A 50 cent investment that can make you a million bucks!

A 50 cent investment that can make you a million bucks!

A 50 cent investment that can make you a million bucks!

A 50 cent investment that could turn into a million bucks!

Sounds like a sweet sweet deal doesn’t it?  Almost too good to be true.

But don’t worry. I’m not setting you up for a late night infomercial.

I’m offering up a strategy that will inspire new ideas AND  “Eliminate the Bright and Shiny Object Syndrome.”

What is it?

It’s carrying a $.50 spiral notebook with you… at ALL times.


Well, first… we want to cultivate new ideas and solutions.  Now, we all tend to get hit with ideas from time to time.  Sometimes it might be an idea for work.  Sometimes it might be an idea for a new product or service.  Sometimes it might be an idea that could help a friend or a neighbor.  (I once sat by a farmer on a plane and he came up with a FANTASTIC idea for boarding people faster.  It was pure genius and it just hit him… as we sat and watched the process of loading people that seemed to be playing out in slow motion.)

STEP 1:  Get the Spiral

Grab yourself a notebook (Sure it can be leather bound if you’d prefer) and start writing down those ideas as they come.  Keep it with you at all times because great ideas don’t tend to hit us when we need them.  They tend to hit us when we’re at the grocery store, while mowing the lawn or as we play softball.

Sure… it might be slow at first, but as you start to capture those concepts… your brain will start to feel rewarded when you acknowledge them by writing the ideas down.  So, over time… your brain will continue to spit out more ideas and creative solutions.

There’s science to back this up… but just try it and see what happens.

STEP 2: Filter Them

Although these ideas can be GREAT… they can make what we call “Bright and Shiny Object Syndrome” kick in. Right?Spiral-Notebook-Graphic-215x300

That’s when we get hit with a new idea and then we loose 15 minutes to two hours on research… brainstorming… dreaming… and phone calls!

Not good.

Now, let’s acknowledge that some of these ideas are BIG!

Some of them might even be MILLION DOLLAR IDEAS!

But, let’s also admit that some of them might be clunkers, too.

And I’d dare to suggest that the time to make the assessment on whether the idea is the next FACEBOOK or the next flop isn’t in the midst of your initial epiphany.

You need to make that call… later.

BUT you also don’t want to loose the idea.

So… this is where the $.50 investment comes into play.

Go get a spiral notebook. Red. Green. Blue. Or Star Wars themed. Whatever you want. Then carry it with you.

Always have it at the ready, so you can write down these BIG ideas and capture them.

Then, set up a time to come back to them and review them.

It might be 15 minutes at the end the day or a half-an-hour at the end of the week.  (This is what I do)

But that little bit of downtime between epiphany and assessment can allow for some of that initial adrenaline rush to subside. You’ll be able to think a bit more clearly. And you’ll be able to boundary the time more effectively.

And who knows?

Since you might have a million dollar idea on your hands… your 50 cent investment can help to make sure you won’t forget it.  But you can also stay focused on what you need to get done in the present and take action on the right ideas after you’ve filtered a few out.

So remember…

Write ’em down but don’t take action right away.

Find time to “Filter.”

THEN take action.

So… keep thinking BIG. Come up with some new ideas.  Stay focused. Capture those ideas.  Assess them.  Then take massive action on the ideas that have staying power!

Oh and hey… remember me when you’re a multimillionaire (and still carrying your $.50 spiral)!

Join in the convo and click on comments.  Let me know how you keep track of your BIG ideas.


PS – Check out LIFEHACKER for some great insight for handling those new ideas!

  • Hayward Crawford
    Posted at 14:11h, 29 December Reply

    Thanks for the simplistic tips Mitch, its always the small things.

  • David Ingham
    Posted at 21:39h, 05 May Reply

    My father, who never completed high school and retired as a millionaire at the age of fifty, advised my to write everything down; Ideas and conversations, everything. He was correct, just as you are, Mitch. Ideas and info are only abstract until one manifests them into reality. All creative thoughts, everything that we see, touch and experience started as a thought that was the n acted upon.

    • Mitch Matthews
      Posted at 21:43h, 05 May Reply

      Thanks for sharing this wisdom from your father David! Love it!

  • Teri Vaughn Skaug
    Posted at 21:29h, 11 May Reply

    My creative outlet is writing. I’ve carried a note book for years for the exact same reasons Mitch suggests. Ideas for writing hitch hike with other thoughts.. I wrote a prize winning poem while waiting in line to pay for gas. I take my notebook everywhere. I once got out of a shower and dripped while writing out a dialogue between a murderer and the cop who caught him. Mitch know where I can get waterproof notepads?

  • Andres Valdes
    Posted at 00:22h, 09 August Reply

    Great idea! I’ve been doing something similar, but with Evernote. But I find myself coming back to writing the old fashioned way- on paper! I need to work on the “Filter” part of this process.

  • Annamarie Muirhead
    Posted at 03:24h, 10 September Reply

    So true, when those ideas hit it can be overwhelming and make you believe they’re a real treasure,but reality sets in and, well they can shrink, and your truffle can ease become a dried out mushroom. When you forget about it, without writing it down it bugs you for a long time.

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