How to choose your “next big thing.”
The biggest source of creative stagnation for me — and most of my clients & comrades — isn’t an idea shortage . . . it’s having TOO MANY ideas to choose from.
“I’m just BUBBLING with brilliance, and can’t limit myself to one piddly idea! What’s a multi-talented supernova to do?”
Ah, first world problems. But in all seriousness — there are puh-lenty of things you can do to stop swirling & stalling, and start creating.
Take these five trickniques for a spin. For man cannot survive on bread — or brainstorming — alone.
1. Prowl through your praise.
Gather up your client testimonials, customer reviews, ‘you rock!’ emails from blog readers & fans — & your crumpled, tear-stained love letters from Rocky, back in grade 10. See any iiiinteresting threads?
Are you perpetually praised for your high-style & textural brilliance? Your Next Big Thing might have something to do with aesthetics & fashion.
Seeing tons of praise for your speed, efficiency & cyborg accuracy? Your Next Big Thing might have something to do with productivity, how-to checklists or time management.
Praise & applause offers a ‘sneak peek’ at our present (& future) greatness. Our peers can appraise our talents with great precision. Take notice.
2. Examine your greatest hits.
Once in a blue moon, I dig into my most popular blog posts with Google Analytics. And I’m always surprised (and delighted) to find that my hottest stuff rarely has to do with straight-up marketing or self-promotion, but rather with true stories, high inspiration, self-expression and artistry. My readers dig it when I whip out a can of sass. Oh — and they like anything about MONEY.
Uncover the work your people are already swooning over — and you’ve got your next HIT.
3. Revive an old marvel.
Got an musty product from days of yore? A just-about finished manuscript? A near-forgotten course curriculum from a bygone era? What if your Next Big Thing was simply a spruced-up sequel of your retired glory-bomb?
Could be exceptionally easy. Could bring everything full circle.
Could be seriously fun.
4. Go for simple.
Highly creative people tend to love bells & whistles (and brass tacks & feathered cuffs & velveteen anklets & violet PONIES!)
And before long, your no-sweat project has bloated into a monster ordeal. So you shelve it, in preemptive defeat. So sad!
A challenge: take your Next Big Thing concept (the one you’ve been toying with for ages) and see if you can pare it down to its absolute simplest essence. As in, “if I cleared one full afternoon, with enough liquid caffeine, I could basically FINISH this.”
5. ASK your audience!
THIS is probably the easiest, most effective and most wildly overlooked solution to your ‘what next?’ conundrum:
ASK YOUR AUDIENCE what they want. Make it juicy & fun for them to respond. Reward them with gifts, for their time.
And then serve up your custom-fitted finery — for all to enjoy.