Big Ideas come and go.
Some you choose to run with and start up a business model with.
Some pass by, never to be thought of again.
And once you’re successful with one idea, the chances of you taking another Big Idea and giving it life will also grow. That’s the power of entrepreneurship. It becomes infectious.
As I traveled to a different state this past weekend, I toured a beautiful old mansion and realized one thing. Once you are successful at one venture, it takes very little to try things again and again throughout your life.
This particular mansion was built over 100 years ago by a couple that was very influential in town. At 70 years old, they bought dozens of acres on a hill that overlooked the city, and set out creating a home and garden they could share with their six children and people within the community. They were very influential in the community, and had a variety of businesses and charitable foundations behind them.
As I walked around listening to all this family has done over the years, I started thinking about the difference between someone like them and the average person that is just starting down the path to entrepreneurship. What do people today need to learn to ensure success in bringing their Big Ideas to life? What things hold them back?
#1 No Motivation
Many people take a Big Idea and leave it at that … it’s simply an idea held up in the back of their minds. It gives them comfort. It gives them a dream. “Some day when I have time I’m going to do _________.” This is the first hurdle towards a new life. You have to get past whatever is happening in your life at the moment, and think about where you could be if you took a step towards your Big Idea. Everyone needs different types of motivation – some is monetary, some is power, some is recognition, some is lifestyle. Find out what gives you the most motivation – an extra $1,000 in your bank account every month, the ability to quit your 9 to 5 job and spend more time with the kids, etc – then work towards making that a reality.
#2 No Sense Of Urgency
There is always someday… But what if there wasn’t? What if you knew your last day on earth was your 50th birthday? Would that give you reason to accomplish more right now? If you knew there was one person that would fail miserably without your help, would you work harder to put your idea into place? Fear is our greatest hold back. But if you can turn it around and work at it like you really have no choice, you can see it through to fruition much sooner.
#3 No Purpose
What will your Big Idea do for the world? Have you established what your Big Idea truly is? Maybe your top priority is starting up your own business, yet when you think about what the business should do, you find yourself dreaming in all kinds of directions. “I love being creative.” “I’ve always loved helping people.” “I know a lot about this one thing.” Your first task is to find what your purpose is. What do you want to give the world? Do you like teaching? Do you have a unique talent? Do you have extensive knowledge? What do you like about all you’ve done in the past? How can you use all of that to move forward? Sometimes it takes a lot to look deep within and find out who you truly are.
#4 No Direction
Once you know your purpose, your direction becomes easier. Direction is the ability to share your purpose with the world. If your purpose is to help teach people all you know about healthy eating, then your direction would be finding a way to make it unique when sharing it with the world. Maybe you discovered a diet that helped cure your stage four cancer and put it permanently in remission. Maybe you discovered a diet after living with a child for years with severe digestive problems. This information is valuable to those around you facing similar conditions and problems. And this is what helps you discover how to be unique in what you do.
#5 No Viable Opportunity
There are 7 billion people on earth. You don’t need all 7 billion to be successful; just a small niche that can keep you comfortable for the rest of your life. And a product or service that the niche you are targeting can’t live without. You can create the best product in the world; but if a consumer sees it and thinks “I can make it myself” and can easily do so, you’ve lost valuable buying power. Anything you create has to have desire behind it and the ability to make people want it now rather than creating it themselves or doing without it all together. Make sure you know whom your target market is and what they truly will buy with their hard earned money.
#6 No Focus
“I have a great idea.” “But I think this will work as well.” “Or maybe I should approach it this way.” Questions and ideas; they can be an entrepreneur’s worst nightmare. If you’re an entrepreneur, you know this feeling well. In order to focus, you have to find the best opportunity, the best Big Idea you can come up with, and put all of your focus towards making it successful. Once you’ve determined there’s a viable market for it and people are more than willing to pay you for it, that’s the idea you have to run forward with as fast as possible. Every day you have to focus in on getting one step closer to making it a reality. Then to making it bigger, more well known, more successful, etc.
#7 No Plan
A plan shows you how to do something. It gives you the blueprint from getting to point A to point B. It provides everything you need to move forward. It provides you with steps to grow, what types of products and services to create, what types of people you choose to work with. It leaves nothing to chance. Everything is defined so it’s easy to know if you’re on track and achieving all you’ve set out to do. Plans are never finished – they are always growing. The more you learn, the more you add, the more you grow.
#8 No Systems
What happens when you connect with a potential customer for the first time? What types of marketing do you send out? How do you connect with your customers? How do you build relationships? What makes a business successful is a system that puts every step you do into action. A system provides a voice message that directs them to a website. It provides a way of collecting their information to send them out even more information. It automates key pieces of your business and marketing to make it more reliable and more efficient for you and your customers. The stronger a system, the stronger the business. Which means the faster you start creating your system, the more successful you’ll be.
#9 No Lead Generators
Over 99 percent of the time, a potential customer is not ready to buy from you today. What do you have in place that starts building the relationship, makes people more comfortable with you, and more willing to sign up with you over your competition? In today’s world, people no longer are open to sales tactics. Try and sell what you do on a social site like Facebook and you’ll be defriended, unfollowed and possibly banned altogether from the site. People want to trust first, do business second. A lead generation system provides the knowledge and the education necessary to help your potential customers get to know you long before they truly are ready to buy.
#10 No Longevity
How will you sustain your business for the next 5 years? Do you have enough products and services to keep your clientele coming back again and again? Start ups are famous for creating one product or service and moving forward with that. While it’s a great place to start, its not sustainable. To be in business in the future, you need to look at how you will connect with your clients again and again and again. Not only will they change, you’ll change too. Evaluating what your customers want and what you’re willing to supply is what keeps things fresh and exciting.
#11 No Support
When people start up a business, its easy to think you can do it all on your own. If you need to run to the bank, you do it. If you need to run to the store for production materials, you hop in your car. You become a jack-of-all-trades, doing whatever takes priority for the day. But very soon you’ll run into things you simply can’t do, or take up so much of your time it begins impeding on your ability to get everything done. This is when you need a support team. And knowing who you should have on your support team is equally important. While everyone will tell you to hire a bookkeeper and accountant, how many tell you to hire a business advisor? Or a virtual assistant? The sooner you learn how to let go and trust others around you, the easier and faster you’ll achieve your goals.
#12 No Sales
The easiest thing to blame when it comes to failure of an idea is lack of sales. And yet that’s the symptom, not the problem, of something that is truly bigger. Lack of sales means your business system isn’t set up properly. Maybe you don’t have a strong enough lead generator to bring in the right prospects. Maybe you don’t have the proper marketing materials to tell your story. Maybe you don’t have a strong system in place, and people are backing out because they are confused at what you do or what you offer. No sales means its time to fix something else within your business that is causing a problem. The more you look at your business, the more you solve with your business, the easier it will become to reach out and create a relationship with all of those around you. That’s your goal. That’s your ultimate game plan. And once you do it, the rest will come. Whether you choose to operate this company in the same way for the next several decades, or you choose to build more along the way.