He was on the ropes. One business failing, a new one sputtering on the launch.
He had been studying something new during the day. And whether it was nervousness or a stroke of genius he still isn’t sure.
He got up from the bed that wasn’t doing him any good and opened a brand new pack of index cards.
One idea on each card. Card after card, the ideas kept flowing.
After he filled about 30 cards, he knew he had solved the problem.
He tried to go to bed. Shut the lights off and everything.
Then he got up, turned the light back on and filled out more cards.
He did this two, maybe three more times.
Finally he went to sleep.
When I had a chance to talk to him about it, years later, he said, “it doesn’t matter what business it was, or even what the ideas were.
“It was the process. One idea at a time. Solid, no fluff. If it was wrong I threw it out. Lots of white space. Every idea had to be right or it was gone.
“The process feeds itself. Soon you’ll be writing and know whether or not you’re lying to yourself.
“When you know it’s true, you can sell it to someone else. They can say no. Many do. But they always believe you, which makes it easier to sell them something later on.
“It’s never the idea. Never the product. It’s process.
“You can do exactly what I did. Get a pack of index cards. Write down one idea at a time. Keep the truth, toss the lies.”
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