Unveiling The Secrets To A Constant Flow Of Ideas
Having a steady stream of ideas in 2024 comes from being active with the world around you.
It’s not a waiting game for inspiration; instead, it’s a deliberate, ongoing effort.
It’s easy to start the year with big plans and continual content efforts, but how does that look in ten months? Content plans are great guides, but does it mean that enthusiasm and persistence is ever present?
I’m sharing this with you based on ten years of writing every week (here’s the proof, if you go further back, it’s not the best, but everyone needs a place to start).
The only reason I’ve kept going is to find a habit where I act on the hints and cues that surround me. I realise that it’s a process of constant awareness and being tuned into what’s happening until you get to a point where you are open to ideas that are happening that you can see and act on.
A lot of what I share with you is from my own experience, what makes it focused is an overall idea. If it fits, it’s shared, if it doesn’t fit, we move on.
The cues and progress are based on this framework:
🏆 The overall idea of what you want your work to be linked to
🌊 Finding ways to keep this practice continuous
This is a good place to start as January is always filled with expectations and hope. Can what you start now, still have its place at the end of the year?
Two Places We Start From
One of the biggest fears we have is to say to ourselves, ‘Am I interesting enough?’ It’s important to realise that you don’t have to portray some outwardly extraordinary life for people to connect and commit to you.
The cues for not being interesting enough are what we always wrestle with. The thought of a handful of people seeing our post or blog article and then silence feels dispiriting. This is what plays into our fears and the convenient excuse for stopping.
The second way is to step forward and accept that not every idea is going to create a flow of contribution and acknowledgment but it comes back to an approach you want to be associated with.
It may not be perfect, but the dedication to the idea and cycle means that over time, you make a difference (and you look back at how far you have come).
CONSIDER THESE EXAMPLES:
Post daily about how you look at your industry. What frustrates you? Where do you see hope? How have you changed within the industry? What do people need today to succeed or what can enhance? Commit to one idea. Over the next month, you start to see a change. This is how your ideas start to flow, form patterns, where ideas come from and how you shape to progress, such as one idea linking to another idea to help you progress.
Lean into your values and what you stand for as a person. Share how your values can resonate with someone else and how your behaviour follows traits where other people know there is a shared approach. That way you speak up for others and vocalise the traits of a particular value. Bring in the stories that have affected your life, how your values have become your compass, and what it means for others to walk in the same shoes as you.
You realise that ideas don’t come from thin air, they come from what you have experienced and what no ChatGPT answer can replicate.
If you don’t share, they lose their potential to make an impact, or someone else takes what you didn’t progress. Hidden ideas that don’t have a chance to be seen, slowly fade away from memory and wither away, or someone else snaps up and makes it theirs.
When you push yourself that not everything is going to work, it becomes liberating. You just need to keep going. As you progress you start to take more significant risks and eventually, those risks start to hit home with other people.
What I am now going to share is how to set up a framework for you to never run out of ideas in 2024. From my side, this distilled wisdom has accumulated over the years. It has come about through trial and error and recognising that failure helps you to push the needle.
This is how you make that jump where your narrative and work have focus.
1) Be linked to an idea
2) Feed that idea
First Step: Connect To An Idea
Begin by identifying what you want your work to be associated with.
Link your work to something that is in harmony with your values, so you can say, ‘I made this.’
From my side, my work today links to how people and businesses can be self-sufficient in promoting themselves and their work. This means they can create by taking out the middleman to get to the people they want to be with.
You find significance in the ordinary.
The ordinary is what binds people together, it’s the hopes and dreams we all have. What you stand for is what is others can connect with. Begin with a question or a frustration that doesn’t just affect you, but others too. Recognise all these ingredients that affect you and others. What frustrates you and where do you know that fork in the road lies for you and others.
This means your work aligns with a distinct concept. For instance, for my side, it represents about self-sufficiency.
