In the last few months I had two ideas that I was contemplating taking action on.

The first would have gained me significant notoriety and a unique business angle that would have supported one of the brands I manage. I even made a note in my phone to get to this.

The second idea was an instant revenue generator that literally no one else in my industry was doing. The idea struck me during a mastermind retreat I was on last October. Come April of this year I was still contemplating how to make the action happen.

Then in the same week I came across a few separate things.

Someone had a similar lightbulb moment and launched a podcast all about my first idea. Now they were the first to market with this idea. They are the ones who got the notoriety and they are now the ones who can capitalize on this unique business angle to grow their brand (and they are doing just that).

I should be mad because that was my idea!

Then I was talking to not one, but TWO, people in my industry who had launched the same idea for instant revenue generation within my industry! How did they get the inspiration to do this? Because I had told a few people about my idea and it spread to them (I was literally able to connect the dots).

I should be upset because that was my idea!

Now… I sit here writing this.
Am I mad? Yes.
Am I upset? Yes.

But am I mad at the people who launched these concepts? NOT AT ALL!!!
Am I mad at the people I told my ideas to who spread them? NOT AT ALL!!!

I am upset and mad at myself that I didn’t take action on them when I had the ideas. It was an is 100% my mistake and my guess is that it is a lesson you too have learned.

From about ten or more years ago was the first time I really learned this lesson. I had developed a new marketing technique for the professional service industry. I was the first to do it. I was the first to test it. I was the first to explore it. Thus I wanted to create a white paper (industry report) so I had the proof that this was my invention – which it was… at the time.

I sat on the idea for years. Of course someone else would have the idea too. Of course someone else would take action on it. Of course someone else would write that paper. They did.

The day that white paper arrived on my desk I remember looking at the byline and not seeing my name (of course as I never wrote it) and I was only mad at myself.

I had the foresight. I took no action.

Foresight, without action, only leads to hindsight.

So take action on your ideas. Perhaps it doesn’t work out. But failing is tremendously better than knowing you could have created something you didn’t.

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto