Sign InMy Account

The Big Idea

Posted By: Randy GageJanuary 15, 2016

Put yourself in this picture:

We were in Moorea, French Polynesia, at a luxury resort where the bungalows are suspended over the water with a hatch in the floor so you can feed the fish underneath. There were ten of us seated around a conference table loaded with tropical fruit, fresh squeezed juice, and coffee. The morning sun was streaming in, the weather was sublime, and the environment was perfect for a brilliant brainstorming session.

The other nine people had paid $15,000 each and flown thousands of miles to have a three-day mastermind retreat with me. I began the session by going around the table, asking everyone to summarize the one big concept they would like to strategize during the retreat.

The first guy said he wanted to do a complete makeover of his website. The second person said she needed help with a title for her next book. The third person mentioned that he wanted some input on his next direct mail campaign. It went on like this until it came back around to me.

But before we go any further, if you really were around that table in Tahiti right now – what would YOU say? Take a minute and really think about it.

Because here’s what happened next…

I closed my eyes, took a slow, deep breath, and said, “I’m going to the fucking pool now. When you guys decide you want to actually have a mastermind and go after a big idea, then somebody come and get me.”

Not sure what was said next, but after about ten minutes, one sheepish attendee came out and asked if I would rejoin the group.

So what happened?

Herd thinking happened. Like so often occurs in many situations, the person going first set the tone and everyone who followed unthinkingly shadowed the pattern. Of course, the interesting dynamic in this case was these nine people were not random souls picked up at the bus stop. They were all hyper-successful, multimillionaire entrepreneurs who had invested a lot of money and time to be there to discover their next breakthrough.

You probably think they wouldn’t fall prey to such disempowering thinking.  But how did you reply to the question above?  Was your answer really a big, bold, and breathtaking concept you wanted to mastermind on – or did you also default to some mundane tactic?

Even high achievers are not immune to being infected with herd thinking when they’re members of a group. You’ll see the same scenario if you start a meeting by asking people to go around the room giving their name and title, so everyone knows who’s who. If the first person says, “Aldo Gonzalez, VP of quality control,” everyone follows suit, your objective is accomplished, and you get down to work.

If the first person says, “Thanks, it’s so great to be here. My name is Mary Marcus and I flew here from the Toronto division. My hobbies are embroidery and stamp collecting, and I’m really excited to be at this conference because I was just telling my sister last week that…” you immediately know you’re screwed. The intros you budgeted for five minutes will actually eat up 25 minutes of the 90 minutes you have.

The herd doesn’t always follow the leader. Sometimes they simply follow whoever speaks first.

These examples illustrate a very important lesson about our thought processes, showing how we often go on autopilot and waste the amazing brainpower we possess.

In the case of the Tahitian retreat, the first person made a mistake in thinking that many other entrepreneurs fall prey to: believing success to be about the tactics. But the genuinely important stuff is never about the tactics – it’s actually about the big idea. When you get the big idea right, the tactics become readily apparent.

And that is what led me to write my new book Mad Genius.  (And this post is actually how I begin the book.)   Find the big idea and everything flows from there

  • RG

18 comments on “The Big Idea”

  1. Pretty amazing actually RG that these people spent the kind of money you're speaking of when the answers to their questions could be achieved by staying home. As for myself, I do indeed have a BIG idea that needs other innovators to brainstorm. Unlike those that joined you in Tahiti I'm not in the financial position to be part of the group like most. But my idea has nothing to do with book titles or web sites...It's about uncovering a new mobile approach to consuming media. ".. and that's all I'm going to say about that.." ~ Forrest Grump 🙂

  2. Jonathan1 In all honesty in all ventures there is a peak and a valley. So when we are looking at Digital media today....that's already yesterday, Digital Media has been the talk of the town for a decade or so now. Likewise with big box retail we are realizing its just not realistic or profitable anymore. So the mindset of Digital media is actually going back to media roots, TV, Radio and Print. Dark ages are now a decade long series of Idea Valleys, Mobile Media is crashing and you've not seen the plug pulled yet. Always rely on your fundamentals, and new ideas that make sense.

