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Ideas into action

Lift’s guide to directing your thinking towards positive change

1. Talk about your idea: Although the individual can have a great impact on society, people are always stronger when they come together. Find other people who are interested in the same things you are and talk about the opportunities and problems that exist in that field. By sharing your ideas with other intelligent and innovative people, you will begin to see what ideas might work and what ideas are flawed. Brainstorming is also a really important skill for the work place. Thinking with other people does not only mean that you tell them your ideas, it means that you accept their ideas and help to improve them. Take your idea to your peers and friends, and they will surely be improved.

2. Take action: Once you have a solution, an idea for a start-up, or an idea for an organisation or group, don’t wait to make it happen. Sometimes it feels like starting is the hardest part, but once you begin to get excited and engaged people on board, other people will want to join. Be enthusiastic about your idea. If you are applying for a grant or writing to students to join your cause, be a salesperson. If you believe in your idea, this should not be difficult, just put your heart on the paper. The key to getting anything started is to make connections with other people who believe in your idea, whether they are partners or financiers or potential clients, so don’t wait to meet these people, get your idea out there.

3. Make a plan: Once you have other people interested in your idea, make a plan. Sit down with your team and make realistic goals that you want to meet. For example, how will you promote yourself? Who do you want to reach? What do you want to change? What is your mission? Once you answer these questions and come up with a strategy, distribute the work amongst your assembled team. By setting exact goals, such as “we will distribute information to 10 universities in Phnom Penh”, you will feel like you are making strides even before your idea has become a reality.

4. Make sacrifices: If you really believe in your idea, you should also be willing to make sacrifices in order to make your vision a reality. This might mean managing your time differently or spending money in the short-term hoping for long-term returns. This also means you might have to do things that aren’t comfortable for you – writing letters to people asking for their investments of time and money or putting yourself out there to promote your idea. Some people are great salesman, but many of us aren’t. That doesn’t mean we can’t convince people in the potential success of out idea. If you have a well thought out solution, all you have to do is present it to people in an intelligent way.

5. Believe in your idea: Regardless of how great your idea is, you will almost certainly find challenges and obstacles along the way. Don’t let these problems impact your confidence. Perhaps you will need to change your idea a bit, but being flexible is part of being the process, it doesn’t mean your idea is a failure. Keep working towards your goals and finding new people to make your team stronger. Being innovative isn’t easy, but it is necessary for the improvement of society, change that is in your hands.



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