Just because you can’t get other people to take you seriously doesn’t necessarily mean you should just give up on your good ideas. Some of the most successful inventions of all time would not be around if all that mattered was the opinion of critics.
A good example: James Dyson. He had to endure negativity and ridicule for years because of his obsession with inventing a bagless vacuum cleaner. James refused to give up on this idea, and instead he mortgaged his house and invested this money in his project. It took him five years, and 5,000 prototypes, but he finally managed to come up with the Dyson vacuum cleaner. This product was a huge success, and James Dyson now has a net worth of over US $5 billion.
If you are struggling to get other people to take your ideas seriously, it is important to think carefully about why this might be happening. Once you pinpoint the source of this resistance, it becomes easier to develop a strategy for overcoming it. You need to be as objective as possible when evaluating this type of criticism, and this also means being open to the idea that your critics may have a point.
If you regularly watch the ABC show ‘The Shark Tank’, you’ll have seen plenty of examples of passionate entrepreneurs with terrible ideas. These individuals may have so much belief in their dream that they have risked all their savings and assets, but it is often obvious to anyone watching the show this business is doomed to failure. People can become a bit deluded if they feel too passionate about an idea, and you need to ask yourself if this could possibly be happening in your case.
Exciting new ideas may be dismissed because they just appear to involve too much uncertainty. If your project is going to be entering new territory, it is going to appear more like a bit of a gamble. The reality is that most people are risk-adverse, and they may view your willingness to take a step into the dark as foolhardy and reckless.
If you lack credibility, it can be very hard to get other people to take your ideas seriously. This would be the case if you regularly come up with exciting new projects but give up on them before completion. Another problem could be your personality. If you have a reputation as the office clown, you may also struggle to get your boss or colleagues to pay much attention to your claims. Credibility can also be a problem if you are trying to introduce a new product into an area of the market where you have no expertise.
Another common reason for why other people are not taking your idea seriously is you just haven’t done your homework. Just because it is clear in your head that the project is going to work, it doesn’t mean that other people are going to just accept your conclusions. If you don’t have some facts and figures to back up your claims, you cann’t really blame people for dismissing your idea.
The fact that you believe in an idea is usually not going to be enough to make people sit up and listen. Every human is going to have the occasional ‘great idea’ for a new invention, product, movie script, or novel, but these are just dreams until action is taken to turn them into a reality. If you want other people to take you seriously, you are probably going to need to do more than just play around with these ideas in your head.
If your idea involves inventing some type of new product, one of the early steps you want to take is to create a prototype. It’s much easier to get people to appreciate something that they can physically interact with, rather than trying to get them to visualize what you’re talking about – even if that prototype is still in the very early stages of development. The fact that you have gone to the trouble of creating something also shows that you are more than just a dreamer.
It is going to be easy for people to dismiss your ideas if they suspect that you don’t really know what you are talking about. This is why it is so important that you back up any claims you make with some type of documentation from a reputable source. If your idea is for a new type of good or service, you need to provide evidence that you understand the market and where your product is going to fit into it. You may need to collect a lot of data to prove your case, so it is important to also create a clear and concise summary of this information.
If you are concerned that your ideas are being rejected due to problems with your credibility, you could try enlisting the help of someone who is more credible. If you take this person along with you when pitching your idea, it is likely to strengthen your claims. For example, if you have created an educational toy, you could add a teacher or child psychologist to your team to boost your credibility.
One of the other secrets to getting people to take your ideas seriously is to tell a story. It can be hard to keep people’s interest if you are just bombarding them with facts and figures but a story can completely capture their attention. It can be a good idea to add in some humor into your tale, but you need to be careful not to come across as too much of a comedian. If you can create a compelling enough story surrounding your idea, it can at least ensure that you get a fair hearing. A story makes it possible to not only show your passion but also share it with your audience.
It is often the case that you are only going to have a couple of minutes to convince the other person of the worthiness of your idea. In order to be effective under this type of time constraint, you need to master your ‘elevator pitch’. This means you need to create and memorize a compelling argument that can be delivered quickly. Creating an elevator pitch is also beneficial because it forces you to develop more clarity around your ideas.
It takes a lot of guts to keep working on an idea if most of the feedback you are getting is negative. If you remain convinced of the worthiness of your project, you may regret it for the rest of your life if you give up now. People laughed at the Wright brothers when they talked about inventing an airplane, so your willingness to continue is going to put you in great company. It could even be argued that your idea couldn’t be very innovative unless it has been rejected by lots of people.
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