A friend called yesterday to inform me about an opportunity which he thought I would be interested in. It was an opportunity to pitch innovative ideas to get seed funding. Earlier, I had shared one of my ideas with him and he wanted me to give this opportunity a shot.
Before he dropped the call, I asked him if he was going to apply for the funding too. He replied, “No!”.
Why? I rushed to ask. I knew he had a brilliant idea which he once told me about.
An idea that could improve the academic, social and financial wellbeing of his students. This idea, if brought to life, will not only benefit the students but also their parents and their community. In my opinion, it was a fantastic idea that needed to fly.
My friend went ahead to give excuses on why he doesn’t think he should apply. He felt his idea was ‘small’ and that he was going to be competing with bigger and better ideas.
I could read him from my end. It seemed he thought he wasn’t competent enough to put a convincing application together. There were more reasons why he thought he shouldn’t go for the opportunity.
But I thought differently.
I believed he could do it, so I advised and encouraged him. And I was glad he made a decision to give it a trial before we ended our conversation.
My conversation with him actually inspired this post. I thought it would be great to put a summary of my advice out here because someone may read it and feel motivated to give life to his or her idea.
Don’t ever let fear hold you back from grooming your idea.
When you find an opportunity to pitch or share your idea, please go for it. That perfect time that you’re waiting for may never come!
What could happen if you choose to pitch your idea?
The ‘best’ thing that could happen is that your application will be accepted. The ‘better’ thing may be that your application will pass the first stage but won’t get to the final. And the ‘good’ thing may be that your application won’t scale through the first stage.
Yes! It’s not going to be a lost cause. If the better or the good happens, you would’ve succeeded in adding more value to your idea.
Going through the process of applying would have helped you refine your thoughts about your idea and you would also gain great clarity about it. This would make your next application easier and better.
On the other hand, if you don’t do something about your idea, you’ll never know how far you can go with it. I understand that the thought of birthing an idea can be overwhelming. But, no matter how great your idea is, if you let it just sit in your head and you do nothing about it, then it’s as good as nothing.
Even if you feel your idea has no chance, speak about it to people who are open-minded, let them listen to you and give feedback.
I remember an experience I had on a fellowship. My team was to present a project idea. We came up with different ideas and struggled before we finally chose one. Still, we weren’t sure it was the best idea.
On the presentation day, we were so scared that our idea wasn’t going to make it. Other teams were presenting too.
As we presented our project idea, I held my teammate’s hand so strongly that I could feel the traces of her bones.
After the presentation, we were wowed by the reactions we got. The audience liked our project idea, gave feedback to improve on the idea and some individuals wanted to support the project.
So, I’m encouraging you to be bold enough to speak about your idea. Write it down on paper, make research and work on your plan to gain more clarity.
Learn from people doing something similar, build your competence, and continue to seek opportunities to showcase your idea.
Then, one day, it will become a reality!