I just got a question from a podcast listener. Brad from California asks: “Dan, I hear you share about all your good ideas. Do you ever have a bad idea?”
I had to pick myself up off the floor after laughing so hard. Do I ever have a bad idea – oh yeah. About 10 times a day. And you know why? I don’t know of any way to get to the good ideas without going through a whole lot of bad ones. If you are waiting to share or experiment with an idea until you have a perfect one, chances are strong that 10 years from now you’ll still be waiting.
Most people are afraid of good or bad ideas. Good ideas require change and that’s intimidating. Bad ideas make us look foolish or stupid, or waste time and money.
But take a look around you. Anyone who is doing something great had a lot of bad ideas to get to where they are today. I don’t know of any exceptions. If you haven’t “failed” recently or had a bad idea, success will likely elude you as well.
Yes, I have bad ideas – lots of them. I’ve failed with writing ideas, seminar ideas, product ideas, and employee ideas. Perhaps I should track them for a time period. I suspect my ratio is about 15 bad ideas for every 1 that has real potential.
My advice: Welcome your “bad” ideas. They are your friends. Treat them with the love and respect they deserve.
“Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it is the only one you have.” – Emile Chartier