“Progress doesn’t come from unreasonable thinkers; it comes from unreasonable doers.”
You have a powerful brain. It comes up with all sorts of ideas; some of them are quirky, others brilliant, even transformational. Sometimes creative thinking is in an end in itself. Other times it isn’t. As entrepreneurs, our minds are constantly filling with new ideas. Unfortunately for many of us, our concepts rarely make it to the execution stage. Instead, we subconsciously create excuses that stifle our progress and prevent us from fulfilling our plans.
If you’re full of good ideas and ready to take them to the next level, here are some tips that will help you to put those plans into motion.
Refine your idea: So what if people think your idea is terrible? That’s a common fear that afflicts us all. But that’s a risk you’ll have to take. The fact is, people might think it’s terrible, and that’s ok. Chances are, it is terrible, at least in its initial, rough draft stages.
In order to find success, you have to be flexible, and you have to be willing to pivot from your original concept. Don’t cling so tightly to your first draft that you lose focus on the bigger picture. Talking to someone will help you get your idea out there, allowing it to be scrutinized and picked apart. Putting your idea out there allows you to refine it into something that’s worth pursuing. Giving your idea a factual foundation helps establish credibility and context.
Is your idea new and surprising?How does your idea support your or
someone else’s business objectives?
How can you help people see your idea?
Will it cause people to think differently?
How does your idea make life better for people?
What other initiatives are under way that has a direct link to your idea?
Plot a plan: Having an action plan is the key to turning ideas into reality. First, start by classifying your ideas as a project. This will allow you to push them into action. An idea plan is a document listing the following attributes: how customers will learn about it or access it; what resources or processes are needed to make it a reality; and how the solution will achieve economic sustainability.
Gather Data: Before asking from customers and even before bouncing the idea off to your team, first gather some basic data to vet the idea internally with yourself. This can be as simple as few Google searches: market sizing, checking out competitors, etc.
Build a prototype: Now stop planning and get something done. It doesn’t have to be final; it doesn’t even have to be good, but it should at least be worthy of sharing with the outsiders. Do your best to get through this stage on your own. It’s your idea. You need to prove it’s possible and that response is promising before you push too far. Sloppy prototyping is okay as long as it conveys where you’re going.
Get feedback: Get your prototype out there and ask for honest feedback. This is often where you’ll discover the potential roadblocks to getting a finished version completed, and what needs to be changed. Don’t let negative criticism derail your process, but listen carefully. If multiple people voice the same concerns, they’re probably worth addressing in some way or another.
Sometimes, the phrase, “Go back to the drawing board,” really means you’re evolving and finding out what works; your final output will be better because of it.
Dig into the details: Time to refine and get the details right. Move from first draft closer to the final edit. Keep it simple but beautiful. Dig up that paper where you first jotted down your goal. Stay focused on that, and leaves by the wayside any ambitious side features you want to build someday.
Turn it down real: After you’ve refined your drafts and prototypes, it’s time to get it out to the world. Getting your creative idea out to the world as something tangible or experiential is ultimately proof-positive of your creativity. Otherwise, you’re an echo chamber for your own ideas. Set your projects free, and see how they change when others take them in. Once they’re out there in the world, you’ll come up with ways to build on your work or do something new altogether.
To find out how entrepreneurs can develop and refine their ideas for possible future businesses, here are few points from experts; what they learned from launching a start-up.
- Pursue Your Passions and Interests
- Build Positive Relationships and Reach Out When Necessary
- Think about What Needs Improvement in Your Industry
- Keep an Open Mind
- Have Capacity for Growth
- Draw Inspiration from Brands and Companies You Respect
- Avoid Perpetual Planning
- Don’t Let the Fear of Failure Hold You Back
Conclusion: Finally, and most importantly; act fast. The clock is ticking. Don’t leave those ideas to stagnate at the back of your mind. There are few things worse than a dream that never gets to see the light of day. The longer you wait, the less likely you’ll be to make it happen. Don’t worry about mistakes or think that everything has to be perfect before you act. You’ll be waiting forever otherwise.
Instead, turn your idea into action. No matter how you do it, just get it done. Develop a plan, break it up into tasks, and put them on the calendar. Get out there, and make it happen.
“Knowing is not enough, we must apply
Willing is not enough, we must do it”