I hear it from entrepreneurs every day. “I have a great idea!” You probably hear it a lot if you watch “Shark Tank”. Everyone with a great idea really believes in it. They think it can change the world, and maybe it can. But there’s a huge difference between having a great idea and actually making an idea happen.
Thomas Edison said “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration”. I couldn’t agree more. I’m not saying that great ideas aren’t great. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Turning them into a valid product, service, or business that people will want to spend money for can be a Herculean task, especially if you don’t have money or the knowledge you need to see it through and get it on the market.
But that should never, ever stop you from following it through. Just know that you will have to put a certain amount of sweat, blood and tears into your new venture and be prepared for it. Here are 4 ways to make the journey a little bit easier:
- Pick something you really love – Any successful entrepreneur will tell you that you’re going to be working way more hours being your own boss than you ever will working for someone else. So if you don’t really, really love what you do it’s going to be agony. You’ll know you’re on the right path if you can’t wait to jump out of bed and get started every day.
- Never do something for the money – If you start a business with the idea that you’re going to make millions and retire on a beach somewhere you’ll be very disappointed when it doesn’t happen. Or if it doesn’t happen quick enough. Chasing the money is a sure-fire way to sap your energy and enthusiasm. The first year or so you’ll probably be lucky if you make enough to keep the lights on. But if you’re doing what you love, time will fly and you won’t even realize you haven’t had a vacation or taken a day off.
- Partner up – I’ve personally never run a business with a partner, but when you have a great one with perfect synergy it can be a great way to share the work, the experience, and the heartache. The only downside is you also have to share the money.
- Believe in yourself – A new idea sounds great in the beginning, but after months or even years of struggling to make it happen your enthusiasm will be tested by others and by you. Many times in the process of getting a new idea off the ground you’ll be told “it”ll never work” or “why don’t you just give up?”. Sometimes the only one who believes in your idea will be you. If you really know you have something good, keep the faith and don’t listen to the naysayers.
There’s nothing like walking down the street and seeing someone wearing your new product or reading a book that you wrote, or greeting customers in a restaurant that you started. It may not be the easiest thing to do, but making an idea happen can be incredibly rewarding.