I find this battle between ideation vs execution fascinating. I’ve met some truly gifted and creative people who can talk about these amazing and wonderful ideas, yet rarely if ever, convert anything into action. Vice versa is also true. The impressive people that are incredibly effective, and execute on everything they set their mind to. No matter how creative or challenging the idea may in fact be.
General Rule of Thumb
For me and from what I’ve seen, execution trumps ideation, every time!
You may not agree, but the best business ideas, the best possible adverts, the most clever piece of content, means nothing whilst it’s still in your head.
At Social INK, we talk about being launch-ready. Not perfect, but launch-ready. We try to use Pareto’s Principle and focus on the 80/20 rule. 80% of success is showing up. So it’s all about being ready to launch.
Something people often forget, once something is launched, there is nothing stopping you from making improvements, edits or straight up changing the whole thing.
Ideation fuels Execution
From my experience, and especially from running my 30-day challenges, just like this one (can you blog every day for 30 days), the ideation element can be challenging. Coming up with things to write about every day, can seem daunting, especially at the beginning. If you stare at a blank piece of paper, with 30 dates written down the side, and you need to fill it all in, it becomes a horrifyingly challenging task!
If you start by coming up with the first few ideas though, it seems easier to get started. As you get going and you start writing every day, more ideas come to you. The challenge itself helps you cut out the procrastination. And by the time you’re on day 4 or 5, you’ve probably got a fair few more ideas in the bank.
I use Notes on my iPhone. If I’m listening to a podcast and something stands out, I’ll jot it down in Notes. If there’s a quote in a book I’m reading, I’ll quickly add it to Notes. Browsing on the internet and see an interesting article, I’ll save it to my notes.
You get the idea, everything ends up in my notes app.
Then, when I have some downtime, I’ll go through my notes. Taking some time to read it and digest, and invariably, something there will spark an idea for another blog or an article.
Execution fuels Ideation
Yes, that’s right. It’s all a self-fulfilling prophecy. The circle of content creation, or anything else for that fact. You need the ideas to start executing, and as you start executing you’ll have more ideas, then those ideas need executing and so on and so forth.
I talk a lot about the idea of improving 1% each day. The same is true for this process.
When we first start talking to clients, especially in a coaching capacity, I’ll often ask them what kind of stimuli they currently have in their lives. Do they read, do they listen to podcasts, do they watch documentaries or do they read industry-relevant blogs? Whatever it is that they do, that initial input works to stimulate the ideas machine.
Before you know it, you’re finding ideas to execute from all walks of life. Mine have come whilst being face down on an Osteopath’s table whilst getting my shoulder treated. All it took was for her to say something about the way she ran her business, that triggered an idea, that became a piece of content.
Ideation Vs Execution
You see, the simple truth is, it’s not ideation vs execution that matters. It’s ideation AND execution that matters.
Regardless of what industry, business, sector, niche, size or anything else in your life, you need the ideas to execute, and executing generates more ideas.
I’ve used this method for my health, exercise, to read more, to learn more, to write more, to create more, for EVERYTHING. It’s that powerful.
“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” – Stephen King
It’s time to get up and go to work. No matter what it is you’re trying to accomplish, get started. The ideas and execution require your input.
What would you say you struggle with, ideation, execution, or both? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to chat about this.
4th August 2020 Update:
Yep! That’s right! It’s another experiment.
For the All About Digital Marketing podcast, I decided to use this blog to create a complete podcast episode. You can find it on our website, or Apple Podcasts if you prefer, but I wanted to update this and share.
Repurposing content is a great way to be able to create more content than you ever realised possible. You just have to think outside the box.
One piece of content is never just one piece of content.
Could you turn your entire blog collection into a podcast series? Think about it.