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The Day Job – In case of opportunity, break glass

     You have a really good idea.
     Trust me, I know. I’ve had a lot of good ideas over the years.
     As a matter of fact, some of my ideas have been absolutely grand!

     So what did I do with each idea?
     I worked on it, smoothed and polished it, and off I went to the meeting to pitch it.

     The problem: The meeting wasn’t about my idea.

     It wasn’t even about ideas, or a call for ideas, and at the end of the meeting, no one asked if I had an idea. It was a real pity, because this one was great. And even during the meeting, I tried to lead the discussion towards my idea, but no luck. I even approached a few people afterwards, but they were too busy on the follow-up discussions and strategies from the actual topic at hand.

     The next day, I decided to walk around and share this idea, because it was great, and as soon as someone heard it, everyone would know that the next Big Thing was coming. Most importantly, they’d know it’s coming from me.

     The next morning, I do my thing, and all anyone wants to talk about was the previous day’s meeting. Sooner or later, I finally give up on trying to get my idea out there. No one is interested.

     Since I know good ideas and can see the same greatness in your latest pitch, I understand your frustration when it seems that no one’s interested. Well, they’re not interested right now.

     I’ve said before that it’s all about time. When it comes to new ideas, it’s all about timing. Good ideas at the wrong time go nowhere, while some truly dreadful ones seem to get momentum for no better reason than they were timed right, when there was no real competition. No matter how good your idea is, if you bring it around on Friday, or if you demand it be given attention, you’ll not just lose your chance now, you’ll also turn the audience off to it perhaps indefinitely.

     I believe in this idea of yours, and I want to hear it when the time is right, but no one can really tell you when that is. Until that day comes, please, invest no more energy into this one. Put it on a shelf someplace where you can look at it from time to time, close the case, and move on.

     Good ideas stand the test of time. They’re sturdy. They don’t need much more shining and polishing than you’ve already put into them to get momentum when they should. When the time comes, when the need arises, you’ll know.

     Like I said at the beginning, I’m an idea guy. I have lots of them, like my list of article titles. For those who follow me, I have over 100 great ideas to write about for this little Day Job adventure. Some have sat in the queue for over a year, but I know I’ll get to them when and if the time is right. Until then, the routine that brings me new ideas is more important than pushing one idea around as soon as it comes to me.

     Might does not make right in the idea business, and every business is in the idea business. Even though you have the fortitude and the conviction to take this idea forward alone, doing so at the wrong time will likely create change that can’t be maintained. That would be like me writing the first idea still on the list, probably jotted down in late 2013. Trying to write that one at the expense of the new ideas and other great conversations I get to have every day would have stopped me in my tracks, and I wouldn’t still be writing today. Investing too much energy into an idea no one is interested in will almost always cause me to lose another opportunity sitting right in front of me while I’m too busy polishing my precious.

     Likewise, if you tunnel in too deeply on the one idea in front of you, it can easily stop you in your tracks as well. There’s nothing wrong with you putting that good idea up on the shelf until its time in the spotlight arrives. That may be months, it may be years, and it may even be at another organization or something to hand down to a subordinate as unfinished business when you move on. If it’s the right idea for the organization, its time will come. When it does, break the glass, take that idea out of its case, and show it to people who want it.

     Relax. Pay attention to the room you’re in, and if it’s not time, don’t take it personally. Remember, good things happen when you let them. They can’t be forced or muscled to fit into the next meeting on the schedule. I’ve tried time and again, and good ideas lost support before their time simply because I was stubborn. Please have a little more patience than the younger version of me had.

– Have you had that great idea that no one was interested in? Do you still think it’s a good one?

– When the time comes, will you remember where you stored that good idea, or is it lost in the bottom of a drawer?

Have a great week out there.

– JT

My good thing: I’ve created The Day Job page on Facebook to migrate it all away from my personal page. There’s a lot coming in the next year, so please like it here to participate. You won’t regret it. Feel free to invite friends.

ANOTHER GOOD THING!! Sales of the 2016 Day Job Calendar are going better than ever. This is a limited printing, so get yours here if you haven’t already.

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