s not the same. No other idea that is anything like your idea has ever had you involved. Great ideas have come to market before the market was ready. That doesn’t diminish the greatness of the idea. Press on.

Allowing some other people to influence your commitment or cause you self doubt is up to you. Consider this response: “Thank you. Your opinion matters to me. I appreciate your perspective.” And then tell yourself, “This isn’t for them.”

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