The Distance Between You and Your Dreams by Mark Sanborn

What does it take to change your life?

The answer: one powerful idea.

Jeff Bezos had an idea. It resulted from studying what he might sell on the internet. The idea became Amazon.com. It made Bezos a millionaire and changed the way books are sold.

Reed Hastings dropped off a rental video on the way to his local health club. He wondered why you had to pay a late fee on videos if but you paid the same monthly fee to belong to a gym no matter how often you worked out. The idea was the genesis of Netflix.

Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak had an idea: creating a personal computer. At the time, computers were anything but personal. They were large enough to take up an entire room and prohibitively expensive. Apple Computer was born, and so was the age of personal computing.

Fred Smith had an idea to deliver packages overnight, regardless of destination. That was the genesis of Federal Express, and the invention of a new distribution system.

The Frappuccino was invented by a Starbucks store manager who served it to customers without CEO Howard Schultz’s knowledge. When Schultz found out about the experiment and tasted it himself, he personally didn’t like it. However enough other people did that he tested and refined it before the rollout in 1995. Within 36 months it had generated $100 million in revenue.

Not all ideas are that large or industry-shaking. Sometimes an idea helps you save a little time, get more done, or improve a relationship. These are “little i” ideas. At other times an idea can make you money in the stock market, create a new product or result in a promotion.

Call those “Big I” ideas.

The distance between you and your dreams is often only an idea-wide. Someone once said that to be creative, you just needed to have lots of ideas. If you have enough, they don’t all need to be good ideas. In this case, quantity is the road to quality.

To Do: Commit to capturing one good idea each week (and maybe a few mediocre ideas more often). Keep an “idea list.” Periodically review the list. Identify the “little i” and “Big I” ideas. Implement as many as you can.

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Mark SanbornAbout the Author: Mark SANBORN, CSP, CPAE, Monthly Mentor, is president of Sanborn & Associates, Inc., an idea studio dedicated to developing leaders in business and in life. Mark is an international bestselling author and noted expert on leadership, team building, customer service and change.​ Mark holds the Certified Speaking Professional designation from the National Speakers Association (NSA) and is a member of the Speaker Hall of Fame. He was honored with the Cavett Award, the highest honor the NSA bestows on its members, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the speaking profession. Mark is also a member of the exclusive Speakers Roundtable, made up of 20 of the top speakers in America.​ He is also the author of eight books, including the bestseller The Fred Factor: How Passion In Your Work and Life Can Turn the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary which has sold more than 1.6 million copies internationally.​ Read More…​

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