Honestly, we all have ideas that we would love turning into genuine successful projects. Deep inside, we all believe that some of our ideas are the secrets of the Universe and people haven’t yet realized it. Trust me, I’ve been in this situation numerous times before.
I would like nothing else than to make you feel the passion and madness that drove me with every idea and project that popped out in my head. I was full of excitement and ready for my moment of glory. However, it wasn’t really carved into my mind what I had to do to prove the greatness of my idea or the steps I had to take to implement my initiative. I only knew that I had to do better, although what I had to do next was a total blank. I felt uncomfortable and anxious; sometimes it seemed I was in no man’s land. My general thoughts were that if I managed to carve a brilliant idea, implementing it would be a walk in the park. I had the impression that once I knew “what” to do, “how” to do “that” something won’t be a major problem.
It seems funny now, but if I would have known straight from the start the hardness of my journey, I would have said: “No, thank you!”.
YOU DON’T BELIEVE ME?
Go on this route and you’ll figure it out by yourself.
What I finally understood, better late than never, is that success isn’t and won’t ever be about the idea. Your idea is 100% worthless if it doesn’t apply to what people need. I’m not trying to be a jerk, trust me, and I’m not thinking less of your plans because I once stood in your shoes. You have my empathy, but I’m not encouraging you because that’s not what you actually need.
With a Swiss watch precision, you need to define what that “why” means to you since it’s more important to clarify your main goal than it is to just bring up an idea.
More than 12 years ago, when I was just starting out, I tried all kind of tricks to get the attention of the most influential people in my niche and knock’em dead with my ideas. I was so disappointed because, at the end of the day, nobody gave a crap to even come up with an answer for me. Their attitude was beyond my comprehension. It seemed to me that they needed a reality check as their behavior was like they forgot they started from the bottom. Why were they so keen on holding tight to their secrets, not releasing the knowledge they possessed? Why weren’t they interested in supporting an absolutely fantastic idea? The percentage of people who showed interest was below 1%.
Despite this, I didn’t take “no” for an answer and eventually found some folks willing to join my quest. However, I quickly made one of my first mistakes – I dismissed quite valuable suggestions, thinking that the value of the idea itself is enough to materialize into a big success.
It still crosses my mind how happy I was when I got an answer to one of my presentation emails. An offer to work at an educational software that I knew it would revolutionize the public education system in Romania. Mister Mircea-Valentin Buzlea, a senior editor at an IT magazine called CD FORUM (back in 2002), gave me a piece of precious advice that I chose to ignore. He told me that before finishing developing the software, I should test the market to see if there is a demand for a simpler version of the app, maybe even tutorials. I was skeptical, considering that I and the rest of my colleagues were having everything under control, that we knew better what we had to do without others interfering. We work almost a whole year, developers, teachers, and designers, to build something we liked, but without testing it on the public.
After a fabulous “zero” on our selling sheet, we acknowledged what we did wrong and decided to change tactics. We started creating tutorials, went with presentations through schools, had meetings with teachers, therefore managing to gain good intel on what we had to do next. We reconsidered the app and build it to meet the necessities given to us by the students and teachers. After all, they were the ones to benefit from our product.
Once we got on the right track, results started to emerge: hundreds of recommendations, prizes at national IT events and a few thousands CD’s sold.
So my recommendation is to start off with what you can, to listen to the advises you’re given and to constantly put an effort to implement your idea. Don’t wait for a lucky shot or for successful people to suddenly handle you the solution. They won’t abandon their path because they know how they got there – by themselves. Any piece of advice that someone could share with you is based on personal values and understandings, meaning that once you hear it, you should review it through your own filters to see if indeed helps you implement your idea faster.
