Ever had a problem you just couldn’t figure out, then after a couple days of brain-racking frustration you’re in the shower and the answer hits you like a giant right hook to the face? It seems so obvious. Why didn’t you think of this earlier? These moments in life are what I call Ah-ha moments.
Ah-ha moments are one of the most exciting times in life. It’s when the world is full of optimism and possibility. Your problem feels so small, and the answer so obvious, that nothing could go wrong.
Usually not too long after this epiphany you do some research and find out that the answer is not always exactly what you thought it was. Then you come crashing down like a jack-knifed truck and resume your ordinary life. But for that brief moment in time, life is exhilarating.
I was listening to a podcast of a NPR show called This American Life. If you’re not a NPR fan let me bring you up to speed. This American Life is a fascinating radio-reality-before-reality-was-mainstream kind of show. The producers pick a topic, and then they find and interview normal everyday Americans who have something to do with that topic. This particular show was on “Million Dollar Ideas.”
Pet rocks, fake snow, and Chia Pets are just a few stupid ideas that have made millions. I’ve had so many million dollar ideas that I can’t even count them. Insulated water bottles (like a thermos but fits in your cup holder), or a website with nothing but cool gifts for guys, or a book on How to Make a Million Dollars in the Next Week, which would sell on the title alone, are all million dollar ideas that I’ve had and never did anything with. For the record, the first two ideas went on to make millions and the third probably has a deal in the works as we speak.
I’ve got a whole notebook at home where I keep my million dollar ideas, but they will probably never be followed up on mainly because I can’t focus long enough on one idea before I’m off to another one.
Most of my ideas won’t be followed up on because of lack of money or time, or pure disinterest. I mean, who wants to live their lives making the world dog-poop free? I know there are some people who will do it if it makes them enough money, but I want to focus on helping the world with what I consider real problems and dog poop just doesn’t rank up there in my world; that is of course unless I just stepped in it.
So how do we get Ah-ha moments and million-dollar ideas?
“Ah-ha moments are when the intellectual mind, the emotional mind and the physical body all com to an agreement at the same time,” says Wendy Piersall former CEO (Chief Extraordinary Officer in Business and in Life) of Sparkplugging, an online resource for home-based entrepreneurs. We also get them by creative problem solving and leaving our minds open to solutions. We might not be able to think of the answers right off hand, but once we give it time to cook, our minds often come up with the answer.
I don’t really know where I was going with this topic, but maybe I’ll give myself some time and I’ll come up with my Ah-ha moment and get back to you. Until then, please feel free to help a brother out and give me some of your million-dollar ideas, especially if you’re not going to do anything with them. Or better yet, let this be your motivation to get off your ass and doing something with it.