Wednesday, February 16, 2011

It Only Takes a Dream

This past weekend, Bill and I had the privilege to help an idea spark into life. long time Camper Tessa, had the dream of there being a Rag site in her neighborhood. She bravely called camp to inquire about this idea. With a little research, we were able to locate a beautiful location at her neighborhood YMCA, the Mays Family YMCA off Blanco Rd in San Antonio.

Then, on Saturday, Feb 12, 2011, we set out to clear the site, collect large rocks, construct a cross and create serenity. With help from campers Tessa, Franki and Kayle, Tessa's and Franki's Father, plus Bill and I, we spent 2 hours working on that dream. Now, there is a majestic, serene location for all to sit and reflect on their goals, feel the presence of God and be in Nature. It is a little bit of camp brought to San Antonio.

But how exactly do ideas become reality? We all know for a fact that to make ideas happen it takes a lot more than just the idea itself.Let's take a moment to talk about putting ideas into actions. There are several steps you must follow in order to be successful.

1. Set Goals

The first and most important thing to do once you have an idea is to set goals. Goal setting doesn’t mean reaching for the sky at once. A goal is what you want to achieve in the future, within a certain time frame. Set goals that you can attain, goals that when accomplished will make you proud and want to reach for more. Goals that will allow you to learn in the process, goals that will make you want to aim higher and know you can do it.

Set reasonable goals while starting out with an idea. Don’t try to run right away, learn to walk first.

2. Don’t Rush

Imagine if Tessa had this idea to build a Rag site in San Antonio and just done it in a random location? What would that have accomplished? Not much for anyone else. Or what if Bill and I would have said, "great idea, lets do it today." That would not have allowed us to think through the location, gain proper permission, collect the appropriate tools and I think most importantly, have our own idea to cut the cross timbers from trees at CFA, used climbing rope for the cross, and to collect special rocks from camp for the center cross and 4 corners of the square. By taking our time, we let our goals develop, other ideas add to the magic and where able to create a wonderful, CFA inspired Rag site.

3. Learn From Other People’s Mistakes

This might sound wrong but if your idea has already been implemented by somebody, don’t worry, learn from who did it first and try to learn from their mistakes, what they did wrong. If you analyze the mistakes and find out what others did wrong you will know what not to do.

I have built several Rag sites in my 15 years as a Ragger. I learned that you need certain tools, that rocks are REALLY heavy and if the spot doesn't feel right before you begin, it will never feel right. Tessa listened well when I shared some in site and was not worried that I was taking over.

4. Be Positive, Stay Focused

If you think “ What if it doesn’t work?” Guess what? It most probably won’t. You are past the thought process since that’s how you got the idea. It’s time to put that idea into action and for something to succeed you need to have a positive attitude. Just think if Tessa hadn't contacted camp because she was worried we would not listen or just say no? Or if she thought, "well, I am just a teenagers, they won't listen to me." We would not today have this site to talk about.

Another most important thing to keep in mind while executing your idea is to stay focused. You will have enough barriers to stir you away from reaching that final goal. Be strong, be focused and you will pass any hurdle thrown at you.

Don’t be a sunken ship. Stay focused and you and your idea will get to the shore, together.

5. Creating Hype

If you have already reached this stage, let me first congratulate you, Congratulation! You must have set goals, learned from others, let your idea grow and stayed focus during your implementation process.

Once your idea becomes a product or service, the next thing to do is market. Without marketing your idea is nothing but, well, just an idea that took shape but achieved nothing. There is a difference between marketing and creating hype. When you try and create hype it’s pretty much like over marketing. You are shouting at the top of your lungs to your target customers “ Come on, we have got what you need and nobody can offer this to you but us “, are you sure? Create hype only if you can live up to it.

When you create that much buzz around something, there will be anticipation and excitement in the market and although your idea has shaped into a worthwhile product or service if it doesn’t live up to the expectations, you have just dug yourself a hole. Start out slow and market slowly. If you can take the time to let your idea grow then you certainly have the patience to let the final outcome grow with time as well.

Now we don't need to create hype about this Rag site or try to sell anything, but if you create a product, then you will need to focus on this step.

How about you? What are you ideas? What stage is your idea in? Who do you need to contact to learn more, get the ball rolling and to implement your idea?

This site before we started.

The site! Kayle, Allison, Bill (Laine), Larry, Tessa, Franki

Get out there and pursue your dreams. It only takes a spark to get a fire burning. Thank you Tessa for your spark and thank you Kayla, Larry and Franki for your hard work.

In the Spirit of Camp,


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