“Unless your advertising is built on a big idea, it will pass like a ship in the night.” — David Ogilvy (1911-1999), Legendary advertising executive
A friend of mine recently showed me his book of dreams. He’s a residential real estate broker who’s built a booming business on on the idea of “finding your dream home.” Years ago I realized that everyone has a dream home whether they’ve articulated it or not,” he explained to me. “So I put together a book of common elements in dream houses – lighting, space, bookshelves, greenery etc. I take it with me everywhere and add to it all the time. People love looking through it. It helps them reconnect with what they love about a home. In fact, I’ve had people call me just to look through the book. It’s helped me open and close more doors than conventional sales techniques ever have.”
Big ideas inspire. They engage people’s hearts and minds. They ignite creative thinking and action. They have staying power. Above, Ogilvy is talking about advertising, but it goes for everything in life – your projects, your programs, your business. If you don’t build them on a big idea, they become impossible to maintain – and pass like a ship in the night.
1. Complete this sentence 15 times. I want to …
2. Do it another 10 times if you can (the trick to this simple exercise is to exhaust yourself with answers until you see patterns).
3. There’s a good chance you’ve got a least one big idea in there.
4. You’ll know it because it’s the one you’d keep doing even if everyone told you you were crazy.
5. It’s the one that inspires you.
6. Figure out how to follow where it’s leading.
Doug Sundheim • Executive Coach • New York, NY • firstname.lastname@example.org • www.clarityconsulting.com