How to protect your idea from the world
The hardest part about the creative process is sending your idea out into the world. As long as it's in your head you can protect it land yourself from public scrutiny and questions.
But as long as it's in your head, your idea never has the chance to come become something real.
So how do you let your idea out while still protecting it and yourself from the public?
Simple: you make yourself the centre of your universe.
This is a concept I learned from my coach and mentor Hina Khan. Ironically it's also a lesson in drawing on as I pitch out our idea for a talk show. That's right. Not a segment on
someone else's show, but her own talk show.
To birth any show into existence, it has to go through a lot of people. With their
own ideas, biases, and programming needs. If I let everyone dictate what this show should be, we both lose creative control. If we grip too tightly on what we think it should be, we run the risk of missing opportunities to make this idea into a thing.
The stakes are higher, but my mindset isn't much different from when I pitched her segments land we still do.
Everything is made up at the essential (my core idea) and the incidental (the production partners, sponsors. and broadcasters who come together to make it a thing).
I don't control the incidental world when I pitch the show. I don't have a say in how they respond and what idea generates for them.
I am only and always in control of how I connect to the idea. What do I want this show to be? What does Hina want it to look like? What aspects are we willing to let go of? And what are the deal breakers?
Too often we think if we worry enough, plan enough or strategize enough, we'll somehow control the outcome. When you approach creative work this way, you're putting your energy into the incidental - the outside world, which is not where your creativity comes from. You might take inspiration from the outside world, but your idea comes from within you.
The first time I pitched our talk show to a production company, they liked the concept, but had their own ideas for execution.
This is the outside world reacting to my essential idea. It's not good, it's not bad, it just is.
Whenever they come back with their counter proposal, I still have the power to check in with my original idea: Is their version close enough to work? Does it still satisfy our why? or do I try with another production company (because there is always another potential partner who may be more aligned with my core idea).
I spend zero the worrying about how this idea will be received. It just will.
Anyone who listens to it is receiving.
The only part I concern myself with is how I receive their counter idea.
Even though you've released your idea to the outside world, you can still protect it.
All you need to do is put your focus on what you want it to look like. As yourself "is this what I want?"
Eventually you'll find the external circumstance that works for you.