We’re Not Looking for Ideas


Most times, when we search and scour the web, we tell ourselves that we’re looking for ideas. I don’t think this is actually true. Instead, I think we’re looking for one of two things: permission or a plan.

We’re Not Looking for Ideas

You’ve decided that you want to use the web to try and grow your business, for instance. So you start reading Mashable and you start following smart people (or who everyone else has told you is smart). You start collecting bookmarks and downloading PDFs and buying the occasional book from Amazon.

But MOST of what you’re seeking doesn’t really have to do with an idea.


Most of us want permission. When I finally read The Alchemist, by friend Paulo Coelho, I realized that the book, as stellar and as large as it is in spirit and mind, is also simply a permission slip. Many books are this. And why? Because much of what we seem to want, over and over again, is permission. Validation. We want someone to say to us, “Yes, you ARE doing a good job. Keep doing what you’re doing.” Or “Don’t worry. You’re on the right path.”

By the way, this isn’t bad. It’s not wrong to want it. It’s just a built-in emotion we all feel.

A Plan

Many times, we get our idea figured out and we realize that we don’t exactly know how to go about accomplishing what needs doing. So we go in search of a plan. Only, a plan is about as retracing someone else’s GPS route guidance. Meaning, you’re not where they were when they realized they needed to reach the same destination. Plans, for that very reason, are always flawed.

And yet, we eat them up. Every single time I write out even the simplest of plans, it becomes one of the most shared pieces of content I can create. Why? Because they are great ways to get our own thoughts in order, if we haven’t even sat with our thoughts long enough to consider putting them in an order.

And that, at the end, is the real issue.

You Could Grant Yourself Both Gifts

With just a little time, with just a little bravery, with just a little consideration, you could find all the permission and planning you want, inside your own head. Yes, there are many instances where learning with others is a great way to go, but at the end of it all, you’ll want to grant yourself permission. You’ll want to concoct your own plan.

And if you’re not yet ready to do that, it’s okay. But be clear with yourself that you (you!) have the permission and the power to make your ideas into something more. Without anyone’s permission. Without anyone else’s plan. You.

Therein lies beauty.

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