The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.
– Nolan Bushnell
The quote above is probably one of my all-time favourite quotes in Business. If I had a ‘Business Anthem’, this would be it. I love this quote so much that it is written on the back of my Business Cards. You may wonder why I have such a fascination with it. I am a great believer in the fact that every single person has an idea in their mind. No matter the age, gender, race etc. When I say age, I don’t meant a new born baby, but then speaking about age, you may want to read the story of Eliza Joy who has published two books at the age of just six years old.
Back to subject of ideas, every single human being, at one point or the other in their life would have thought about some type of idea. This can be in the form of writing a book, starting a Business or even setting up a charitable work. The sad thing is that many people live their whole lives without taking that idea to the next stage for one reason or the other (That’s a different topic on its own).
I’ve been to many Business events and Seminars where hugely successful speakers are present. It’s amazing how you will see hundreds or even thousands of people come together to hear a successful person speak at an event and if you attend similar events over and over again in the same year, you would probably come across about 50 percent of the same people at the same types of event. I used to be like this myself and then it occurred to me that there was a problem. I would go to an event, take my notebook with me, listen to successful speakers, make notes and then go away doing nothing. Another favourite saying of mine is that ‘it’s not what you know that counts, but what you can apply’.
The different between those who are successful and those who are content in a state of mediocrity is ACTION.
There is no magic formula to becoming a person of distinction; the only difference is that some people take action while others stay in ‘dreamland’, hoping that they will make a move one day.
So, you have an idea? What are the next steps to take? This is where most people get stuck and give up. As a Business coach, the most common phrase that I hear from potential customers that call me is:
‘I have an idea but I don’t know how to turn it into a Business’
If you find yourself at this point, don’t panic, you are not alone. The first step is to admit that you are not sure about your next step and get some help. I will share three simple tips with you on how to take that idea to the next step:
- 1. Get Some Help!
There is no one in this world that knows it all. If you find that you are stuck on the next step to take about your idea, seek help. Get a coach, mentor, advisor etc. Ask people around you for help. When I mean get some help, I don’t mean attend seminars, take notes and do nothing about it. I am talking about practical hands on help. Get someone who can work with you side by side on the idea and help you on your way to realising it.
- 2. Clearly define your Vision / Goal:
When an idea pops into your head, the next step is to clearly define your goal or vision. Pursuing an idea without a goal is like going on a bus journey without knowing your destination. Imagine seeing a friend at the bus stop waiting for the Bus and you ask her where she is going and she tells you that she doesn’t know; what would be your reaction? Yet many people dive into different ventures without understanding the end goal of the venture. You must have short term and long term goals. Here are some of the questions you can ask yourself:
- What do you want to achieve in the next 6 months?
- What do you want to achieve in the next one year?
- What would you like to achieve in the next 5-10 years?
- What are the main aims and objectives of this project, Business or venture?
Clearly set your goals and define a clear vision for the venture, then you can start planning towards achieving the goals.
- 3. Plan and Strategise!
I have read many different opinions from successful Business people on the issue of Business planning. There are some Business owners who believe in setting some plans in place, taking action and learning as you go along. There are some others that believe in meticulously planning before making a move at all.
I always believe that there is no amount of planning that you can do to prevent any challenges in starting up any type of venture. The key is not to avoid all challenges but to learn to adapt to changes that may come along. Before setting off on any venture, sufficient planning is needed and the key is to ensure that you have a strategy for taking the needed steps.
For example, when a hunter goes into the forest to kill an animal, he spots the animal and the next thing is to come up with a strategy for attack. Making the wrong step may mean that the animal spots him, runs away and he loses his lunch or dinner. So create a sales strategy, marketing strategy etc and make a move.
These are just the three tips that I will give in this piece. Look out for more tips in the second part of this series.
Opy Onas is a Business Start-Up Coach at Proten Coaching and Development. Follow him on twitter @Opyonas.