As copywriters, advertisers, and marketers we live and die by our ability to come up with striking ideas.

The perfect hook, the right angle, an attention-grabbing headline and lead… 

These things don’t just come out of thin air (no matter how many “formulas” you have in front of you).

So wouldn’t it be nice to have a way to cultivate your ability to have more and better ideas?

The following two recommendations will set you apart from 90-95% of the people out there (probably closer to 99%). 

And they are both so simple and easy – it will be doubly astounding to you.

First, you will be astounded at the sheer simplicity of the recommendations. 

At how potentially powerful yet easy to implement they are.

The extra effort you must add – that you might not already be doing – is so minuscule you might even initially discount and ignore this advice.

But if you take the advice to heart and stick with it… 

I dare say you will be astounded yet again!

But this second round of astonishment will not only be due to the positive effects that you experience from the advice I’m about to give you.

But you will now be astonished at how FEW people (like I said, maybe only 1 in 100) actually take advantage of this simple yet powerful advice.

Ok, so, without any further delay…

What is this “Oh, so astounding!” advice?

  • Step 1: When you have an idea… WRITE IT DOWN!

The number one thing that stifles our ability to have great ideas is not the ability to THINK of them, it’s our ability to REMEMBER them.


We’ve all had those experiences where you have a good idea and think to yourself, “Oh, I’ll remember that one!” 

And then – POOF! – it’s gone. 

Never to return again.

So have a system (use your phone, carry around a notebook… I’ve done both) and capture your good ideas as quickly as humanly possible whenever you have them.

With me so far?

Pretty simple, right?

And if you did just that, you’d set yourself apart from the 95% of people who simply do not write down their good ideas, and instead let them disappear into the howling winds of their minds.

Ok, now on to step two – the part that 99% of people DON’T ever seem to get the memo about.

AFTER completing step 1 – i.e., after you’ve written down your initial idea to the point where you will not forget it – follow this critical instruction:

  • Step 2: Ask yourself… and document your answer… “Where did this idea come from?”

All too often we get enamored and wrapped up in our new idea, pursuing it to the exclusion of everything else in our mind at the time.

That’s only natural, and that’s why step 1 is to write your idea down. You want to capture it as best as you can so you don’t lose it.

But wouldn’t it be nice to be able to continue mining the source of that idea?

Now, quite often the answer as to what inspired the idea you had is rather obvious – for example, you were reading a book about a certain subject and then you had an idea about that subject.

No real mystery there.

But every once in a while you’ll have a truly “random” idea – or so it would seem.

And THAT is when you would benefit from doing a bit of post-idea analysis. 

Where did the idea come from? 

What really inspired it?

Is there something you could do to further stimulate more ideas along the same lines?

Basically, you’re trying to figure out if there is any way to replicate the stimulus that inspired the idea in the first place.

To do this, after you write your idea down, simply put a note at the end that says something like, “Inspired by ____.”

Then fill in the blank with whatever it was that you were doing, reading, or thinking about when the idea occurred to you.

Sometimes it will be something rather concrete that inspired the idea, like a book or a news article. And other times it will be something more abstract, like a memory or some other initial idea.

Logging WHERE your ideas come from – in addition to the ideas themselves – is the key to discovering further yet-to-be-discovered treasures in your mind.

Try it for yourself.

You’ll instantly set yourself apart from the other 99 people out of 100 that never bother.

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