Vera: Congratulations on your book Vision ADD. What is vision ADD?
Adam: Vision ADD is the pursuit of many callings rather than the vision for the one purpose for which you were made. It is the choice to have multiple rather than one priority. An Idea Addict can easily get distracted by other vocations and other paths, besides the one they are on and try to go in multiple directions at once. We must find clarity and move from multiple vocational ideas to one clear direction.
Vera: Ideas, ideas, ideas…as they say are a dime a dozen. What was your motivation for picking this subject matter for your first book?
Adam: I wanted to help entrepreneurs, solopreneurs and non-profiters. In my experience, when you are looking for a job, your biggest roadblock is standing out among all the other candidates. On the other hand, as an entrepreneur, the biggest roadblock is ideas. Entrepreneurs are full of ideas. Many might even be great. However, when you try to go in multiple directions at once, you go nowhere. So I wanted to help Idea Addicts like me remain undistracted as they pursue their vocation, calling, purpose.
Vera: Addiction is arguably a process. In your experience how does one become an idea addict and can ideas addiction be a good thing?
Adam: Wow! Great question. I’ll start with the second part. I do believe being an Idea Addict is good thing. I actually think it is a superpower. Idea Addicts have a propensity for ideation, creation and innovation. With this gift, they are able to transform businesses, communities and lives. How does one become an Idea Addict?
I wrote the book for people who might feel like being an Idea Addict was a problem, and, in particular, for those struggling with Vision ADD. I had not considered helping someone become an Idea Addict. I believe the solution to Vision ADD is the path toward becoming and Idea Addict as well. It is my TIP Method.
- Time – What is on your schedule? What needs to change to move you toward more and better ideas?
- Information – What books, podcasts, blogs and conferences are you consuming? This is a huge source of ideas.
- People – Who are the 5 people you spend the most time with right now? Are they Idea Addicts? If not, who could you start spending more time with in order to grow in this direction?
Vera: You’re very much about using ideas to make a difference. Talk me through the evolution of the genesis of an idea to where it’s making a difference?
Adam: The focus of my book is on making a difference through starting a business. I do not believe one must start a business to make a difference though. I was just choosing a very specific audience. To answer your question, when ideating, the first step is to write all the ideas down without filtering. This is my favorite stage, as there is no wrong answer. Later, you must filter ideas. Finally, you must make a decision and stick with it. If you are talking broadly, I would say, to make a difference your idea must lead to helping and adding value to others.
As a business, your ideas must do what I call my 3 M’s of Work that matters:
- Your business must Move you.
- Your business must Make a difference.
- Your business must Make you money.
I would define “making a difference,” in this context, as something you are excellent at and something that adds value to the lives of others.
Vera: In workplaces, there’s also an addiction of ‘’brainstorming’’ for ideas which then never get anywhere. How can organizations breed better ways of generating good productive ideas?
Adam: Excellent question, Vera. I think the problem is not in the ideas, but in the final stage of making a decision and sticking with it. It is so easy to change our minds. Also, being so connected with technology allows us to never make decisions in our work. We can always bring in a group or our boss to make the decision for us. We need to grow our decision-making and persistence muscles. This includes me.
Vera: Does the originator of an idea necessarily the best person to implement it?
Adam: Many Idea Addicts are not great at implementing. In some cases, this is okay and necessary. They must inspire others to move forward with their ideas. This is their role in the company. A solopreneur must learn to implement and stick with an idea for a period of time. This is essential to success.
Vera: You believe that there is work that ‘’everyone is uniquely gifted to do’’. What’s the basis of that philosophy and how can one discover this work and become brilliant at it?
Adam: Definitely my faith in Jesus Christ. I believe we are here for a purpose. While your vocation may change many times, your calling and purpose probably will not. We are constantly learning more about ourselves and our purpose, though. We may not always have clarity of purpose. Discovery is the first step in my Idea Addict’s Vision ADD/DDA Formula. We must look inward before anything else. What are you wired to do? What are you passionate about? What are your personality tendencies? What are your gifts? Discovering yourself is a lifelong process, as well as something you can choose to focus on right now. The other two parts of the formula after ‘Discovery’ are Decide and Act (DDA). Becoming brilliant at something takes time. I think it is much more a choice than anything else. We must remain undistracted and stick with it.
Vera: You also talk about the need for having ‘‘margin’’ as part of becoming more productive. What’s ‘’margin’’ and what are the ways to create it?
Adam: Absolutely! Margin is extra space in your life. For example, financially, many people spend 110% of what they make. The result is stress, broken relationships and debt. If one were to spend 75% of what they make, they would be able to save, give to charity and handle surprise expenses. The remaining 25% is margin. The result of this margin would be less stress, better relationships and savings rather than debt.
We need margin in all areas of our life. Margin allows us to absorb the impact of the uncertainties that will come our way. It also helps to avoid stress, paralysis and unproductivity through the 3 step TIP approach I mention above.
Personally, I do a Quarterly Offsite evaluation every 90 days in these three areas. I am extremely intentional about my schedule, my content consumption and my priority relationships. Doing this offsite, allows me to say “no” to everything and everyone else, so I can say “yes” to what and who is really important.
Vera: What’s been your best ever idea and what made it so?
Adam: Asking my wife to marry me. She is an amazing person. No doubt this was my best idea. On a business front, you would have to ask people who know me.
Adam Suter is a Life Coach. He helps Idea Addicts find clarity and focus so that they can create work that matters. He is author of Vision ADD: From Ideas to Work That Matters. Adam is an active coach, speaker and writer.
For more information on Vera Ng’oma’s work and resources in leadership, personal and career development and excellence building, click here.