Ideas are an oft berated subject. Berated, because ideas that never see the light of the day have earned a bad rep for the rest of the ideas that still hold potential. Since ideas can only exist in people’s minds, there is this unspoken, rarely acknowledged, discrimination against ideas in general because, usually, the ability of the person whose mind holds that idea, is questionable.
Now its not the fault of the person either. He knows only so much. In his entire life, leading up to the moment when the “idea” dawned on him, he pushed himself only as much as his means allowed him to.
Great, so he has an idea. Its gotten him motivated. He would like to get it done. But he’s not sure if he himself can do it. What about asking for help?
Usually, the man with the idea, shops around to see if it sticks. Usually the people he is shopping around this idea with, have similar background as him and therefore by association also have questionable abilities. They are usually unimpressed and in turn burden the poor man with their versions of his idea. Welcome to amateur hour at mediocre minds inc.
Unconvinced, unrelenting, undefeated he starts to seek approval from people who are different from him. Who he thinks “know better”. The “know better” people would entertain him briefly because, well, they know better to let go of an idea without hearing it fully. They hear him out, flatter him, encourage him but slowly avoid him. (There are exceptions who will help out after hearing the idea, but this post is not about them. It not sexy to write about things that work out). Usually, however, they feign ignorance or point towards someone else who might be able to help - This particular rigmarole continues till better things in the man’s life take over.
That moment right there when he decides to focus on better things in life is an inflection point. The man, usually, thinks to himself if he can make it on his own. Without any help. “Who needs help? Its my idea, I will figure it out” Its a moment when the man challenges his self-belief. Usually, this challenge to self-belief never takes place. People spend their whole life doing stuff they need to do to earn a living and enjoy life and such, rarely spending any time thinking if they have a higher purpose (and that’s okay too) But for people who do wonder about the higher purpose, it shouldn’t matter how high it really is. Its okay for it to be slightly higher than their current form. But people feel daunted by their own potential. They start putting a price on their present, not caring so much about their future. Their self belief starts getting restricted to their daily routine and the annual holiday. The higher purpose dies, the idea becomes a fragment of what it started out as, the momentous “inflection point” ignored
Later the man starts romanticizing this one time he had a “kick-ass idea”. He recounts it at every party. He keeps iterating with the versions that his peers had told him once. He keeps saying “lets do it” to the people who know better, praying and begging inside that they say no, because life is so comfortable right now and he really doesn’t feel like failing. So if in the rare case he gets the help from someone with abilities that he never had he can achieve his shortcut to self actualization. So that if he fails, the failure that he fears is not entirely his and he can retain his higher purpose.
By this time however, those who know better and those who know the man, unanimously brand him an Ideapreneur - someone who had ideas but never the ability to fulfill them. Who had the enthusiasm to talk about it but a shortsight to attempt shortcuts. His ideas come under scrutiny. They get discarded. Anyone in the future with similar ideas gets discarded too, irrespective of his ability to execute that idea.
Now you’ll realize the real culprit is the man. The Ideapreneur. The idea itself was never at fault. So as people who know better we must stop discriminating against ideas. Greater acceptance of ideas may lead to greater acceptance of the men who thought them up. Maybe then Ideapreneurs will find a voice in the mainstream. They will have a renewed will to challenge their self belief. They’d stop depending on shortcuts and get over their fear of failure, or take failure head on as a rite of passage. Maybe we’d all be happy that an idea from an Ideapreneur came to life and that it is really okay for everyone to be one too.