Day 49: The Biggest Mistake You Make When You Have An Idea

You, reading this, you’re likely very creative. Am I right? Your heart is in your craft and you have a very real and deep passion to create beautiful art for your clients. When you turn this part of your brain on, ideas probably come to you all the time. In dreams, over breakfast, when you’re driving to your next shoot… you have ideas for new images, marketing strategies, and even new businesses! Trust me, I’m the same way. I have a notebook full of ideas that I believe are actually great! They’re valuable, they’re possible, but they’re also completely worthless. Why? Because I haven’t done anything with them.

The biggest mistake you can make when you have an idea is to not take any action.

We do this for a number of reasons. The first one is, we feel like it needs to be perfect before we put it out to the world. This results in us working behind the scenes SO LONG that we have another idea that grabs our attention and we leave the first one in the dust while we work on the new idea… obviously this is a crazy circle that results in a lot of half finished ideas. We spend our time and effort on something that never sees the light of day because we didn’t finish or follow through.

The next reason is that we are afraid of how people might judge us. As artists, what we put out is very personal. So, rejection feels personal. Rejection doesn’t have to be hate mail and downvotes, it can also be that no one cares. Have you ever worked so hard to put out a YouTube video only to find that your mom was the only one that watched it? The only thing worse than haters commenting on your stuff is when haters don’t even care enough to comment.

So how do you avoid this cycle or get over this fear? As far as fear goes… think back to the last time you judged someone on something they put out. Are you still thinking? You probably never have. I haven’t either. When I’m online, I’m looking for useful things for me, not things that aren’t relevant to me so that I can hate on it… that’s just a waste of time. The people who are seeing your stuff will either relate to it or they won’t. If they don’t, that’s fine, you’re here for the people who do.

As far as that vicious cycle I mentioned above, the first thing you need to do is sit down and evaluate what this idea really entails. The effort, cost, and what the purpose is. It’s not possible to run with every idea you have, so first you need to figure out if it’s worth it. Is this just a smaller personal project that won’t take up too much time and effort or is this something huge like starting a new business? Once you decide that it is something you want to do, you have to set a course of action and follow through before (KEY WORD BEFORE!) you move on to anything else. My friend always says “Plan the work then work the plan.” If you have a new idea before this one is complete, write it down and then come back to it. It’s like when I clean my house. If I wander around cleaning here and there, I can spend three hours and nothing will have been done. Instead I go room by room. I force myself not to get distracted by a stray pile of laundry in another room and tell myself “I’ll get to it once the bathroom is clean.” By the end of two hours, my house is spotless and I don’t have that awful feeling of “I just spent three hours working with nothing to show for it.”

Use your time wisely and set your focus to level ten. You’re going to do amazing things.

Thank you for being here for day 49! Tomorrow marks the HALF WAY POINT! I can hardly believe it! This series of 100 in 100 is an idea that I had and am following through. It took a really long time to curate the list, research, organize and write. I also had a lot of distracting ideas along the way, but those are on hold until I deliver these posts to you! Let me know your thoughts in the comments and I’ll see you tomorrow for day 50: 25 amazing photographers to follow in Instagram.

Day 98 is currently reserved for any questions you have throughout the next 100 days. To submit a question, please click here!¬† If you’re interested in supporting this project, please share, PIN and comment! Any other questions, comments or ideas, please feel free to email me at denise(at)denisekaris(dot)com

Denise Karis is an Arizona photographer who enjoys musicals, Doctor Who and breakfast burritos. IG @denisekaris