How to Raise Your Idea From “Idea Infancy” to “Idea Adulthood”
Ideas need to grow up to meet their potential, to do that you need to understand the idea lifecycle. With an idea in “idea infancy,” your role is the seeker. Just like with humans when an idea is in an infant stage, you don’t know what it can be. You’re seeking that idea that lands at the intersection of what you want, what you love, what you know, and what people will pay for.
The next step of the idea lifecycle is “idea adolescence,” where you move into the role of the visionary. You’re trying to figure out how to get other people to find the idea as irresistible as you do. This is about matching message to mindset. That also means understanding who your idea is for, and how ready they are to hear it.
Finally, in “idea adulthood,” you role is the messenger. You need to find a method to make sure that the mindset behind your message comes out over and over again. This is where you match the pieces of the Red Thread you figured out as a seeker with the audience you found as a visionary.
Knowing where you are in the idea lifecycle helps you get your idea where you need to go next.
- Who are you for? – EP011
- How to Match Message to Mindset – EP013
- The 4 Message Mindsets – EP033
- How to Match Your Topic to Your Goals: “Idea Ikigai” – EP079
– Ideas have to grow up just like we do. There’s these distinct phases they have to pass through in the idea lifecycle. And just like we as humans need distinctly different kinds of support and help through that, same thing is true for our ideas.
Now, there are three roles that you play with your idea over the idea lifecycle. And in fact, you bounce back and forth all the time. But understanding what those three roles are is the key to making sure that your idea has the impact that you want it to. I’m Tamsen Webster of tamsenwebster.com and that’s what we’re talking about this week on Find the Red Thread. Please do me a favor, like and subscribe.
The first role we play with our idea is that of the Seeker. You’re seeking the idea in the first place. Because just like with human infants, when an idea is in an infant stage we don’t really know yet what it will do. What it’s going to look like. What it can be.
Now, with an idea what you’re seeking is the match to the impact that you want to create. You’ve got some change that you know you want to have happen. Maybe it’s you want to make a change for yourself or you want to break into a new market, or you want to publish a book. You know the thing that you want to have happen but you’re looking for the idea that will allow you to do it. And the secret is that idea lands at the intersection of what you want, what you know, what you love and what people will pay for.
When you find that intersection you find your idea. Once you found it, your idea grows up a little bit. It becomes kind of an awkward teen. It enters idea adolescence. At which point you move from being a Seeker to being a Visionary.
You have the idea. You see what it can do. And now what you’re trying to figure out is how do I get other people to see this idea as irresistible as I do? So you’re moving from looking for the intersection of mindset to finding the messages that match those mindsets. What’s the message? How can I talk about this idea so that the people who it can serve can best understand it and best respond to it?
And this means as a Visionary for your idea, you need to understand even more deeply who it’s for. You need to know what those different categories of people are. What they want. What they value. What they struggle with but even more importantly, what’s the range of readiness that’s in play? How ready are different people to hear your idea? Because you need to make sure your methods matches that.
Now, once you’ve got clarity on those core messages and those core mindsets then your idea grows up even more. It becomes fairly stable. You’re trying to figure out how to turn this into something you can use over and over again. Something to make sure that my idea and the messages for it deliver on my vision for that. And that turns you into the Messenger.
As a Messenger what you’re really trying to find here is a method. A method for making sure that that mindset behind your message comes out over and over again. And to add another M, that best method is a matrix. Between the pieces of the Red Thread, the mindset that you figured out as a Seeker with the storylines and the audiences that you figured out as a Visionary.
As we grow up we carry our adolescence with us. With your idea when you’re using the Red Thread you’re building every time on these pieces. So by the time you just need to get the message out there when you become the Messenger for your idea, you already have all the components.
The trick with the Messenger is to figure out how to keep them fresh. That’s where that matrix can come in. Because if you think about it this way, you’ve got who you’re for let’s say across the top, and the different elements of the Red Thread down the side.
What they’re looking for: the Goal. The sides of the perspective that are getting in the way, that’s the Problem. The incontrovertible Truth, the ideas that make inaction impossible. The Changes that you’re asking people to make and the various Actions that you have in play to make that change possible.
Now you’ve got a pretty substantial matrix of messages for you to be able to put out there. Now, you can be looking at this as a matrix in another way as well. And so, with some of my clients that are building longer form talks or books I’ve created a different kind of matrix. It thinks through those evolutions of the idea through different phases.
It’s something I call the Talk Block Outline. And it’s again, a method for making sure that the message about your idea gets out there the way that you’re looking for. So, when you’re trying to figure out how best to make sure your idea grows up. How it goes through the idea lifecycle and turns into everything you want it to be. In the wise words of the ghost of Mufasa in the Lion King, “remember who you are.”
Are you a Seeker? Are you a Visionary? Or are you a Messenger? Because the most important thing to understand about all of that is that you can’t skip steps. What you learn as a Seeker is what you will take with you through Visionary and Messenger. And the best news of all I hope is that the Red Thread helps you at all three stages.
If you’re looking for more information on exactly how that works, you can contact me at tamsenwebster.com/contact and we can figure out how best we can work together to figure out how to get your idea to grow up and be as big and beautiful as possible. So, that’s this week’s episode of Find the Red Thread. As always if you enjoyed it please like and subscribe and share it with others.