How often do you conceive a business idea over a drink with friends?
I’d say pretty often. Maybe not always over a drink. But I am sure you can recall a time or times when you devised a business idea. At the time the idea was the be and end all of ideas. You envisioned how much money you would make. You talked about it with exuberance. And then…nothing happened.
People all over the world devise a plethora of business ideas on a daily basis. A study of 1000 Australians and small business owners found that 67% of all Australians had new business ideas, with 10.9 being conceived, on average, over their life time. Now that is a lot of ideas.
How many people acted on these ideas?
Not many. In the Australian study, only 22% of the people acted on the ideas. And that’s the reality; most people do not act. They do nothing.
Why is this the case?
Most great ideas remain dormant because people don’t have the courage, resources, time and/or money to take action. -Glenn Llopis, Forbes Contributor.
I posed the same question on Facebook to get feedback from friends and other aspiring entrepreneurs. Here are additional reasons given.
They have busy lifestyles
- People are busy, have jobs and struggle to prioritise accordingly.
They are to blame
- They listen to the negativity of others.
- They lack belief.
- They doubt themselves.
- They fear failure and the unknown
They are not sure what steps need to be taken
- Connecting the dots can be hard. Finding funding. Connecting with the right people. Deciding what steps to take.These are all obstacles.
The fact remains ideas on their own are exactly that, ideas. In the words of Derek Sivers (programmer, writer, entrepreneur and avid student of life):
“To me, ideas are worth nothing unless executed. They are just a multiplier. Execution is worth millions.”
What then can you do to follow through on those ideas?
11 Ways To Execute Your Ideas And Achieve Success
Get clear on your why; this reduces chances of quitting
Tying your idea to a deep meaningful goal and understanding why you are pursuing this avenue, will help reduce the chances that you will quit. Remind yourself of the why regularly.
I recently landed my first paid writing gig. My why is being self-employed and being able to live a location independent lifestyle whilst making an impact on peoples lives.
If possible take this further and set a date. Mental tattooing is a powerful thing. It creates a ‘matter-of-time mindset. My date to be fully self-employed is the 20th November 2015.
Research your idea; understand the marketplace
Research your idea to see if it is being done elsewhere. Chances are it will be. The reality is that most ideas you come up with have already been done. The good news is that those that out-execute win. Think where you can improve on the idea. Make incremental changes.
Start believing in yourself; take action
Many people do not believe in themselves. And most people fail to actualise an idea into reality because the challenges become more than they initially planned for. Consequently, they relinquish accountability. Their ideas to do no go beyond the initial stages.
Once you are comfortable with the consequences of your decisions, then only can you take action.
Take action; action displaces fear
“Everything that holds me back evaporates as soon as I start taking steps. Look at what avenues are available. Put up a website or a free blog to share the idea. Start making connections with others who want to bring your idea into reality. What I might lack (certain skills, funding, etc) someone else has” – Dylan Bennet Raines, founder of Freedom Raines.
What action can you take right now to make the idea a reality? Do Something. Picture the idea as a cake and the small slices you take as the action points.
And don’t quit just because progress is slow.Those people who are successful didn’t have overnight success. They were patient.
Be patient; overnight success rarely happens
Many people quit because the desired results are not achieved fast enough. Very rarely will you achieve overnight success. Take time to enjoy the journey and connect the dots as you go.
Connect the dots along the way; enjoy the journey
Turning an idea into reality is a process. Let me give you an example. I am currently working on an app with a friend. The idea came about over a beer. Since then we have met with his friend (a developer) and another colleague in the startup industry.
We have researched the idea. Whilst the idea has been actualized in some markets, no critical mass has been reached. We also plan to make incremental changes to the idea to make it unique.
We are in the process of setting up a meeting with a connection of a friend, who is a decision maker in the industry we want to target. Through this, we will present the idea, and then continue moving forward. As the process happens, the idea morphs and changes. We will launch with a minimal viable product as to not waste resources, time and money, to test the idea.
And the funding required for the app? We are giving a percentage share in the company to a developer for building the app for free.
The moral of the story is to enjoy the journey. Everyone’s journey will be different. You need to realise that connecting the dots is a process.
Partner with people; you can’t do things alone
In the above case, I found an initial partner early and we registered a company. As we continue to connect the dots, we will bring more people on board. The reality is that you cannot handle everything on your own. Not only is this short-sighted as a team allows you to bounce ideas off one another, but it will put a lot of strain on you.
Establish an accountability group to assess progress
Each week I meet with four friends. We share ideas and resources and set goals for the week. The next week we meet to assess progress and hold each other accountable for progress made.
The power of this is it creates excitement and ensures constant accountability and motivation. There is something very motivating about knowing that you are not doing this alone. We are also able to tap into each other’s knowledge and networks.
Consider also starting a Facebook page where you can post resources and share knowledge with one another.
Learn to embrace risk of a new venture
Launching a business is risky simply because outcomes are not guaranteed. Risks include financial issues, health risks and relationship difficulties.
“When you run wide-open with your idea, completely accepting the risks associated with it, you stand a much better chance of reaching the finish line.” Jonathan, Entrepreneur Contributor and Founder and CEO, Market Domination media.
Understand your value proposition; this helps you sell your vision
Simplicity is key. Make sure your value proposition is clearly defined and that anyone looking in from the outside can understand what value you are providing. Not only does this create engagement with your idea, but it increases the chances of buy-in, particularly when targeting investors.
Keep plugging away; this builds momentum
Keep plugging away at the idea. Even if progress is slow, it ensures momentum. Stopping and returning to the idea later will require a lot of energy and effort. Think cake (idea) and slices (small incremental steps).
Moral of the story.
Following through on your ideas as an aspiring entrepreneur is hard work. The statistics are a testament to this. The key has and always will be your execution. Those that out execute win. Everytime.
What other strategies can you think of to help you execute your idea?
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