Amy Eggelston, one of the graphic designers here at Midan and I attended 99U, a conference focused on Making Ideas Happen, last spring in NYC. The conference focused on how to think in order to make your ideas happen. It was two days packed with speakers telling amazing stories about how they brought their crazy, world-changing ideas to fruition.
During the two days, industry leaders, entrepreneurs, authors, designers and artists shared their personal stories about how their ideas evolved. Through their stories, a thought pattern emerged that can be applied to any problem big or small; work related or personal, world changing or the simple day-to-day. This thought pattern can be summarized by the three points below:
1. Having a good understanding of yourself and others is essential
- Being aware and working towards overall personal health including physical, emotional, mental and spiritual is fundamental
- Being able to identify and understand your own and others emotions, as well as personality types
- Behavior affects your thoughts and feelings
- Consider your perspective as well as the perspective of others when you approach a problem.
- Fight apathy – allow healthy conflict
- Specialize – Get really good at something you are interested in – passion will follow and you will enjoy your work more.
2. Create a game plan
- Visualize the steps you need to take to reach success
- Have big goals and take baby steps towards them
- Instead of just talking about an idea, create a story board
- Allow yourself to be a guinea pig and test
- Allow room to fail within your structure
- Meetings should result in actionable tasks or no meeting should take place
- Anticipate rather than react
3. Involve others
- If you don’t know the answer to a problem, go spend time with people and the answer may reveal itself
- Tell everyone about your idea and seek feedback early
- Find mentors
- You don’t have to be an expert on the topic you are working on – you can learn
- Know your customer, know your client so you are able to meet their needs and expectations
One of my favorite takeaways from the conference was : Visualize the steps you need to take to reach success. This point was shared during a session that discussed creating a story board with pictures. I loved it because you get to draw fun pictures! Listen to it here: http://99u.com/videos/19396/joe-gebbia-executing-your-idea-starts-with-a-small-single-step
I love this idea because it narrows your focus and makes you think through each step that needs to be taken, in order to make your idea happen.
Here are a few of my ideas that have become reality over the past six months:
My ideas over the past six months have not been as revolutionary as the people speaking at the conference, but they have made a difference in my life. It has also given me a fun way to create a realistic focused plan for new ideas. I have enjoyed seeing my ideas become reality! Now I am off to create more plans on how to bring all these crazy ideas in my head to life!
Lauren Zuber is a Sr. Graphic Designer at Midan Marketing.