You know that great idea you have? It’s not yours. You didn’t create it.
I’m going to show you that ideas come to you, rather than the other way around.
This is not a legal post on intellectual property (which is, in fact, paramount in our society), this is a spiritual look at ideas and how we don’t own them.
The True Story Behind Ideas and How They Operate
I have countless friends, students, proteges, and apprentices that seem to think that someone stole “their idea”. They say it like somehow they own these ideas and that they are theirs.
I remember one day about 8 years ago a good friend of mine called me up and starting going on a huge rant about how some big company stole his idea, and how pissed he was about it.
Half way through the conversation he revealed that he thought of this idea 5 years ago! And that they just recently “stole the idea” and that he should be entitled to something.
He was convinced that they hacked his computer or somehow someone that he told gave away the idea, and that there was “no possible way, that anyone else would have come up with this idea exactly as he had.”
He explained that they “copied his idea” exactly and stole it. He was furious.
At the time, I didn’t really have a good answer but something felt off to me. Why can’t more than one person have a specific idea?
The more I’ve thought about it over the years, I’ve realized that we DO NOT own ideas, in a spiritual sense, and that they aren’t “ours”.
The idea owns itself. In fact, it’s looking for a host. And if you don’t act on that idea within a period of time, it’s gone.
The idea is not “yours” and travels to you, rather than you are the unique creator of the idea.
Execute The Idea or It’ll Find Another Host
I’ve heard it time and time again, “oh my god, that was my idea!”. People get so bent out of shape when they see “their idea” being done by someone else.
That’s because you didn’t execute the idea. The idea moved on. It’s like not feeding your dog very well, it’s going to go looking for a better source of food when it’s hungry and sick of you not taking care of it properly.
How Long Do You Have to Execute an Idea?
That varies by the idea, but in short – not long. Some ideas are more forgiving than others, and will put up with some delay if it’s not crucial for humanity for it to be done now. Or in some cases, the idea has no specific timeline.
Other times though, it’s urgent. The idea is something that will be best done today, not tomorrow. How do you know? Don’t delay and act on it right away. If you don’t act on it, you are taking a chance that it will find another host.
Keep in mind that sometimes you are not the best host for an idea. And there’s nothing you can do to keep it with you. No matter how hard you try the idea is meant for someone else.
Why Did the Idea Pick You?
The idea picked you because you were the best host. You have everything you need to execute on that idea, whether you believe it or not.
I run into a lot of people that literally make up false barriers for themselves when they have great ideas. They will immediately come up with some kind of crazy math that shows that they need millions and millions of dollars to even get started on the idea.
I’ve seen others come up with all sorts of ridiculous reasons not to do something. In this case, that’s fine, this idea is not for you. That’s what the universe is trying to tell you. You don’t believe in it (or yourself) enough and are creating false barriers for yourself. You aren’t ready for that idea.
You can start on many businesses with little to no cash. Time you are going to need, there’s no getting around that. But you can always make time. Here are some suggestions to make time.
I developed this “idea” largely after reading the NYT Bestseller Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. Going to the point of this post, this idea like all ideas and variations of ideas are not “mine” and they travel around to hosts to get out there. I hope I’ve done this “idea” justice and sent it out the best I could.
Brian is an Inc. 500 Entrepreneur, who built the 25th fastest growth marketing and advertising agency in America. Brian is an advisor to many startups and mentor to many entrepreneurs. He is a columnist at the world’s top publications. Brian is the Founder of Influencive and the Founder at BDE Ventures.