If you are like me, you have ideas popping into your head all the time. Almost anywhere I am, no matter what I am doing, an idea for some kind of new business, or money-making idea will come to me. Because of this, it is important for me to write down every idea I think of, no matter how large or small, or even no matter how ridiculous the idea may seem at the time.
If I am out, away from the house, I don’t generally write the ideas down, but what I do is that I use the voice recorder on my cell phone to make an audio note to myself of what my idea is. Later, when I am home, I will listen to the recording and write down the idea on one of my notepads.
I don’t use my computer to make these notes. It’s not an MS-Word file or a text file on my desktop. I do it the old fashioned way, I write it on a piece of paper. What I generally use for writing down ideas is post-it notes. Then I stick the post-it note on my desk. Often, the post-it notes get in my way on my desk. Maybe while I am handling my computer mouse, the post-it notes are in the way. This is good. It forces me to do something with the notes. I will keep looking over the ideas on paper, and decide which ones have merit. After a few days of staring at an idea on a piece of paper on my desk, often I will conclude that the idea doesn’t have merit, after all, it was just a wild thought. Some ideas may not make it in the form that I had envisioned, they might be massaged a bit, and end up being something other than I had considered. Sometimes two or three ideas will meld into one better idea.
As these ideas mesh together and get filtered, I start making “To-Do” lists, also on post-it notes and stuck to my desk. Then, every day I check my “To-Do” list. I prioritize the list to decide which of the things I will actually do today. How do I decide? It is an earning/time ratio decision. If I look at an idea and think to myself that this item could make me $500 per month when it is completed, I then figure how much time it will take to get it done. If I can do it in an hour, and not need to do much follow up work with it, and it will make $500 per month, I might jump on it and get it done, thus removing it from my “To-Do” list. If I see one that will make me $1,000 per month, but it will take me 3 months to get it done and will require 10 hours of work per week to maintain it, that idea would be a very low priority. Too much time needed to get it done. Also, too much additional time needed to keep it going. So, because of the way that I work things, and the time/earning ratio that I consider before taking on a project, I have some ideas that have been on my To Do list for some time. I might still do the project someday if the time presents itself to me.
Another thing that I may well do if a project would take too much time is to hire the job out. I find that for just a few hundred dollars, I can hire somebody to get a project going for me, and thus I don’t have to spend my time on them. I only hire it out, though, if I really feel quite sure of the project’s success.
So, at any given time, I will have a bunch of post-it notes stuck to my desk. They bug me. They get in my way. I don’t like them. But, you know what? They force me to get things done because when the item on the paper is finished, I get to throw the paper away!
Maybe this isn’t a perfect system, but it helps me get things done. If you employ a system like this, I promise you that you will come up with a lot more money making projects!
And, it all starts with one simple act. When you think of a new idea – write it down!