Fifteen good minutes

We’ve all heard Thomas Edison’s quote on the virtues of hard work, “success is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration.”

Which comes first?  In the line of Pre-Sales, I’ve found inspiration takes the form of fifteen good minutes of quality thinking, usually occurring somewhere towards the middle or end of the perspiration.

Help the inspiration come along.

My catalysts for thought involve physical action- pacing, juggling, playing a musical instrument.  My best feedback comes from the trees along the trails near my home.  My Uncle Jim referred to his dogs Rufus and Schmaeser, companions on his long walks, as his ‘financial advisors.’

When the inspiration comes, catch it.

Writing is the taking down of ideas.  My penmanship deteriorates with the increased pace of fleeting ideas.  Essay writing and bullet points can be linear, constricting.  Open up your thinking processes with mind-mapping diagrams, Post-It notes, or note cards.  They make it easy to let your mind go, and you can (literally) organize your thoughts later.  Voice recording applications are available for our smart-phones. Plug in your headset and start talking your ideas into existence.

Digital equivalents exist for most of these tools, with the added benefit of ease of sharing, persistence and re-use.  I recommend FreeMind ( for mind mapping and LinoIt ( for post-it note style thinking.

When those 15 minutes come, will you be ready?

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