If the idea won’t work on paper, the idea won’t work. Keep sketching.

If the idea won’t work on paper, the idea won’t work. Keep sketching.

I believe in this so much that I manufactured my own sketchbooks! I suffer from having too many ideas. The easiest and fastest way I can tell if they’re worth anything is to put pencil to paper. Everything can benefit from being outlined or sketched out on paper, yes even poorly. If an idea passes that first test then I have to decided whether I can devote myself to finishing them or not. If not I move on. If I believe that my ugly idea has legs and can help someone in the marketplace I outline the next step and actually do it. This is where the proverbial rubber meets the road.

I believe there’s something magical that happens when you write things down. Most of all my ideas, plans or goals all gain that first spark of life or they die an honest death there in my sketchbook. But it’s the pencil and the paper that first turn the myst of an idea into a solid form. Only then does it gain the the visibility required to excite others. My poor wife is the first one who experiences the things in my sketchbook. She is quick to let me know whether the idea has any kind of merit whatsoever. Some would think that’s harsh of her, but I believe it’s what helps to push me forward. She grounds me in reality, keeping me sane-ish.

I believe that the best sketchbook is the one in front of you. There’s nothing sadder to me than an unused sketchbook. The poor thing just sits there with no purpose. It just takes up space, waiting and wanting to be filled with the contents of your heart and your mind. I’d prefer you use the sketchbook I designed but I’d be happy for you to use any sketchbook at all.

It’s difficult to be held accountable to the intangible. That’s why I love to put ideas down on paper. It creates instant accountability between me and the newly minted idea. The next time an ideas strikes, have the courage to take accountability for it and write it down.

1. Will your idea work?
2. What could make it work?
3. What would need to happen for it to work?

Show your idea to someone you trust. Show someone who can be honest enough with you to hurt your feelings and see what they think.