Cycle of an Idea

I realized the other day that ideas have a life-cycle. Like house plants + banana muffins. Somehow, I always thought ideas were timeless, life fairy tales + McDonalds french fries.

As I was franticly going through every item on my grocery list to double check I wasn’t missing any of the ingredients to make my infamous granola recipe, I became aware that ideas have stages – from aha moment to launch, and everything in-between.

Sometimes, ideas live inside a forgotten Moleskin journal. Other times, they are planted in fertile soil by dreamers.

Ideas get stuck quite frequently too, in decision paralysis + overwhelm + rejection. Some, never make it to the sun. Others, beat the odds.

Today, I set out to map out the cycle of an idea. Here goes.

Lightbulb Moment

“Look who’s finally decided to show up? Miss Epiphany Fairy! Where were you? I showered. I called. I text messaged you. Gimme a sec to get my notepad, I wanna write everything down!” This is the initial spark.

Dream Phase

The magical place where you suddenly can’t stop thinking about your idea. Once lightning strikes it becomes an addiction. You’re in Disneyland. You’re seduced by the rush. You can’t shut up about it. You daydream about all the possibilities. You tell your mom, “Mom, I’m gonna be a millionaire!!!”. Wait you’ve never called your mom to tell her you’re gonna be a millionaire? Right. Me neither.

Implementation Station

The big commitment. “I’m serious you guys!” proclamations. The day you sit down + take a deep breath + look at your idea + tease it apart + open your calendar + map out a plan to make it happen. The plan sucks, most likely. Will probably get rewritten 107397344 times, but who’s counting? The ball is rolling. I love rolling. Rolling feel freaking amazing. And you know what happens when you feel great? Exactly! You do great sh*t. Starting is sublimely revolutionary.

The Dip

The rough patch. The low point. The moment when things stop being exciting + fun, and they start being, how can I put it lightly?, a pain in the ass.  The place where you find yourself asking, “Is it really worth the hassle?”. According to the bestselling author Seth Godin, what really sets superstars apart from everyone else is the ability to escape dead ends quickly while staying focused + motivated when it really counts. This is the tipping point of all ideas, either you quit or you conquer. 

World Domination

Alright, it might not feel like “WORLD DOMINATION” yet Pinky, but if you’ve made it this far you’ve already done something remarkable. You are part of the 1% who didn’t drop off when it hurt. You won because you didn’t give up too soon. The challenge now is to surface new milestones. Maybe it means bundling up a blog series into an e-book. Perhaps it’s turning an digital guide into a hard cover coffee table book. Or it might mean developing your very own app. Whatever it is, you’ll figure it out champ.

. . .

The other day I saw a headline, “I’m just here tinkling the ivories: Eccentric British pianist plays piano to blind elephants at the top of Thai mountain.” I’m serious, don’t you EVER let anyone tell you your ideas is too crazy, that it can’t be done. This guy hauled a piano up a mountain to play music for blind elephants for God’s sake! Sometimes crazy is the only way epic is born.

Our extraordinary capacity for imagination, to dream better, has given rise to the most far-fetched ideas that have taken us from caves to the moon.

Blaze on supernovas. Blaze on!

In what stage of the idea cycle are you in? Tell me in the comments.



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  1. I am “in the trenches” of the IMPLEMENTATION PHASE and loving it! I have been using your “5K Sales in 365 Days” tool and might I just say: THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! Worth every penny and then some! Get it before it’s gone folks!

  2. Mayi I LOVED this – it’s just what I needed today. I’m in the weird stuck in between The Dip + World Domination. And, this may be just what I need to stay the course to that whole World Domination thing!


  3. Love it Mayi! That certainly is the cycle. i’m on different stages for different dreams. Here they are…

    My wedding photography/cinematography business is on the dip. I just finished up editing a wedding and don’t have another until October. Trying to hustle to get some more clients.

    My secret upcoming video series is on the implementation stage. Oh yeah! Got the wheels going!

    Extending my Etsy shop and selling more fine art is on the dream stage. Sure the shop is open, but I’m envisioning all the possibilities and reading April’s book on Marketing to kick that baby into high gear!

    Life is good.

  4. I feel like I am in the Dip, perhaps it’s quite muddy because i think I’ve been stuck there for quite some time haha. Thank you so much for this visualization! This is really helpful Mayi! – “Sometimes crazy is the only way epic is born.”- new favorite quote right there! 🙂

    To answer your second question: My favorite team is Brasil *sniff, sniff*. So now I am torn as to who to cheer for in the final, Germany broke Brasils hearts, And I think the idea of the Cup staying in South America is always great, BUT the Brasil and Argentina teams are apparently arch rivals… So maybe not such a great thing for Argentina to win it, as seeing Argentina take it might REALLY break the Brasil teams hearts. I think I will cheer for Germany on Sunday. Even though my heart is breaking because my Brasilian team won’t be playing the final 🙁

    Who’s your favourite team Mayi?

    Xo daphne

    1. Daphne I totally recommend reading Seth Godin’s book The Dip. If you are hanging out there more than the rest it might be time for a reset. Quit. Quit fast. Quit often, so you can move on to the project you are really meant to be doing. OR, it might mean, giving you the push to overcome the dip because this is IT!

  5. Hey Mayi,

    Yet again great job on everything you’re doing on here. I’m getting so inspired reading your blog posts. Right now I’m searching gor ideas to expand my website and get more views…

    And my favourite team is of course GERMANY as I’m German! 🙂

    Keep up the great stuff! 🙂

    -Lisa xx

    1. Lisa so happy you’re finding inspiration in this little corner made with love.

      Any plans to expand your website so far? I’m on a mission to grow to + I’m experimenting with more drawing + illustrations + recently started to run giveaways on Instagram. Let’s see how it goes 🙂

  6. I’m Stil dreamin’ a little dream for a handful of my dreams, but it’s weird. The implementation phase is always kind of percolating while I’m doing the dream phase…I go back and forth between implementing one piece and dreaming up the next. It’s basically the most fun EVER, and I know the drudgery is coming, but it’s cool. I’ll face it when it happens, and remember the “KING OF THE MOUNTAIN (with elephants…and a piano) feeling that’s just around the corner.


    PS – I love your little lady in the balloon. She is having just the best dream ever. And the heart shaped patch? I can’t even with the cuteness!

  7. I’m currently in the implementation stage (the sucky part just before the breakthrough and clarity; looking forward to that bit!) It’s very helpful to see the cycle laid out like this. Also, I’m so happy you’re doing a cookbook! I haven’t been reading your site for long, but your recipes are totally amazing 🙂

    1. But I bet you can almost hear the celestial birdies in the horizon. So close. You’re almost theeeeere!

  8. Love this! Loving the implementation stage and thankful my husband is about to jump onboard on this wild ride to help me steer the ship and stay focu..- (Squirrel!) Sending you Love and Light, Mayi!

    1. Well the nature of the phase is to feel stuck. Although I would like to skip the messy part and fast forward to the cool world domination area, every part serves it’s purpose. Sometimes the dip helps us realize we need to make some changes to the idea. Sometimes it makes us realize we need to quit this idea and start a new one. It’s HAAAAARD. But it’s part of creating work that matters. Don’t get discouraged.

      Tips for overcoming the dip:
      1. Find an accountability partner or mentor.
      2. Announce your deadline IN PUBLIC.

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