The Difference Between Ideas and Doing

%social engagement %social listening

A few years back, I knew a guy who always had a great idea up his sleeve.

He’d share these ideas with anyone that was in his company, and tell of his grand plans for when his ideas made him rich. They would invariably involve Salma Hayek, a yacht and six months at sea…

Everyone smiled and asked him not to forget us when he was rich and famous. After all, we were the sounding boards for his ideas and we’d say which ones sounded good, and which ones wouldn’t get him Salma.

Jump forward a few years, and needless to say he’s not dating Salma Hayek for six months of the year. Nor does he have his yacht, or his millions in the bank. The last I heard, he was a baker in a small village just outside of London in the U.K.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. He’s making an honest living, and keeping a roof over his head. But knowing his mind and ambition, I can’t help but feel he’d be a little disappointed that his grand plans never came to fruition.

And there’s one simple reason.

While he talked a great talk about ideas and plans, he never followed through on them.


Instead, his great ideas remained just that – ideas. Pipe dreams that could have been great had he taken just one of them and attempted to do it. But he didn’t. Instead, he chose to live anonymously, if you like, and remain “that guy with the ideas.”

Again, there’s nothing wrong with that. Nothing at all.

But ask yourself one question, if you’re currently thinking great ideas – what will you do next?

  • If it’s for a business, there are a ton of resources available for you, both online and offline. Google is your friend online, and your local Chamber of Commerce (or equivalent) is your friend offline.
  • If it’s for a product, and you want to test run it first, why not try something like Etsy to start with (or the equivalent for your product’s niche)? Again, Google is your friend – use it to find sites to sell your product with little investment.
  • If you’re looking for feedback to see if your idea is needed, set up your version of customer satisfaction listening posts and see what people are saying. If there are a lot of complaints and not a lot of resolutions, that’s an immediate in.
  • If you want to write a book, there are a host of self-publishing platforms available, like Blurb and Lulu. Better still, write an ebook and sell it through your own blog or website.

The main point is, there are a ton of folks with great ideas. But many never make it past the idea stage.

So, the question remains.

What will you do next?

Image: k-ideas


  1. Alas good ideas are a dime a dozen – as they say. However developing an entrepreneurial mindset is part art and part science and think that we could use more of that here in Canada. Victoria Lennox of Startup Canada, a new organization trying to help the country get moving in that direction is leading the charge. Check them out.

  2. I’m sending this to Mr. D! Unfortunately, all of his great ideas always involve me doing all the work.

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