After the ‘light bulb’ moment — how to test a creative idea

Light bulb
Dallas Reedy/ Unsplash

So you’ve had an exciting idea for a creative project. Maybe it kept you awake at night. Maybe it’s night time now and this idea is stopping you from sleeping…

This happens to me, frequently!

From my experience, here are five sobering questions that are worth asking yourself before you dive in:

Do I really care about it? 

Ask yourself if you’re really passionate about this idea or not. Will you stick with it in good times and bad, and live and breathe its progress and performance? Trust me, if it’s a really good idea then you’re going to face some opposition in one form or another. If you don’t really care then park it or part ways with it. Don’t worry you’ll think of something better soon enough. But if you are  committed to it, consider the next questions…

Do I have (or are likely to have) the means to do it?

Think through if your idea requires certain things to be in place to make it happen. e.g. the resources/tools/expertise needed to create and manage your venture. Do you have these already, or what sort of investment would you need to make it happen?

Is this the right time?

Some ideas can and should be parked — even if only for now. They may never see the light of day, they may naturally lose potency and relevance, but they may be uncovered in a dog-eared notebook months or years later and come to life even better, with a new and fresh spin. Be wise about whether the time is right. 

What impact will it have on your life?

Whether it’s relationships with family and friends, your health, your sleep, your finances, or any other commitments you may have, exciting projects can sap at all these things. At the very worst they can destroy them too. Be mindful of this and weigh up your priorities carefully. 

Is this it?

You may realise or decide that this exciting idea is merely a springboard to a better idea. So before you rush ahead and buy a domain name and grab the social media handles for it, think if it’s actually masking a better idea. Drill down and think hard. It’s likely the original idea you had has got something going for it, but it may have served its purpose already as part of a journey to a better one.

And finally… if you do decide to run with your idea and it does well, congratulations! You got this.

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