  3. Big ideas come with Big Price Tags. RG I've got a $30 Million Idea and a $50-$100 Million Dollar idea. The more "Big Ideas" we have the More Financial Capitol we need to undertake this plan. The thing is most people are to scared to share their plan for its a loss of intellectual property. But we know the only way to make the idea work is to plan it and start telling those who can help. Have a Business Plan written so you can share the plan and build what you desire.

  4. It is very,very interesting idea!!! Everyone follow the first speaker! I think about my big idea I want to form it! Thank you, Randy!!!!

  5. A very interesting article about Big Datas, Randy. I have reshare every where. Even on Twitter, where...you don't follow me back. So...please do it! On @TOOLS_BOX_FR, connected to Klout and EA, and on @Socialfave, our Official Twitter account for Favor, a Twitter Accounts Management and Marketing Tool we have been developing for over 1 year and that we will market on April. It is just...much more developed than unfollow.com, Buffer...can be! and unfollow.com has 10 millions of users, and following competitors 8, 5...million. Our target is biger than 50 million of users. And we will arrive with HUGE strenghts. It will not be a better toool than its competitors, only, but it will create a "quantic jump" (as preconised by Guy Kawasaki in his book "The art to start 2.0", because many features which are not displayed in any existent tool also (blue ocean). After, it will be extended to Instagram also. Because Favor, by @Socialfave, will not stop go evolving! I wish you a Happy New Year, and of course all the best for you, your Family, and your loved persons! Cheers. Philippe

  6. I got " Mad Genius" yesterday... Randy Gage .. So easy to put my self in this picture.... a Book title.. really ???

  7. This is BRILLIANT (as expected from Randy obviously)!!  🙂
    Without having a solid, powerful, & ATTRACTIVE 'Big Idea' the only thing left to do is go around in circles WISHING you could figure out the 'Magic Bullet for success', which SO many people spend YEARS searching for!
    After doing projects with more than 20 different millionaires over
    the years, I've seen & learned TONS of amazingly powerful concepts,
    and secrets to success. But, what Randy said here is BY FAR the MOST
    powerful single factor that can make the biggest difference for any
    of us.
    Jim McCann had 1-800-FLOWERS as his Big Idea. 
    Mark & Jack had 'Chicken Soul for the Soul' as theirs.
    Both of those millionaires are in my #1 Best-Seller 'Conversations with Millionaires' which WAS my 'Big Idea' for its time (I did that book in 2001 after I was on TV with some other millionaires). And, that was a really AWESOME ride for awhile. (But, then, I had a near-death incident that threw me for a loop before I could take that as far as I wanted to. 10-day coma with a 12% chance of survival = NOT recommended!)  🙂

    Anyway, it's pretty wild that Randy has this post here, because what I learned from all the millionaires I've done projects with are some steps to success many successful people have used to come up with their OWN Big Idea! (I call it the 'Millionaire Money Formula'.)
    Anyway, he's DEFINITELY right about the POWER having a SOLID 'Big Idea' can have for you!
    But, its also true that unless great actions are taken WITH that Big Idea, it can just sit there as yet another great Idea who's time never came.
    Keep on rockin' it like you do, Randy! You're a true inspiration of the level of Rock Star we can all aspire to!

  8. Big Idea: The one secret to prosperity is to become the person you were designed to be. Jonathan Beecher Edwards

  9. I can see you doing that leaving thing Randy.

    I remember when you 1st started Training Randy V & I how blunt & to the point you can be to facilitate our critical thinking skills.
    Appreciate you man always.

    - WL
    http://WarrenLittle.Net

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • Generic selectors
    Exact matches only
    Search in title
    Search in content
    Post Type Selectors
  • Stay Connected

    Subscribe to Randy’s Blog via Email

  • Recent Posts

  • 18 comments on “The Big Idea”

    1. Pretty amazing actually RG that these people spent the kind of money you're speaking of when the answers to their questions could be achieved by staying home. As for myself, I do indeed have a BIG idea that needs other innovators to brainstorm. Unlike those that joined you in Tahiti I'm not in the financial position to be part of the group like most. But my idea has nothing to do with book titles or web sites...It's about uncovering a new mobile approach to consuming media. ".. and that's all I'm going to say about that.." ~ Forrest Grump 🙂

    2. Jonathan1 In all honesty in all ventures there is a peak and a valley. So when we are looking at Digital media today....that's already yesterday, Digital Media has been the talk of the town for a decade or so now. Likewise with big box retail we are realizing its just not realistic or profitable anymore. So the mindset of Digital media is actually going back to media roots, TV, Radio and Print. Dark ages are now a decade long series of Idea Valleys, Mobile Media is crashing and you've not seen the plug pulled yet. Always rely on your fundamentals, and new ideas that make sense.

