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The Top 3 Reasons Why Brilliant Ideas Fail

The Top 3 Reasons Why Brilliant Ideas Fail

Have you ever had a brilliant idea that just flopped? Oh good – it’s not just me then!
So … welcome to the club.

Okay – why do our “brilliant ideas” fail sometimes?

Well here are the top 3 reasons and what you can do about them …


Reason #1 – Because You Just Didn’t Listen

Some of us aren’t naturally good listeners. (I’ll put my hand up to that one!) So we have a great idea – we’re utterly amazed at our brilliance and without further ado we race out and start doing it. But … is the timing right? Are we just seeing it from our perspective, or have we taken all the other angles into account? Do we perhaps have a blind spot? Are we missing something? Does God have a different plan?

Any one of those can bring even the best “brilliant idea” unstuck.

I’ve seen it so often. A business spends a fortune on advertising campaign that’s all about them and nothing about the positive impact that their product will have on their customers. FLOP!

Been there, done that, got the T-shirt! If only I’d prayed about it first. If only I’d asked around to see what others thought. Oh well, maybe next time …

Without counsel, plans go wrong, but with many advisers they succeed. (Proverbs 15:22)

Solution #1:  Get the wax out of your ears, stick your pride in your pocket
***********and actively seek out wise counsel.

Reason #2 – Because While Your Idea was Great – Your Execution was Lousy

Sometimes we can be great at having a brilliant idea, but be flawed in our execution. Maybe we’re just not prepared to put in the hard yards over weeks, months … years to become an “overnight success”. Or maybe the idea is a bit bigger and a bit more complicated than we first thought. When that happens, it turns out that we can be good at some parts of the execution, but in other areas, we’re left wanting.

My passion is communicating – I write and produce hundreds of radio programs each year. But let me tell you, if it wasn’t for a woman called Joy in our office, the 1000+ radio stations who air those programs across 160 countries would never receive a single radio program to play. The complexity involved and the precision required are way beyond me. Without Joy to build the complex production and distribution systems and make them work week after week, those radio programs would’ve been just another brilliant idea … that failed.

For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us … (Romans 12:4-6)

Solution #2:  Surround yourself with people you who are good at the
***********things that you’re not good at.

Reason #3 – Because it was Always Meant to “Fail”

Now there’s an unhappy thought!

What do you mean my brilliant idea was always meant to fail?! Get out of here!

Turns out that sometimes, we have a cock-eyed view of success. We think that success is about winning; it’s about me getting what I want and you getting what you want; it’s about other people looking at us and saying … Wow, aren’t they successful! And yet if I hadn’t skinned my knee as a lad when I fell off my bike (doing something stupid!) I’d never have learned to ride the bike properly.

Sometimes … sometimes God’s much more interested in developing our character, building our endurance, maturing us, softening us with newfound empathy, compassion and humility … than He is about the success or otherwise of our “brilliant idea”. And as it turns out, it’s just as well. Because without those planned “failures” we’d never learn the lessons we so need to learn and we’d never become the people He so wants us to be.

Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan and just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens open up and the Spirit descended on him like a dove. A voice came from heaven saying, “You are my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” And then the Spirit immediately drove [literally ‘threw’] him out into the wilderness. He was out there in the wilderness forty days and forty nights, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts … (Mark 1:9-13)

Solution #3: Enjoy the ride, learn the lesson, pick yourself up and
**********in your new-found wisdom, go have another brilliant idea!


  1. Hi Berni and all who are reading this. May the Lord our God bless you and guide you all in all that you do.

    Thank you Berni for delivering this vital message. It is a comfort to know I am not alone in having “brilliant ideas”! You have worded it really well. It is reassuring to know that God is sometimes more interested in the fruit rather then the success in our experiences.
    I believe true failures are those who don’t try anything. Remember the story on the talents and what happened to the one that only was given 1 talent?


    • Thanks Valentina.

      Yep the parable of the talents (Matt 25:14-30) is a salutary one. The Master expected his servants to invest for a return. The failure very much was the servant who did nothing with all that he was given (1 talent = 15 years wages for a labourer in those days).


  2. as iread and thought about thisemail 3 part questions 1 failure is not finalandin proverbs it says lean not to your own understanding but in all your wa7ys acknowledge THE LORD AND HEWILLDIRECT YOUR WAYS. greg.

  3. this is most intresting and very challenging iam learning so much thank you bernie i see agreater need to search the whole bible . greg

  4. The key to sucess that Jesus gives us in the gospels, as well as shown in the OT, is to have the heart of a servant, doing what you do to serve the Father, not yourself. That will give you a great advantage
    You also need to have the attitude that this is not to make you great in the eyes of others, but you are here to wash the feet (not always literally, but you get the gist) of others, and sometimes it will be to those who can’t always pay you back

    Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you at the proper time, (1 Peter 5:6 HCSB)
    And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. (Colossians 3:17 HCSB)

  5. Because without those planned “failures” we’d never learn the lessons we so need to learn and we’d never become the people He so wants us to be.


    I found out from experience no matter how brilliant the idea is, if it’s for your own good or pride, GOD doesn’t let it happen. But it could be the most simple idea which you think it’s going to sooo fail and you pray to GOD for it and it works out brilliantly..

    And So, I try my best to live with the following motto in everything I do…

    Philippians 4:6
    6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

    I thank GOD when things go well, and PRAISE HIM even more when they fail.
    With HIM of my side, it’s ALWAYS a WIN-WIN situation.

    • Friday morning is hard (sometimes)! Thank you Berni this was an “Instant Reminder”.

  6. Yes Gods ways are not our ways but the amazing thing is often after we get over our disappointment we find God had something better in mind all along. I praise God that all things work together for good for those who love the lord “who are called according to His purpose”.
    I’m glad its not just me who gets it wrong sometimes.

  7. A business spends a fortune on advertising campaign that’s all about them and nothing about the positive impact that their product will have on their customers. FLOP!

    How true is that. Sort of ties in with ‘look after our clients and they will look after us’

    All good, thank you again Berni!

  8. Right on the button as always Berni! 🙂

    • Amen

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