Write a Big Idea

3 Steps to Your Big Idea

1. What makes you irresistible?

Whether you have an audience of eight or 80,000, there is something that draws people into your orbit and makes them want to hang out and stay. Think of it as your personal brand of catnip.

Not sure what draws ‘em in? Then it’s time to find out. Pick your all-time favorite clients, buyers, readers (five will probably give you enough data points) and ask them three pointed questions:

  • What do you get from me that you don’t get from anyone else?
  • What do you consistently rely on me for?
  • What experience (feeling) do you always get from me?

Make a list of what you hear from them. Circle anything you hear more than once. Put a star by anything you hear three or more times.

Hint: your mojo is in the stars.

2. What excites you?

This is about making sure you’re working at what lights you up. Your passion serves as rocket fuel, especially when the going gets tough.

Think back to the projects and experiences that rocked your world. We’re talking when you were really jamming—doing kick-ass work that excited you.

Try looking around your workspace. What draws your eye in? What happy memories and projects are associated with it? Make a list.

Then, one by one, visualize each experience, complete with sights, feelings, smells and soundtrack. What work were you doing? Who were you doing it with? How did you work? Where did you work? What parts did you like best? And write it down.

Project #1

Project #2:

Project #3:

Project #4:

Project #5:

By about Jamming Project #5, you should start seeing some similarities. Maybe you’re

drawn to working solo or with big personalities. Or tight deadlines with impossible requests are your thing. Perhaps you most love being the data guy. Or the border collie.

Drill down to the common links between your most unforgettable experiences and write

them down here.

3. Name Your Passion Zone

Now go grab a giant flip chart (the kind with the sticky borders). List what makes you irresistible and paste pages filled with your triumphs around the room. Breathe it in. Soak it up. Let it wash over you.

Once you are filled with a sense of your own awesomeness (this is not the time for modesty), you are ready to put it all together into a statement that captures it exquisitely.

As in, “I…..

  • make consultants, authors and artists unforgettable.
  • design effortlessly chic clothes for career women.
  • build wealth for risk-takers.
  • teach lawyers to sell more business.
  • save kids from drowning.
  • create beloved companies.

Ready?

Complete this statement:

My Company  __________(insert action verb) ________________ (insert your best audience) ________________________(insert how you make your best audience feel or an outcome they can rely upon).

Take some time with this. Leave it and come back to it. Ruminate. Salivate. It should scare you a little—as in “Who am I to think this big?”

Your final step is to turn your statement into a big, bold, bodacious idea that irresistibly draws your best audience to you.

Use as few words as possible, while making it rich and compelling.

Here are some of my favorites:

  • I make consultants, authors and artists unforgettable. (Be unforgettable)
  • I design effortlessly chic clothes for career women. (Live effortlessly)
  • I build wealth for risk-takers. (Never follow)
  • I teach lawyers to sell more business. (Make it rain)
  • I save kids from drowning. (Save kids from drowning)
  • I create beloved companies. (Become a beloved company)

Focus on the intersection of what makes your heart beat faster with where your best talents lie.

MORE INSPIRATION

Here are a few who have done a bang-up job of creating—and sharing—their big, bold,

bodacious ideas. Check ‘em out:

Seth Godin

Go make it happen.

sethgodin.com

Susan Cain

Join the Quiet revolution.

thepowerofintroverts.com

Womenkind

Profit from the wisdom of women.

womenkind.net

Kate Spade

Live Colorfully.

katespade.com

Charles Greene

Trust matters.

trustedadvisor.com

Sally Hogshead

Fascinate in 9 seconds or less.

sallyhogshead.com

David Bach

Live Rich. Finish Rich

finishrich.com

Jamie Oliver

Start your food revolution.

jamieoliver.com