3 Levels of Idea Engagement

engagementIdeas are brats. They’re fussy, won’t settle for less and will not take “no” for an answer. If an idea visits with you, it expects you to obey its every dictate – without delay.

It’s the idea’s way or no way. Any sign of resistance is met with the idea’s eventual departure. It moves to someone else hoping for complete compliance. That’s why another does an idea that you let float away.

How do you treat an idea? When next you meet one of these slippery beings, these are the three things expected of you:


The main goal of an idea is to become reality. That’s the idea. Nothing gives an idea more joy than to find a willing person who’s ready to give it full expression or anyone who would make it happen, because if it doesn’t occur, the creative cycle is incomplete.

A friend once told me a sad story about his failure to birth a book idea. He kept procrastinating on the move for over 5years. It was a special angle to a theological subject for which there was no published material. He would have been the first theological scholar to write about it.

On vacation in South Africa, leisurely perusing the isle of a bookshop, he saw a book with the exact same title that he had carried around in his mind for over 5years. Someone had just recently published the title. He was shocked. The idea had moved.


Birthing an idea alone is not enough. It’s like birthing a child. That’s just the beginning of a long – hopefully – exciting journey.

Every successful idea must be sustained. To successfully sustain an idea, entrepreneurs must assume a learning position because there are twists and turns that may not be obvious at birth.

Also, you may be able to successfully birth an idea, but be unable to sustain it. This is where you seek out the kind of team that you need to keep it going.


You’ve birthed your idea and it’s working successfully. Now what?

Every idea is designed to evolve because of the forces of change. It’s up to the entrepreneur(s) to be sensitive to the nature of this evolution.

Some ideas become obsolete; others morph into various forms while some concepts are eventually sold. It’s natural for ideas to evolve to the next level and it may look nothing like the original thought.

For instance, the idea and invention of the simple telephone device has now become a global telecommunications industry that’s nothing like the first thought.

These levels might overlap in certain processes, which is ok. However, it’s important to know how ideas work and be aware of your capacity at each stage.


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