    3. Big ideas come with Big Price Tags. RG I've got a $30 Million Idea and a $50-$100 Million Dollar idea. The more "Big Ideas" we have the More Financial Capitol we need to undertake this plan. The thing is most people are to scared to share their plan for its a loss of intellectual property. But we know the only way to make the idea work is to plan it and start telling those who can help. Have a Business Plan written so you can share the plan and build what you desire.

    4. It is very,very interesting idea!!! Everyone follow the first speaker! I think about my big idea I want to form it! Thank you, Randy!!!!

    5. A very interesting article about Big Datas, Randy. I have reshare every where. Even on Twitter, where...you don't follow me back. So...please do it! On @TOOLS_BOX_FR, connected to Klout and EA, and on @Socialfave, our Official Twitter account for Favor, a Twitter Accounts Management and Marketing Tool we have been developing for over 1 year and that we will market on April. It is just...much more developed than unfollow.com, Buffer...can be! and unfollow.com has 10 millions of users, and following competitors 8, 5...million. Our target is biger than 50 million of users. And we will arrive with HUGE strenghts. It will not be a better toool than its competitors, only, but it will create a "quantic jump" (as preconised by Guy Kawasaki in his book "The art to start 2.0", because many features which are not displayed in any existent tool also (blue ocean). After, it will be extended to Instagram also. Because Favor, by @Socialfave, will not stop go evolving! I wish you a Happy New Year, and of course all the best for you, your Family, and your loved persons! Cheers. Philippe

    6. I got " Mad Genius" yesterday... Randy Gage .. So easy to put my self in this picture.... a Book title.. really ???

    7. This is BRILLIANT (as expected from Randy obviously)!!  🙂
      Without having a solid, powerful, & ATTRACTIVE 'Big Idea' the only thing left to do is go around in circles WISHING you could figure out the 'Magic Bullet for success', which SO many people spend YEARS searching for!
      After doing projects with more than 20 different millionaires over
      the years, I've seen & learned TONS of amazingly powerful concepts,
      and secrets to success. But, what Randy said here is BY FAR the MOST
      powerful single factor that can make the biggest difference for any
      of us.
      Jim McCann had 1-800-FLOWERS as his Big Idea. 
      Mark & Jack had 'Chicken Soul for the Soul' as theirs.
      Both of those millionaires are in my #1 Best-Seller 'Conversations with Millionaires' which WAS my 'Big Idea' for its time (I did that book in 2001 after I was on TV with some other millionaires). And, that was a really AWESOME ride for awhile. (But, then, I had a near-death incident that threw me for a loop before I could take that as far as I wanted to. 10-day coma with a 12% chance of survival = NOT recommended!)  🙂

      Anyway, it's pretty wild that Randy has this post here, because what I learned from all the millionaires I've done projects with are some steps to success many successful people have used to come up with their OWN Big Idea! (I call it the 'Millionaire Money Formula'.)
      Anyway, he's DEFINITELY right about the POWER having a SOLID 'Big Idea' can have for you!
      But, its also true that unless great actions are taken WITH that Big Idea, it can just sit there as yet another great Idea who's time never came.
      Keep on rockin' it like you do, Randy! You're a true inspiration of the level of Rock Star we can all aspire to!

    8. Big Idea: The one secret to prosperity is to become the person you were designed to be. Jonathan Beecher Edwards

    9. I can see you doing that leaving thing Randy.

      I remember when you 1st started Training Randy V & I how blunt & to the point you can be to facilitate our critical thinking skills.
      Appreciate you man always.

      - WL
      http://WarrenLittle.Net

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published.

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    © 2020 Prosperity Factory, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Legal Information, Sitemap, Site by PrimeConcepts