The concept of “idea” is so close to zero that there isn’t a single successful person who would give one dime on your idea if it isn’t a solution to a problem. You are in the incipient phase of a bigger plan, you’ve barely moved 1 cm on the whole tennis court. I know that giving up will start to become tempting, but before you call it quits, explore the possibility of working with a partner or sharing thoughts with a mentor. We all want a mentor. Willingly or not, we connect with one or more influencers throughout their articles, podcasts or videos. Their personalities are visible through those materials and they can mark the way we’re choosing to implement our ideas. To pick up an influencer’s attention, you got to make yourself noticed. You could think that your brilliant idea is enough to get his attention or that influencers care about us how we do about them. Here is where the unsettling truth hides. While you have the impression that you’re offering something amazing or asking them unique questions, they receive thousands of versions of the same questions 24/7, 365 days a year. And it will always end up at “How do I get started?”.
REALLY? AGAIN? HOW WOULD YOU FEEL READING THE SAME THING EVERY DAY?
“How do I get started” is that part of the puzzle that needs to fit perfectly before you meet a mentor in order to show him something concrete. With all the resources out there, free books tackling almost any theme, eBooks, classes, tutorials (and let’s not forget Google), starting is the easy part. Pushing yourself to get something started is much easier when you have so many information at your disposal.
The hard part is when you move forward, leading your project to the launching phase and beyond, with the final act being to properly implementing it to become functional. This is the stage where no mentor, coach or advisor can help you. You’ll have to learn by yourself to work around your prime idea and the client segment your product is designed for. However, to even get here, you’ll need to use all your initial resources to get over step 1 – the start. Otherwise, why would anyone care about you and your idea? Why would anyone waste his most precious asset – time?
Prove that you care so much about your dream that you would do anything to see it get off the ground.
Believe in yourself, in what you’re trying to achieve. Even the smartest people in the world sometimes wander in the dark. Do you truly believe that Elon Musk always knows what he needs to do? More often than not, yes, obviously, but most challenges are solved by an educated guess, based on numerous experiences acquired in a lifetime, and deep research.
It all begins with a dream, but only the brave have the strength to pull it together and make something out of it; they are those who don’t stop no matter what when everybody else sees an impossible task.
What’s next on the ladder? The doubtful mind phase.
There are some clear features: “Is it going to work?”, “No, I don’t think so, it’s stupid”
About 98% of people stop right here. That’s the reason why most successful entrepreneurs offer support to those who have a clear vision of their ideas. They’ve been through this phase and they realize most people will give up when they hit the first wall. For them, any help that doesn’t materialize is just a bad investment.
If you’ll manage to get through this phase, more will come.
“The testing phase”, followed by “It somehow works, but I’m exhausted”, then “WOW, it works, but I haven’t the slightest idea what to do next!”, followed by “Sweat and work hard for your dream” crossed with the “Damn it, I don’t have any cash flow, bankruptcy awaits me” phrase.
Not to mention the unexpected stages of your run. Any of them could last indefinitely. With every phase that passes, more and more who dream “big” give up because, honestly, it’s not a fun thing to do. It’s damn exhausting.
I really hope my words helped you understand how entrepreneurs and well-known successful people grasp the value of an idea, if it’s good or even brilliant. After all, it’s not about ideas, because many of them can be good but without serving a true purpose. In this case, an idea’s market value is equal to zero. An idea is not impressive, special or profound. Entrepreneurship is a different way to look upon the world, to identify creativity, opportunities, dreams, but beyond all these, entrepreneurship is filled with action, people who act. It’s meant to be hard, but without exiting your comfort zone, evolution is near impossible. You have to become better or you’ll fail in this niche. I strongly recommend you to read Earl Nightingale – The Strangest Secret; you’ll find many useful hints.
My advice is to quickly find out “why” you want so hard for your idea to work. Identify your vision and once it’s clear to you, appeal to proper channels to turn it into reality. Don’t stop, don’t accept hocus pocus magic formulas and don’t even imagine that successful people will take this worry away from you, of implementing your own idea. To get noticed in this line of work, you’ll have to create the proper conditions for the right people to pay attention to what you’re doing. What you want to launch on the market needs to fill some gaps in that segment and to do it in an innovative way. Start with an idea and self-confidence, but never stop evolving! Evolve or stay a John Doe!
Successful people don’t care about your brilliant ideaIdeas work only when they’re materialized into facts! The rest are bedtime stories.