When you came up with your Big Idea, the light bulb went on, the bells began to chime “ding, ding, ding” and you sat back in wonder on how the world ever survived without this idea. It all seems so simple now that you’ve put the pieces together.
Then you describe it to someone else. Maybe you get a look of puzzlement. Or see their eyes and their minds drifting away. Or the ever-popular, a flat “that’s nice”.
Why is that? Why don’t they see what you see? Why can’t they see the potential like you can?
Choose Your Right Audience
People believe different things, have their own agendas, and create their own truths. It’s not based on the way you are brought up, the people you hang around, or the events that take place (although all of this can help form your inner truths.) Instead it’s based on your core values, what you believe deep down, and what you choose to be passionate about, even if you never tell those around you your true thoughts. That’s why in one family, you can have one brother living a completely conservative lifestyle, while another brother is as far left as his brother is right.
Yet when we start presenting our ideas to the world, we choose those around us and closest to us first. We expect them to fall in love with our ideas as much as we have. And depending on what our Big Idea is, it may not meet with their core values. It may be completely out of alignment with their core beliefs.
This can be one of our biggest mistakes. Especially in today’s specialized world, its easy to have family and friends around you that you love and respect, yet don’t truly understand the one thing that makes you tick. Your passion. Your ultimate Big Idea. It’s a little too far “out there” for them to ever grasp your meaning. And yet you’re trying to convince them of its great potential!
Let me give you an example. Lets take a person that has adopted a vegan diet and is very passionate about their food choices. They research ingredients, understand the GMO issue and have opinions on factory farming. This person decides to write a cookbook and open up a nutrition coaching business for people trying to improve their health.
This person probably has no support from family and friends that are still living a more traditional lifestyle. They may smile and nod their heads when she talks about her new business. But, out of sight, out of mind. They don’t take her advice and frankly don’t want to listen to the advice she has to give.
The more she talks about her passion, her plans, with those closest to her, the more discouraged she will become.
She needs to break free and find the people that hold her core beliefs in the same regard. It makes it that much easier to build the business and create the products and services they will easily buy, consume, and rave about to their like-minded friends.
What’s In It For Me?
People care about one thing, and one thing only: themselves. Its not that we’re all a bunch of egomaniacs; its that we each have 24 hours in the day, and as a society we are more over-scheduled than at any time before. We have our own worries, our own stressors, our own calendar of events. We’re busy all the time. And even if we have a moment to ourselves, we’re usually planning for something in the near future.
Which also means we simply don’t have the time, energy or thought patterns to focus in on things that really don’t mean much to us.
As a new business owner trying to bring your Big Idea to market, your back story can be simply amazing. You can provide all kinds of details on how you got from concept to where you are today. None of it will matter if you can’t answer the one question everyone needs answered right away, up front, before they invest in a lot of time to consider what you have to offer:
What’s in it for me?
When people read long, rambling stories, their minds begin to wander into their own agendas. They start thinking about the fight they had with their boyfriends, the dinner they promised to cook for the family. Your job is to shout:
You have to break through that train of thought, and show people why this is something they should care about. This is why it impacts them. This is what it will do for to improve their lives overall.
Talk and Talk and Talk
There is one solid truth that will always remain: everything changes. What happens today will change tomorrow. And who we are today will be different from who we are next year.
In a 40 year period, a person may get married, buy a new house, have a child, get divorced, move to a new neighborhood, move to a new city, move to a new country, start a new job, have a child start kindergarten, have a child graduate high school, have a child graduate college. And with every change that occurs, their perspectives change entirely. Yet its predictable.
When you live with a new child, your world revolves around first moments, monumental achievements, and new choices. You follow people you resonate with, that are experiencing the same things at the same time, or that can offer you advice for your immediate questions. You build strong relationships and latch on to mentors that provide you with answers you like to hear.
Then things change. You have new questions and problems. So you move onto another person, another adventure, another solution.
Yet the expert you followed throughout that one small period in your life doesn’t change with you. Instead, he stays with his original business model, always looking for another client. If he caters to helping high school seniors get into a great college, his business is built around that platform, and he will always remain an expert in that area. He’ll have new technology to deal with, new audiences to sell to. He’ll change to attract a new audience, always keeping in mind what is foremost in his potential customers’ minds.
That expert will talk in whatever way most benefits him the most at that particular moment. Ten years ago he may have written a magazine article. This year he may be using his Twitter feed. And in the coming years he may use some new, not-yet-invented technology. He adjusts based on what’s available to him, what the hot buttons are in the industry, and what will benefit his clientele most.
In order to get his Big Idea out there, he knows he has to talk. The format may change, the conversations may adjust, but he is always out there chatting in some manner about something someone in his audience will find important.
Your goal from this point forward is simple:
Find an audience that has your core beliefs and resonates with everything you believe and have to say.
Say it in a way that is meaningful to them.
And never stop talking.
It’s the only way to make your Big Idea into a truly successful business.