What’s a good idea really worth?

July 11th, 2014 by Bob Bly

The late, great speaker Dottie Walters once praised me by
writing, “Bob Bly is a magnificent idea man.”

But that actually made me uncomfortable … because I do not think
of myself as an idea man.

I am something that, in my humble opinion, is much more
valuable: an action man.

My writing hero, Isaac Asimov, said he was often besieged by
people who had an idea for a science fiction story.

Their offer: “Take my idea, write the story, sell it, and we
will split the money.”

Asimov’s reply was always the same.

He told the person, “Tell you what. I will give YOU an idea. You
write a story, sell it, and split the money with me.”

His point: coming up with ideas is easy. Implementing them is

In this regard, my pet peeve is marketing consultants who want
to look smart to the client, and so they spew out idea after
idea without regard to the client’s time and resources available
to execute — or whether the idea is merely creative or will
actually generate positive ROI.

But when it’s time to actually do the suggestions, they run for
the hills. And when you ask them for guidance, they tell you
they just concern themselves with the big picture and are not
“detail people.”

Recently I hired a marketing consultant and writer, GF, to write
an e-book for me.

Right away, he became hyper-excited and started spewing out
ideas for the book I hired him to write.

For instance, let’s have a contest … let’s start a Facebook page
for the book … let’s make online videos … let’s sell advertising
in the book … let’s partner with Amazon.

“Relax, Spanky,” I told him.

“Forget about all that hooey. Just write a good book for me.
I’ll be happy with that.”

Guess what, Mr. Smart Marketing Consultant?

An idea that you toss out and that just lies there … and that
you never help put into practice for the client … is worthless.

When I was a kid, my dad, whom I worshipped, had to lift Heidi,
our huge collie, onto the exam table at the vet.

He said, “I have a great idea. Build the table with a hydraulic

It was a great idea, and now many vet exam tables have a lift.

But dad didn’t make a dime from it, because he never did a thing
with the idea.

You see, the money’s in making the thing, not thinking of the

The Law of Attraction also places too much faith in ideas and

It says you attract abundance by thinking abundantly.

I prefer the guy — I think it may have been Edison or maybe
Stephen King — who said: “Success usually wears overalls and
looks like hard work.”


This entry was posted on Friday, July 11th, 2014 at 7:21 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

12 responses about “What’s a good idea really worth?”

  1. Jared Humann said:

    Hi there just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The textin your content seem to be running off the screen in Internet explorer.I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with web browser compatibility but I figured I’d post to let youknow. The layout look great though! Hope you get the problem solved soon.Kudos

  2. Bob Bly said:

    It may have something to do with your PC. We use IE and it looks good on all of our screens.

  3. margaret said:

    This is a great article, Bob.
    We tend to get excited about a great idea.
    But, when we realize the effort it takes to bring it into fruition, we abandon it.
    It takes hard work to become and remain successful at anything.
    Good luck to you.

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