What to Do With Your Great Ideas

You’ll feel great – even inspired – when all your brainstorming and research yields a Big Idea, whether it’s for a new product, a marketing campaign, or a headline for a sales promotion. But you’re not done.

See, it’s not enough for your idea to be captured. It needs to be tamed. Polished. Beaten into submission (or whatever other metaphor floats your dinghy).

Because it’s in the execution, rather than the mere inspiration, where you’re going to set yourself apart from the rest of the pack.

Think of it this way.

Some cave guy (or gal) once had an idea for a thing called a “wheel.” We must remember to send him (or her) some flowers. But while we’re at it, let’s not forget to thank the fella (for it was one, Charles Goodyear) who thought up vulcanized rubber in 1844… and Robert Thomson who came up with the first inflatable tire in 1845… John Dunlop, who re-invented it for his son’s tricycle in 1847… and all the other innovators since.

They all took a great idea and made it greater… by working it over, massaging it, pushing forward and making mistakes, and plenty more. It was their sweat equity that made the real difference.

Here’s the good news: As you polish and refine, you’ll discover more ideas. All worth re-working too. Your pool of genius will expand. And pretty soon, you’re not just the guy (or gal) who had that one great idea a long time ago… you’re the one who has lots of great ideas. Even better, you’ll have a reputation as one of the rare few who sees those ideas through.

[Ed. Note: Get even more of expert copywriter John Forde’s musings on the creative process, marketing, copywriting, and more at his blog.]

Comment on this article

John Forde's 15-year career as a top copywriter started as an understudy of Bill Bonner and Michael Masterson. Since then, John has written countless winning controls, has generated well over $30 million in sales, and has successfully launched dozens of products. He's also worked three years as a financial journalist and has written books on wealth building and health, as well as more than 250 articles on copywriting for his popular ezine, The Copywriter's Roundtable. John has taught copywriting in private seminars and conferences in Paris, London, Bonn, Chicago, Buenos Aires, Baltimore, and Warsaw. He currently lives and works from Paris, France.