I hate that feeling when they say, “Hmm… This isn’t quite what I had in mind.” What?! My brain will race as I go back through my notes and previous conversations. They asked for a rock. I brought them a rock. But then they say, “Not that rock.”
I know I’m not the only one with a collection of unwanted rocks. Do you toss out the unwanted rock and start over or do you hang on to it just in case?
For the longest time, I didn’t manage my rocks very well. I’d throw some out, file some, give some away or just leave them lying around. I couldn’t make sense of how to manage all my ideas that weren’t accepted. Was it timing, wrong boss, wrong company, wrong client or just a bad, barely-baked idea?
The other day I stumbled on a file with a proposal I put together for a client a couple of years ago. It was the wrong rock. As I read it now, I saw it with fresh eyes. It wasn’t the shiniest rock I’d ever delivered, but it was a good, solid rock. I ended up using the information for a different client and guess what? It was the right rock!
In the meantime, keep all your rocks in a place where you can find them. Dust them off, name them, and organize them. Then next time you’re asked to deliver something you won’t have to go searching for something new (unless you want to). You can go to your cache of rocks and there you might find the perfect one to tweak, add to, chip off a little, or even present as is.
What does your rock collection look like and how are you managing all your good ideas?