Q33: Why Is There No Money in My Ideas Yet?

One of the few types of client I have found it most difficult to help to employ themselves for money is the one who’s in love with ideas. She’s a Scanner, so she tells me. Oh God, I think. Another one. Yes, I’ve read that book too and it is wonderful, but it gives us permission to be scattered. No, it gives us permission to glory in being scattered.

Newsflash! At our level, there’s no money in ideas. And that may not matter to you because I too know very well that a stonking idea is, on occasion, better than sex. In fact, the people who live for ideas are having ideas sex. With themselves.

Idea after idea after idea. In waves.

They can’t stick to any one idea before they’ve come up with another. The inference is that the newer idea is always the better one, but it isn’t. It’s just different.

There’s no money in ideas. The money’s in the implementation of your idea.

And yes, all of us ideas people dream of being paid for our ideas and many of us are, in different ways. I have a client right now whose goal is to be paid for her ideas and she has the greatest chance of success at that as anyone I’ve ever seen because she has plenty of career cred to bring to her ideas work. And she’s putting her back into it too, experimenting, finding her feet, feeling the frustration and carrying on anyway. She will prevail.

But here’s the choice for the rest of us.

Do you want to make a living employing yourself for money doing the ONE thing (for now) that you love? Yes? Good! Then pick that one thing and get going and I don’t want to hear from you with any new ideas until you’ve made that one work. Any ideas you do have must be corralled and applied to the One Thing, or parked in a notebook/treasure chest for later. Once you get used to channelling all your sexy ideas into your current project, it fills the same need I promise you. I do that now. It only works.

If that doesn’t sound like you, then you aren’t going to make any money at this self-employed, work-at-home lark. But you are going to have a lovely life having ideas sex. With yourself. Go for it. Fill your boots. Who am I to stand in the way of you and yet another sexy idea?

One final thought and thanks go to my coaching colleague Margaret Collins for this. Serial focus. It doesn’t mean you can’t do all your ideas, it just means you can’t do them all at once. Do one, make it work. Do the next one, make it work. Do the one after that, make it work. Serial focus.

One person can only do one thing at a time if she’s to do it well. One idea is a full-time business for you and me.

Or, as Steve Nobel once said to me, if you chase two rabbits you’ll catch neither. That’s all you need to know on this topic.

PS There’s another reason for not living in the ideas sex shop all day every day and it is this, sent in specifically for this book: “the crazy creative part of my brain that generates so many ideas from one spark, that it leaves me incapable of following any of them because of the mental tornado they create.”

They create a mental tornado. They leave you incapable of following any of them. How painful. How incapacitating. Stop it immediately.


  • What personal system will you adopt to corral and queue all of your wonderful ideas?
  • How will you train yourself to streamline all your cracking ideas to be of benefit to the One Thing you are working on right now?
  • What other ways are there for you to enjoy all your creativity without the cacophony/mental tornado knocking you off course?

Your Biz Your Way

If you have enjoyed reading my words here, you might also enjoy my book - Your Biz Your Way: Learning to Trust Yourself. Relax! You've Got This. Find out how to buy the book here Read My Book