[Lifestyle] How To Turn The Greatest Idea Ever Into Reality

Ideas are not worthless. Some will argue that an idea is worthless unless acted upon. That’s silly, because ideas do a lot for us in terms of creativity, communication and spawning new ideas.

Having said that, when we hit upon an idea that we think is absolutely golden, we want to see it come to a reality. We’ve got the greatest idea since sliced bread…now what?!?!

    1. Write it down. For the love of everything that is holy, when an idea hits you like a lightning bolt, write it down. Lightning never lingers (and some say it never strikes twice). Don’t let your idea disappear. And it very well might. Your brain is full of craziness, dealing with day-to-day life, managing a million things…Don’t lose that initial kernel of explosive genius.
    2. Simmer and chew. Let the idea simmer for awhile. It might be a few days, it might be a few weeks. It might be longer. The timeframe isn’t important. What’s important is that you let the idea simmer in your brain, cook it gently but hotly, don’t let it cool, but don’t burn it either. Allowing the idea to simmer will let you think about it from different angles, consider it more carefully…chew on it.Chewing on an idea means starting to think about the nitty gritty, the implementation and operations of the idea. How will it work? Who might be needed? What are the steps to building this idea? We don’t need to swallow the idea just yet…we’re just chewing on it.
    3. Research. This should be done in parallel with the chewing. It’s time to start researching the idea more thoroughly. You may already have answers to some of these questions, but let’s ask them anyway:
      • Who wants this? Why?
      • Who is the competition?
      • What makes this unique?
      • How long will it take to turn the idea into a business?
      • What’s the revenue model?
      • How will I market this thing? How will I sell it?

This isn’t every question you need to ask, but they’ll get you started.

    1. Tell Others About Your Idea. This might be a tough one for people to follow, but it’s important. Keeping an idea to yourself is a mistake. You won’t be able to get other people’s perspectives, and sometimes we can’t see the forest from the trees. Tell others about your idea; explain it to them, pitch them, brainstorm with them. Seek the advice of trusted sources (but be wary of the “yes man” who just agrees with everything to be nice — family often does this!), and seek advice from unknown or lesser-known sources (experts in whatever industry you’re entering, clients, etc.)Your accountant or lawyer (if you have either – personal or for an existing business) are often good sounding boards, and well connected with others that might be able to help.

      There will be naysayers. Don’t disregard them completely but don’t ignore them either.

    2. Introspection. Every entrepreneur needs to ask some pointed questions about him/herself before turning an idea into reality.
      • Do I have the resources to make it happen? (Money, contacts, etc.)
      • Do I have the time to make it happen?
      • Do I want to make it happen?
      • What am I willing to sacrifice in order to make it happen?

Don’t diminish the importance of these questions. And don’t think for one second that your new business won’t take up time, require sacrifice in other areas of your life and be an emotional, physical and mental drain. I hope it also leads to infinite happiness, but the road there isn’t paved in gold!

  1. Go/No-Go. At this point, you can make a decision — are you doing this or not? And a decision should be made. This doesn’t mean you spend all our time on this new project, invest our life savings, abandon our families to 24 hour workdays and stop eating. It just means you make the decision to move forward. If the answer is “no” then put the idea aside and move on. Don’t throw it out; just put it away for now. If “yes” let’s keep going.
  2. Plan. Put a plan of attack together. It doesn’t need to be a 50-page business plan, but you want something on paper. You want something that answers the key questions listed above about competition, uniqueness, etc. Without a plan you’re like dust in the wind, floating around at the whims of an uncontrollable force. Better to have a plan, even an ultra-simple one, and start executing.
  3. Execute. All the thinking, simmering, chewing, planning and talking won’t actually get your business launched, so now it’s time to take the plan and execute. Start small, move nimbly and put the initial pieces together.Be prepared to invest some money (incorporating, initial business preparation, etc.) but keep the budget as tight as possible.

    Be prepared for setbacks. But, look at them as opportunities instead of failures and keep plowing ahead!

  4. Review. Revise. Repeat. Are you successful yet? Maybe, but probably not. Starting a business isn’t a totally linear exercise. You need to review everything in your plan, revise what’s not working and repeat every step listed above, right from the get-go. No idea or plan should ever be set in stone; they’re malleable, living things…treat them that way and even if you seem to be repeating steps you’ll actually be taking steps forward, not backward.

And now, you’ve just turned the greatest idea ever into reality!

Good luck!

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