A lot of people trying to start their own company or project often say that the greatest challenge is to find the ideas that are worth implementing - or even more so, just to come across some ideas, be them good or bad. One day after the other, most will eventually give up on any quest right before they even started.
From the start, I will say this: having ideas is the easiest part, including during an entrepreneurial path. Almost every individual is ripe with ideas, and we could enable these on a daily basis just by observing the needs and wants of ourselves or the people around us. What makes the difference is execution of said ideas, and the amount of effort you are willing to put in order to put imagination into practice. Most ideas die even before they are born due to the amount of work needed to implement them - which, by the way, is not always as much as we envisage in the beginning.
Having said this, there are three aspects which have been working for me when it comes to finding ideas:
1. Have someone attached to you to bounce your ideas around with - for most of us, this usually involves a best friend or a group of friends, but this is where some things may fail right from the beginning. Of course, your friends will tell you from the start and without any reserves if your idea is full of crap or brilliant, but it is not firm discouragement that you need at that moment - you need argumentative discouragement or, better yet, constructive discouragement. Bear in mind that idea-building and developing involves a lot of emotions (because, after all, for you, your idea will always seem great), and your emotions can be better understood by your significant self than anyone else. I am not talking about a person who is just in love with you, but a person who can be supportive of you, but also be your most avid and thorough critique of your endeavors. Find that person and hold her/him firmly - it is she/him that will give you the necessary stamina and right arguments. You should never try to make it alone in life, because when all fails - and it will fail - you need someone to care for your emotions and viceversa. Emotions are what keeps the world spinning :)
2. Find your balance and know where to revert when you lose it - balance is something that comes from inside ourselves, and it is probably why most people fail to find it. Balance should not be anchored exclusively in exterior things, people or events. Of course, there are people that enable our balance and we like to spend our time in that sweet spot - and this reverts us to point one. However, in a day of 24 hours, there is a high chance that you will not be spending all that time with your significant other - in that time, when you are alone with your thoughts and daily work, you need to be balanced in order to gain focus.
How to do that? Set very short-term goals that keep you focused on them, while keeping a medium- and long-term vision as well of what you want to achieve. Take a firm grip of your actions - do not do extra hours just because you have heard that is key to success. Have a 20-minute nap, even if it's 8 in the evening or 2 in the afternoon. And always keep a schedule of what you want to do every day, at least in general terms - this will boost your balance in no time, because you are taking control of your life.
3. Read and write - I cannot stress enough how important this is; you cannot get ideas if you are not informed and interested about what happens around you. Have an open mind and get out of your professional comfort zone. Read whatever comes in hand and build opinions on that. Have some time during each day when you read news in your domains of interest or books that are on your "to-read" list. Engage online by writing to people that have different mindsets than you or who inspire you. Maybe have a blog, or just write down any ideas you have, places you want to go, movies you want to see - a-ny-thing. Reading and writing are extremely under-rated nowadays, because in the definition of success that high-profile people think this is not appealing to present to others.
Reading and writing are sexy. Reading and writing is what could lead you to where you want to be. Reading and writing make you stand out.
Bear in mind that, if you did not achieve points one and two, you find it difficult to meet point three, because you will always feel unsure with how you are spending your time.
These three tips may not get you to an abundance of ideas overnight, but they will definitely open opportunities that seemed far away before taking them aboard.
Keen on finding out any other tips on how and where you find your ideas - comments are awaited!