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Good Idea vs. Successful Idea

by lyn christian on March 22, 2010

Let me interpret the title of this article: The difference between a good idea and a successful idea is work.

I didn’t say hard work.

I didn’t say a lot or a little work.

I only said work.

We each have to learn what this particular four letter word means in terms of our ideas.

For example: It’s a good idea to create a referral system for your customer evangelists.

And when you get around to designing and printing a referral card, the idea is still a good one. It even remains a good idea right down to packing a dozen of these cards into your wallet for quick distribution.

Is this idea a successful idea yet?

Nope. Not yet.

 There’s still some work left undone.  Until you hand out a hundred, maybe even five hundred of these cards, until you track who is sending folks your way and you are rewarding them for those referrals and until this is a sustained cycle of practice (not just a novel, one or two time experience) your idea is still just a good idea.

So pay attention to that that space between creating the cards and actually having a systemic cycle of referrals coming in and systemic awards going out.  This gap is the place where your work determines the difference between an idea being good and an idea being successful.

In the case that my example is not clear enough, here’s another:

Let’s say you have a great idea for selling your product to a very large client. AND let’s say you’ve been working toward making that sale. You’ve completed the imperative step of building a strong relationship (good rapport is considered work) with the potential client.  Let’s also say you have supplied the potential client with all the relevant information they need and you need so you both agree that what you offer is what they need (also more work).

Is your good idea a successful idea yet?

Nope. Not yet.

 You still have more work to do. In this scenario you need to close the deal.  You need to “close” the deal by asking for an agreement to exchange your product for their cash. Until you do this, you’re still playing in the “good” range with your idea.

 The point again:

The difference between a Good Idea and a Successful Idea is  how much WORK you are willing to invest in the transition between having a good idea and bringing that idea to full capacity. 

Hope this makes sense. Now get to work because if you are like most of us the majority of your good ideas are not successful yet.




About the Author:  Lyn Christian is the founder of SoulSalt, Inc., a coaching and coach training company.  She is passionate about the “free-agent” worker who wants to earn their living and live their lives by doing what inspires them.  Get more information by visiting or contact Lyn directly through

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