Over the years I've thought of many potential product ideas but for some reason didn't pursue them. Everytime i hear of a success story i get more convinced that an idea is only good if it's delivered. I am sure a lot of you reading this would feel the same. But have you thought why we didn’t act upon our ideas ? What makes us doubt ourselves, procrastinate and slowly kill our ideas.
The Bird in the Golden Cage
Sometime back i read a story that can provide some insight. The story is about a caged parrot in a rich man’s garden, who kept shouting 'FREEDOM, FREEDOM'. A farmer who used to daily cross the garden felt bad for the poor bird and decided to do something. So one night he sneaked into the garden and opened the gate of the golden cage. But to his surprise the bird was unwilling to leave the cage. The farmer, adamant on freeing the bird, grabbed it and hurled it into the sky. Done with his noble deed the farmer returned home feeling proud.
The next day as he crossed the garden, he heard a parrots voice shouting ‘Freedom’. He peeked inside to garden and to his utter disbelief, saw the bird back in its cage. The door to the cage was wide open and the bird sat inside shouting gleefully.
This story shows how the fear of the unknown can stop us form leaving our comfort zone. Just like the parrot we keep shouting about the ideas to work upon and things to achieve in life. But are not willing to take action even when opportunity comes knocking on our door. Why do we fail to act upon our ideas even though we know its important for us ? What makes us doubt ourselves, procrastinate and slowly kill our ideas.
Just like the parrot we are all afraid to leave our comfort zone or fear failure.
Few thoughts to help you escape the golden cage
- Pick an idea and see it through completion - no matter what don't stop till you have accomplished what you set out to achieve - When JFK decided to put a man on the moon they didn't quit and the rest is history. Have a look at this article to find out how many inventions and products that we use today can track back their discovery in some ways to that big audacious goal of putting a man on the moon.
- Don’t doubt or give up on your ideas - It took 51 attempts for Rovio to finally come up with the mega successful Angry birds. In that journey the company almost went bankrupt before they hit upon and idea that made history.
- Have patience - Did you know that James Dyson tested more then 5,271 prototypes before finally found a vacuum that worked. I am sure you have heard how Edison and his muckers experimented with thousands of filaments before finding the perfect one for the electric bulb.
- Be prepared to pivot your ideas if required - I am sure you could never guess that youtube started as a video platform for dating or nokia was once a paper mill company. There are no bad Ideas as long as you are willing to make the required changes to turn it something worthy.
- Fear is one of your biggest enemies but you can overcome fear as long as you are willing to acknowledge it. You can’t avoid being afraid so stop worrying about it, just accept it and focus on what needs to be done. Don’t be afraid of failure but think of it as a learning experience. Remember that many great innovations are the outcome of failed experiments
So grab your ideas, store them, nurture them and don’t let them fade away. As an entrepreneur, you have to overcome your fears and take responsibility of your destiny. Don’t be like the parrot who is sitting in a golden cage with the door open while the world moves on.