How to Build an Idea

“A winner is someone who recognizes his God-given talents, works his tail off to develop them into skills, and uses these skills to accomplish his goals.”

Larry Bird

Having an idea and working on an idea are two very different things. I’ve got a million ideas—most of us do—but only a small percentage of us see them through.

I’ve been experimenting with only discussing ideas I have done or am ~currently~ working on. I love talking about ideas. I love coming up with ideas. Things like how to market your new book our how to improve your business.

But talking about an idea is only part of the equation. And when it comes to talking about our own ideas, we often talk more than we walk.

Think of it like translation.

You have this thing, this idea in your head, this dream, this drive and it’s currently in “Spanish” but in order for it to become real, you need to translate it into “Japanese.” The problem is we don’t know Spanish or Japanese. So how do we get what’s in our head out into the world?

We’ll talking about it works. Talking about an idea makes it real-ish. But nobody wants “ish.” Nobody wants to be a wantrepreneur. Nobody wants to be ~almost~ an artist, or ~almost~ a dancer. We want to be the real deal.

Talking unfortunately is one step forward, two steps back. Maybe in the future, we can talk to our AI voice assistants and they’ll code our app ideas for us. But until then we have to build it ourselves.

We need to start building things.

Talk feels like progress, but in reality, talk alone rarely makes the dream happen. It’s a tool we need to use, but it’s not going to build our dream. What other tools will help translate our ideas into reality?


The ability to design, write, code, film, photograph, jam, cook—create with our hands gets us there.

Talk gets us close, but skills get us to the goal.

When you know how to write, you know how to paint a picture with words. You are fluent in storytelling and communication. You can make a string of common words look like new imaginative worlds no-one has seen. You can sell and market your ideas and—if you’re really good—perhaps even distort reality around you.

When you know how to design and code, you can take a simple name, like “Facebook” or “Tesla” and make it more real. You can design a logo, a website, an algorithm, a schematic, a robot, a factory.

Skill is how we translate our ideas into something more than ideas.

We do we build an idea? We learn some skills and start using them.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #1107

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