People step out of their comfort zones all the time to pursue their big ideas. Then things don’t go according to plan, they don’t get quite the results they had anticipated, and the questioning begins.
Is this truly a great idea?
Does it have merit?
Should I continue pursuing it or stop altogether?
Unfortunately, it’s those questions that often stop some of the greatest ideas from having true impact on our society. They limit a person’s ability to change the world. They also hold us back from becoming who we are meant to be.
Does it solve a problem?
People don’t buy products or services just to have them. They buy in order to solve a “problem” in their minds. Imagine yourself as your potential customer; why would they buy from you? A tax accountant doesn’t sell their ability to fill out tax forms; they sell the stress relief from knowing taxes are filled out correctly. A photographer doesn’t sell photography; they sell the memory of the special occasion. When you discover your “problem”, you’re more likely to determine if your Big Idea has potential.
Is there anything else like it on the market?
Suffice to say there is very little on the market today that is unique and original. Everything we buy and do is based off of some other idea related to it. With a little bit of research, you can find those parallel ideas, and use them as motivation for seeing the potential of your Big Idea. The best ideas piggy back off of other concepts … with a twist.
How many potential users does it have?
Solving the world’s problems is a bit too broad for a Big Idea. Which means defining your perfect market as “everybody” isn’t going to cut it. The more you focus in on who will truly love your Big Idea, the more value you will find to put into the final results. Just remember if 100 people are willing to pay you $1,000 for what you do, you have a $100,000 idea.
Is it proprietary?
Depending on how unique your idea is, you may have grounds for patenting it, trademarking it, or copyrighting it. Each of these things can give your Big Idea value in the marketplace, but don’t let it hold you back from taking your Big Idea to the next level. I’ve seen many ideas die a slow death while waiting for patents. Do your due diligence and keep moving.
Are you getting lost in ideas?
Some of us are idea people; you know if you are. You can come up with ideas on a routine basis, and are always dreaming about the end results. You see the end game without the difficulties that occur in the middle. It also means you are chasing the potential allure of quick profits rather than allowing an idea to fully develop and give it the time to grow and build depth. Ideas aren’t a problem; follow through becomes the issue. At the first sign of failure and doubt sets in, it’s easier to move to another idea rather than determining if an idea has potential. This can cloud your judgment and prevent you from pursuing a great idea that could change your world (and all around you).
How quickly will technology impact it?
In today’s world, technology moves fast. What we use today will be archaic and possibly nonexistent just a few short months from now. Will it take you longer to develop your Big Idea than will be justifiable, given the fast turnaround of technology? Can you approach your Big Idea in a different manner to give it value for a longer period of time?
How much time do you have to dedicate to it?
Is this something you want to do in all of your spare time? Do you live it, breath it, think it, dream it? Big Ideas tend to consume your world, and give you energy to pursue it simply because you love what you do. If you’re doing it just for spare cash, or because it suits your mood today, it’s time to rethink your approach.
How many resources do you have to dedicate to it?
You don’t have to have the money, the partners, or the supplies you’ll need to make your Big Idea come to life. But you will have to have the desire to pursue the resources you’ll need over time. Do a little investigation; are there places you can go to gain the expertise you lack skills in? Can you hire a mentor to fill in the blanks? Can you try something new – like crowdfunding – to find the revenue you need to give your Big Idea life?
Do you have successes?
Have you found customers willing to buy what you produce? Do you have an impartial (family and friends don’t count) test group that finds value in your idea? Pay attention to the successes you have, no matter how small, and use those to direct you towards changing your big idea and making it better. Listening to outside sources is sometimes difficult when you’re vested in your ideas; yet they can be the biggest influencer on making it better … and profitable.
How strong is your belief?
How much belief do you have in what you are pursuing? Is it a passion that has held true for a lifetime? Is this something you can see being a part of your life indefinitely? While its important to believe in anything you do, it becomes even stronger when its something you choose to pursue for the long term. If you can see yourself working at something 24/7 for years to come, you know you’re on the right track to find a way to make your Big Idea exceed all of your goals.
What options do you have for pursuing it?
In order to bring a Big Idea into your life, you have to have the time and resources to pursue it. What can you give up in your life to give you Big Idea more time? Do you need to quit groups you belong to? Do you need to reduce the number of expenses in your life to free up more funding? Look at your Big Idea realistically and list out all the ways you can change your life for the better, and allow time to pursue what is truly important for you.
What resources can you find to see they support your Big Idea too?
Very few people find success with an idea if they go down the path alone. The more people you choose to bring in to help you on your journey, the more success you’ll find. Find a mentor to help you with your weak points: a business coach, a marketing coach, someone to help you perform better at your craft. Find associations that can connect you with like-minded people. And in the online world, those groups don’t have to be in your community; they can be anywhere in the world. Some of my favorite groups connect people through online forums; we have distinct things in common that allow us to form unique bonds, even though in all reality we’ll never meet face to face in person.
Resources can come from anywhere at any time. The key is recognizing what you need and where you’ll have to go to find it. Do that and the rest can quickly fall into place.