If you’re anything like me you’ll be having ideas for new products, new services and new businesses all time. Opportunities are everywhere. I must have mapped out the framework of several books by now both fiction and non-fiction and don’t get me started on how many different domain names I’ve bought over the years for various projects.

But where do all these ideas come from?

Are we all geniuses, just coming up with idea after idea? Generated by the amazing wealth of stuff and people going on around us? Or is there more going on than that.

I love the idea presented by Elizabeth Gilbert in her book Big Magic and her Ted Lecture Your Elusive Creative Genius that our genius is more (in my mind anyway) a kind of nymph that goes from person to person. We aren’t geniuses, but if we’re lucky genius, creativity and ideas will visit us from time to time and almost whisper great ideas in our ears.

She tells the tale of a poet who would hear her poems rushing towards her over fields and she would run home hoping to get pen to paper before the poem disappeared.

And I’m sure we’ve all seen ideas pop-up and thought, damn I thought of that, but we just didn’t act on it fast enough.

Elizabeth talks about how if we don’t act on these ideas, they will leave us and float around until they find someone who will.

The ideas don’t belong to us, we are custodians of them.

We’re the steward of the ideas and we can choose to work on them and bring them to life, or allow them to move onto to someone who can make them happen.

The romantic in me loves this concept.

And it fits with the idea of innovation and building businesses.

It’s easy to have ideas. Most people have lots of ideas. The difficulty is in actually bringing them to life. Doing them. Making them real.

Ideas are not what’s important. It’s the grit and grace to actually do the thing. To be the custodian or steward of the idea. To bring those ideas into fruition.

So what ideas do you currently have for your business? Are you honouring them? Are you giving them the time and space they need to develop? Or are you happily saying no to some ideas to allow yourself space to focus on other things.

Just because we have the idea doesn’t mean we need to act on them.

But a question to ask would be would you be jealous if you saw someone else doing it – if there’s emotion there, you might want to sit with it for a while.

Here’s to those fleeting moments of genius when those ideas come to us and we have enough time, creativity and bandwith to turn them into a reality x

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