When you have an idea or even a phrase, this starts to find its place with others. This is completely different from having an industry term such as marketing, automation, email or SEO.
It’s the reason you galvanise people to you, not the marketplace. It’s the idea that you work with that encourages conversations. You then know that the competition becomes a lot smaller.
The big realisation is that it was never about the industry, but the idea that ignited buy-in. This is why people care, they can see what you stand by is what they believe in. It’s this commitment that encourages longevity.
In turn, this is then affected by your work. This becomes the curiosity that you follow where you become the spokesperson for so many other people. This is where you assert your authority and where you stand for the truth.
Second Step: Progressing Your Idea, So You Don’t Stop
When you have an idea, you then feed it.
Once you have defined what you want to be associated with, you start to become more aware of the responsibility you have. Here is how to maintain and build on this awareness where it becomes active.
Tune Into Stronger Connections
Creating with blinkers on doesn’t work. This is where you find those bursts of ideas that slowly burn out, but there wasn’t a central place to build from. For instance, you can only post so many pictures of your family and find that business context.
The connections you build, where you can share ideas and hear from someone else’s perspective allow you to share from a relatable perspective. One of the best places to gauge ideas if from your audience.
You don’t need thousands of subscribers; focus on the people who are already with you.
From the idea you have, they can be the source of paths to take and to listen to. As you grow, you’ll start to see patterns and understand their struggles, dreams, and lightbulb moments. Create with them in mind. It also means that not everything is on your shoulders, your inspiration comes from the people around you.
Take In More
Immerse yourself in what you are doing and what you are consuming — reading, watching, or listening to.
The next step is to filter it through your idea and mold into work that connects with your audience.
Importantly, this is not about following trends or popular topics. Instead, share your understanding through your expertise, filtering what you take onboard and adding your own perspective and thoughts.
From my perspective, my own experiences help me progress ideas and push my work to deliverables that haven’t done before. As an example, when we have YATM Lunch Club, whilst it’s a work event, we try and break World Records towards the start of the event. We do this so people feel at ease and it has that element of play to it. You have to stay open to the world and champion normality, this is what brings people together (and cheer each other on!).
Joining in, feeling a part of what’s happening around you, can become a valuable source of new ideas.
Just by being involved, you gain insights and sparks that can help fuel your progress. This could mean heading out to events and meeting new people. Just by being in a different space, you can pick up on threads that you can progress. For instance, it may be a topic for an event that helps you frame different perspectives that you want to explore.
Take the opportunity to participate and learn from others, which can spark fresh ideas and enrich your work. Joining in and being an active participant means you are involved with everyone else. This helps spark more ideas when you are a co-collaborator with others. Nothing beats real-life inspiration.
Revisit What You’ve Already Produced
Don’t forget about your past creations and never overlook the gems you may have created while looking for new horizons.
Where you are today could already have the seeds of an idea you can now bring to fruition.
Never forget that your best ideas deserve a comeback. Too often, we are looking for something new; why not extend? Reimagine and refine existing content; you can sculpt your work into something even better.
As YATM has developed, one of the common themes I have come back to is how a community progresses (or grows) and what it means for people to feel a part of something. As you apply your current knowledge and experience to what you have produced previously, you’ll find that your writing today is more relevant than ever before.
Revising and expanding on previous content can lead to breakthroughs without starting from scratch.
Your best ideas are worth refining.
When you identify what you want your work to be linked to, it becomes the lifeblood to progress. Associate your work with a distinctive approach, lean into your values, and share stories, with your stamp.
From this, you find a constant flow of inspiration that becomes an active, intentional process.
The gem of your idea helps you to stay aware, and continue connecting, absorbing, contributing, and revisiting. On this journey, embrace rejection and failure as stepping stones, not stumbling blocks. Remember, the ideas worth pursuing are the ones you shape into existence.
In the flow of ideation and the will to keep going, be the orchestrator, not a spectator. The ideas that shape and flow make an impact.