24 April 2013

Only listen to people who support you – at first

I'm more Francophile than ‘Yankophile’. I like France and the French culture. But there are many things to recommend our friends in the good old US of A. Here’s one for starters: I like the way that they get behind ideas. In the UK the tendency is to find fault in an idea. To point out how it might fail, whereas in America they are more inclined to be enthusiastic about new ideas. I’m generalising of course, but I need to in order to make my point here.
What an idea needs is support, especially early on, otherwise it will die.
Don’t listen to naysayers.
Do test your ideas and exercise due caution.
Do be careful who you talk to. In fact it might be better not to tell anyone at first.

An idea is a fragile thing when it first appears in your mind. It needs feeding and growing before it can survive outside of your head. Now, let’s be clear about one thing here, you do need to have decent ideas in the first place. A bad idea is always a bad idea, but often a good idea can die before it has a chance to grow to fruition. This is what I am talking about. How can you tell the difference? Tricky. You won’t know until it is tested, but don’t test it straight away. Think it through for yourself. Then test it.
Start testing it by talking to someone. Who? This brings us back to the start.
Don’t talk to people who have a negative slant on everything.
Don’t talk to people who never do anything about their own ideas.
Don’t put your idea where it can get stolen.
Do talk to people who have made something from their own ideas.
Do talk to people that you trust.

If all else fails, find an American to talk to. They are generally enthusiastic about ideas. One word of caution when talking to Americans though, and it is that they can be just as enthusiastic about a bad idea as a good one!

If all you have is a French person to talk to you might just get one of those superb shrugs that they seem to be able to use to express so much without a single syllable being uttered. This is good because I don’t speak much French! Bad, though, because it doesn’t, if I’m honest, help my idea to grow.

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