There Are No Stupid Ideas
Way, way, WAY back in the day, I was working in sales for a small digital print shop. We were about to get a brand spankin' new Canon CLC 1000 copier/printer, and we were EXCITED! I took it upon myself to come up with a promotion to help get the word out, as we were going to be one of the first companies in the area to have it. I ordered chocolate cigars from Fannie May, and we printed up announcements to tell everyone about our new "BABY." We hand delivered the cigars, and people seemed to get a really big kick out of it. I’m sure, however, that there were some who found the idea hokey or just plain dumb.
But you know what?
It just doesn’t matter. I had an idea, ran with it, and I executed it. And it got the job done. We told our story, and that machine served us well for years and years.
The moral of this little story is: DON’T EVER LET ANYONE TELL YOU YOUR IDEAS ARE STUPID
Now, this is not to say that every idea anyone has ever had has been brilliant and worthy of accolades and a parade. But the very fact that you are trying; that your brain is churning and that you want to make something different happen—that is to be celebrated.
So I’ll keep it simple today. If you are working somewhere where your ideas are being ignored or where your creativity is being stifled, fight back. Demand that you be heard and that your ideas be taken seriously. Otherwise, start looking for a new place to hang your hat.
And owners and managers? Respect ideas. Listen and entertain them. Encourage them, even. Believe me, in the long run, having creative people who want to share their vision with you will bring you more money and value then you can imagine. Sit back and let them do all the intellectual heavy lifting. Then you look like a star for having such a crack team of elegant dreamers.
There is nothing to fear. Don’t fear rejection. Don’t fear anyone telling you your idea is stupid. Criticism like that is for small people.
And you and your magnificent ideas are so much bigger and better than that.
Blogger, author, consultant, coach and all around evangelist for the graphic arts industry, Kelly sold digital printing for 15 years so she understands the challenges, frustrations and pitfalls of building a successful sales practice. Her mission is to help printers of all sizes sell more stuff. Kelly's areas of focus include sales and marketing coaching, enabling clients to find engagement strategies that work for them and mentoring the next generation of sales superstars.
Kelly graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Political Science and, among other notable accomplishments, co-founded the Windy City Rollers, a professional women's roller derby league. She is also the mother of two sets of twins under the age of ten, so she fears nothing.