You may have never heard of Robert Armstrong, but you’ve probably heard of an idea he captured and maximized. Robert Armstrong was a struggling cartoonist and graphic artist. During a low point in his career, he spent most of his days sitting on the sofa watching daytime TV. A good friend called him one day, and in an attempt to be humorous, said, “How’s my favorite couch potato?”
Neither of the friends had ever heard that term before, and after their conversation, Robert Armstrong hung up the phone and thought about the idea of a couch potato. He started drawing cartoons, capturing his idea, and then he trademarked the term couch potato. Ironically, out of the lowest point in his career, came his goldmine. It only had value to him because he recognized it. Otherwise, you and I would have never heard of a couch potato.
In his classic book Acres of Diamonds, Russell Conwell described a frustrated African farmer who sold his family farm to seek his fortune hunting for diamonds in South Africa. Several years later, broke and dejected, he returned to the farm he had once owned simply hoping to get a job as a laborer only to find that the very farm he had once owned had become the site of one of the most prosperous diamond mines in the world.
The farmer had never realized that some of those annoying rocks he had removed from his fields while plowing were actually raw diamonds. He had left his life as a farmer to search for diamonds without even knowing what diamonds looked like.
You and I are sitting on our own goldmines whether we recognize them or not. We must understand that great ideas rarely come packaged as great ideas. They are most often disguised as problems or challenges. The whole world is looking for a great idea and trips over one several times each week without even recognizing it.
The only thing you need to do to have a great idea is to simply go through your daily routine, wait for something bad to happen, and consider how you could have avoided that. The answer is a great idea. To take the process one step further, all you need to do to have a great business is to consider how you can help other people avoid that problem.
The world will give you fame, fortune, and everything you seek if you will help them solve their problems, but if you won’t recognize couch potatoes, raw diamonds, or the proverbial goldmines in your own life, you will be frustrated in your search to find the things you already have.
As you go through your day today, seek the opportunities that are within your reach right now.
Today’s the day!
Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift. He is also a columnist and motivational speaker. He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK 74145-9082; by email at Jim@JimStovall.com; on Twitter at www.twitter.com/stovallauthor; or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor.