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How to Capture Your Million Dollar Ideas

by Steve Scott | Join Him On Facebook

Someone recently told me that nine out of ten adults have a cell phone. I didn’t run out and research the numbers, but considering that every single person I know has a cell phone it’s probably a fairly accurate statistic.

Wealthy, middle-class, doctor, lawyer, floor-sweeper … it doesn’t matter. Everyone I know uses a cell phone. (Everyone over the age of twelve, anyway.)

It’s understandable. Cell phones are a great way to be accessible no matter where you are and even better to have with you in case of an emergency!

Thanks to the new wave of smart phones such as the Palm Pre, the Blackberry, and the iPhone, more and more people literally have the internet and more at their fingertips. You can check your email, play games, schedule appointments, and set an alarm to beep as a reminder.

Phones to Keep Track of Ideas

It’s pretty crazy to think that you can write yourself notes on a device that fits in your pocket. I definitely consider myself a pretty technologically advanced guy, but I’ve got a long way to go before I start writing things on my phone: that’s why I carry a small book and a pen with me wherever I go.

Below is a picture of my ‘idea book:’

This is the book I use currently. I bought this one a few weeks back, because I ran out of room in my last one. That’s because I really do fill the pages with notes.

Have an Idea? Well, Right It Down!

I’ve written stuff down in restaurants, at airports, in doctor’s office waiting rooms, while I’m stuck in traffic, pretty much anywhere you can think of.

Why? One of the best things I’ve come to realize is if you have an idea, write it down.

You’ve probably seen those goofy “As Seen on TV” products, right? Snuggies, AquaGlobes, you know what I’m talking about.

As dumb as some of those items seem, once they’re available in physical stores (instead of infomercials) it means that they’ve already earned millions of dollars. Someone out there had to think of those crazy things and those people are pretty wealthy folks right now.

Exploring Your “What If” Ideas

If they hadn’t brainstormed and had crazy “what if?” ideas, we’d still be using regular blankets without sleeves and watering our plants with watering cans.

If you were sitting though a business meeting, you’d probably write things down on a whiteboard, right? That’s great, but your million-dollar idea might hit you at Subway when you’re eating lunch. That’s why you should carry a book and a pen with you at all times.

It doesn’t matter if you’re afraid people will think it’s stupid, it doesn’t matter if you think you’ll look stupid when you whip out a book and a pen, and it doesn’t even matter if you’re not sure if you’ll even like the idea again later.

It’s better to give yourself the opportunity to re-think it later or consult with a friend than forget your idea!

How I Use an Idea Book

A few years ago, I was having trouble coming up with new ways to drive traffic to my online business. It pretty much got to the point that no matter what I tried, nothing seemed to work. I went out for a run and thought things through.

I had a few “what if’s” pop into my head, and when I got home I started writing down everything that had come to mind during that run.

I’ve got to admit that some of the ideas were pretty horrible, but I started writing down notes every time a “what if?” strikes me, and eventually I got things running a little more smoothly.

Even though my business is a lot more successful than it was back then, I continue keeping my Idea Book and I put it to use every day. (In fact, the concept for my free report “Life Plan Mastery” originally started out as a small note in my idea book.)

Idea Books Help You Continually Improve

In my post regarding the principle of Kaizen, which is the Japanese word for continuous improvement. The Japanese respect the idea of continuous improvement, and implementing Kaizen into your life means that you are willing to work a little bit harder each and every day to achieve your goals, whatever they may be.

My Challenge To YOU

We’re all here to improve ourselves, so my challenge to you?

Take my advice into consideration and get yourself a little notebook. Try to keep it nearby at all times so you can start writing things down. If you feel awkward carrying it with you out in public, you can keep it in your car.

I will leave you on this note. Get yourself an Idea Book. Give it a shot for a week or two and I think you’ll start to enjoy it. You can even try this habit out for 30 days.

You never know when your million dollar idea will strike, but when it does, you’re going to want to remember it!

Take Action. Get Results.



{ 7 comments }

Steve Scott

They’re absolutely great for generating ideas. I never have to worry about coming up with blog posts because I’m constantly jotting down ideas into this book and into my publishing schedule.

Anyway, thanks for the comment for stopping by!

Gurl

The great thing about being a woman is that I carry a purse. For two months or so now, that purse contains a small note book. I used it one day to flush out a blog post idea as my family and I were riding around some scenic places we know (no, I wasn’t driving;)). I have a different one I keep by my computer just so that I don’t end up leaving my portable version at home! Its come in handy for all kinds of things, and its a habit I will likely keep.
.-= Gurl´s last blog ..7 Awesome Tweeple To Follow =-.

Steve Scott

Haha…you definitely have an advantage there! Anyway, it sounds like you already have a pretty good system for capturing ideas.

Steve Scott

I guess, whichever method works best for you. The point is to have a system where you consistently capture your ideas.

Gail

I used to use the simpleology system with a dreamcatcher, but lapsed in that some time ago, now I tend to use either the blackberry or simle .txt files on the computer. I may be away from the puter but never without the bb, and if I decide to use the ideas later, they’re already in electronic format, so less typing.
.-= Gail´s last blog ..Investing in Junk Coins by Keith Hamburger =-.

Taylor

I have used notebooks for years for idea catching, and am very glad I have. Usually I go back over them either because I knew I had something I had written down in relation to an existing idea or challenge. And were talking 10 years worth. 20 books:

I have recently taken two new approaches:
1. I have a blog at posterous.com that is set to private where I post all online research and call it up by tags. It now has over 400 pages of info on it….very handy. They also have a applet for you browser so it is one click to drop it into your blog.

2. The other tool I use is an iphone app called reqall. It allows me say into my iphone the information and it transcribes it and sends me an email. Where I can later put somewhere. I will also work with your calendar for meetings etc, and notifies you an hour before.

All of this has really freed up my mind to remember details that don’t need to be stored or forgotten in my own main harddrive;)

Steve Scott

Those are two really good ideas. I like they way they work great for an online “notebook” but can also be readily used to integrate into whatever you need them for online. Absolutely awesome ideas! I still am stick in the pen and paper notebook taking for the most part. (I do drop and drag stuff into a word file sometimes too)

I may have to incorporate some of your ideas.

Thanks for a great comment that helped ME learn something Taylor!

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