How To Generate Great Ideas And Make Sure They Happen

Generate great ideas
Let’s tackle both sides of the business coin: how to generate great ideas, and how to make sure they happen. Without one or the other, your business is sunk.

And both imagination and knowledge are inadequate if there is no action to follow through with it.

How To Generate Ideas

First, let’s look at how to generate great ideas. The types of ideas that can help you stand out from the crowd, add a new revenue stream to your business, or take you into a new market successfully.

The first step is to plant the seed. Take a step back from your day to day activities and think about the problem you want to solve or the thing you want to achieve.

Define the problem, and ask a good question.

Then, let your subconscious do the work and go for a walk, exercise, take a shower or a nap.

Allow the solution and the ideas to bubble up to the surface. Then write them down!

The missing link for most of us is the step between the idea and the action. For me in my business what has worked really well is to capture these ideas, and even if I don’t plan to use it right away I don’t need to worry about losing it.

You can use pen and paper, Evernote, or an internal company wiki. Whatever works for you.

Idea Execution and Implementation

Now it’s time to combat the age old “great idea, poor execution” problem.

If you’ve ever watched Shark Tank or Dragon’s Den (my guilty pleasure when I go back to visit family in Canada!), then you know that the basis of the show is that a bunch of entrepreneurs present their businesses and ideas to ask for venture capital.

What I want you to pay special attention to the next time you watch is how the Sharks evaluate businesses: not on ideas but on who is going to be executing and implementing the idea.

They know that anyone can come up with a great idea, but that not everyone is suited to take that idea to market and make it a reality.

One thing that stops people from taking action on a great idea is that they don’t have the means to make it real so that it’s up to their standards. For example, you might not know how to make a super fancy website, but you can learn to build a simple one.

From there, you’ve got momentum and you can re-invest and bring things up to your vision’s standards.

As Seth Godin would say, you need to ship. Get your idea to market so you can make money, and then you can always come back and improve things over time.

Our vision is always going to be bigger than what we can realistically implement today with our current capabilities.

But without taking the very first step, there is no way we can improve. Breaking down a big idea into bite sized steps is the best way to actually implementing what you know is possible.

Then, putting it on your calendar with actual due dates and a timeline that you can’t chicken out on is key. Think about what obstacles might come up to stop you, and how you can clear a path for this idea to really happen.

You can also go one step further and throw your hat over the fence: tell other people and get public accountability for what you say you’re going to do.

Then make sure you follow my advice from this “Get Things Done” video, and apply energy management techniques like “batching is bitching” and now I’ll leave you with my favorite Nathalie-ism:

Now I’d love to hear from you!

What helps you come up with great ideas? And how do you follow through on them once you get them? Leave a comment below, I’m all ears!


  1. Samantha on July 23, 2014 at 10:42 am


    I love what you said about your vision always being bigger than what you can currently execute. It’s such a good reminder to focus on what we CAN do presently and not get discouraged because of what we can’t do (Yet!).


    PS I also love breaking down plans into Google Calendar!

    • Nathalie Lussier on July 23, 2014 at 12:42 pm

      Yes Samantha! It’s amazing what happens when we sidestep the overwhelm and discouragement, we actually get closer and closer to what we want to create. :)

  2. Caroline Frenette Intuitive Leadership Coach on July 23, 2014 at 10:57 am

    Exactly what I needed to be reminded of today!

    I’m working on a program I’m launching in the Fall and being reminded of taking small actions every day is key to beat overwhelm right now.

    I’ve also been enrolling the help of my mastermind buddies to keep me accountable which has been priceless…

    I hope you’re enjoying your pool Nathalie :)

    • Nathalie Lussier on July 23, 2014 at 1:28 pm

      Yay Caroline, so glad this was helpful for you as you get your launch underway! And yes, I’ve been enjoying the pool a lot – I’m even tanning a little… and not from the glare of the computer screen. ;)

  3. Salihah on July 23, 2014 at 11:06 pm

    Hey Nathalie,

    Your videos are actually some of the only ones I watch, because I’m usually busy deep diving into my idea pool. I love that you keep them short and straightforward, yet with just enough inspiration and actionable steps to get me back on track if my mind starts to stray away from the goal at hand. This one was particularly useful, as I just finished my book and published it on Kindle while I seek out a print contract. I fluctuate between “Now what?” and a list of daily/weekly tasks that will help me get the word out. It’s so easy to get distracted by the “What should I do” and “This is what I want to do”, but your video helped me get back to my “This is what I CAN do right now.” I still have my notebook from Off the Charts live, and I’ll never forget the “keep on flowing” water advice you gave us :) Thanks for sharing content so generously, it’s brilliant and so very much appreciated!

    • Nathalie Lussier on July 24, 2014 at 2:48 pm

      Aww Salihah! So awesome to hear from you, and love that you’re keeping the “keep on flowing” energy going from Off The Charts too! Congrats on putting your book out into the world, I’m so excited for you and cheering you on! :)

  4. Becky Hadaway on July 24, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    Wow, more great advice from you that I can immediately apply. That’s why I keep watching your videos! I especially like the part about putting what you’ve got out there, and then you can improve it later as time and funds allow. Thanks so much!

    • Nathalie Lussier on July 25, 2014 at 12:39 am

      Yay Becky! So glad you keep watching and so happy to hear this is giving you the motivation to put it out there and improve incrementally. Woohoo!!

  5. Larry on August 6, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    My wife, Pat, and I, a couple of baby boomers, have been working together (home office) since 1997. We created a non-profit working with teens through the courts for 5 years and IM projects to the present. We early on discovered our strengths and being home bodies love working and playing together. Pat has clients outside our home office, so our favorite coffee shop often becomes our 2nd office. Continued success to you and to all spouses working together.

    • Nathalie Lussier on August 6, 2014 at 3:56 pm

      Thanks so much for sharing your story Larry! Love that you’ve been working together for a long time, too. :)

  6. Charm Fernandez on August 16, 2015 at 10:18 pm

    You’re so right! Now I finally realize that my ideas that I did not implement couple or three months ago doesn’t work anymore and it is because like what you said, ideas have shelf life! They expire! Gaaah! I’m glad I heard it from you. Thanks a whole bunch for sharing! :)