You have the best idea ever! It came to you in a flash while you were swerving to avoid a deer in the road, or perhaps it came to you slowly while you waited for a tow truck to come because you failed to swerve in time. But how the idea came doesn’t matter – what matters is that it’s there, it’s amazing, and it needs to be shared with the world.
Only problem is, you’re pretty sure the world isn’t going to care.
The world does that sometimes, which I think is a major reason that we keep searching for life on other planets; we’re hoping that somewhere is an alien race that will say, “Oh my gosh, all of your thoughts are incredible!!!” There is almost nothing more frustrating than having one of our good ideas shot down by our friends, families and colleagues before the idea even has a chance to grow. So how do you avoid that?
Well, I can’t promise to help you avoid that entirely, since after all it is quite possible that your great idea is actually crap. However, on the off chance that your flash of inspiration is the opposite of crap, here are some ways to get people to listen to you without rejecting your idea out of hand.
Focus on the Potential Negatives FIRST
Nobody ever does this. But it actually works, especially with people who are inclined to look for those negatives anyway. If you show them that you’ve already considered some of the potential downsides and still think it’s a good idea, you won’t come across as naively optimistic. Plus it’s nice to shut other people’s objections down before they have a chance to offer them.
Ask Them What They Would Do Instead
As I’m sure the Internet has taught you, a lot of people like to complain about a lot of things without bothering to do the work of offering a constructive solution to whatever they’re complaining about. In your case, don’t allow it. If someone doesn’t like what you’re suggesting, ask them to come up with a better alternative. It’s quite possible that they will, in which case you should be happy that your idea inspired them to think up an even better solution. But if they don’t, they’ll hopefully concede that your idea wasn’t as terrible as they initially thought.
Ignore Them Entirely
When all else fails, there’s nothing quite like doing whatever it is you’re thinking of in order to prove a world full of naysayers completely wrong. There’s not a single entrepreneur in the world who hasn’t been told by someone that their business idea is destined to fail, and they can’t let a few doubters afford to stop them any more than you should let it stop you. If you’d like to begin this gently, simply start by not sharing your great thoughts online. Ignoring the mass of people who have little if any connection to you is a great way to learn how to ignore everyone else if it comes to that.
Don’t mistake me – every so often you’ll have an idea that will receive immediate and near-universal approval. Those moments are great. But you don’t need much help handling those situations. It’s the times when people fail to recognize your amazingness that are the most trying. Hope this helps. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to practice my deer-swerving skills. In case you thought the scenarios I came up with in the first paragraph were just random. They weren’t. Deer are everywhere, and I’d swear that some of them like pretending to leap into the road just to see the fear in my eyes.