Entrepreneurs are dreamers, rule breakers and out of the box thinkers who have a difficult time transforming ideas into realistic plans. That doesn’t mean that their ideas aren’t good or innovative it just means that a great idea without execution is well just an idea.
I get lots of inquires from new entrepreneurs asking for my advise and help because I am an entrepreneur who has been both successful and failed. My failures taught me what is required to create a successful business and my successes taught me how success can lead to failure. These lessons are costly but valuable experiences that you’ll never learn from a book, a class or working for a corporation. Any entrepreneur who has failed and succeeded can tell you what they’ve learned but unless you are willing to listen and learn then you’ll just have to fail to learn to succeed on your own.
What Experienced Entrepreneurs Will Tell You
Ideas are great to start a conversation, a story or to engage people in a vision of what could be done. But ideas by themselves are like fish. If you want to catch little fish, you can stay in the shallow water. But if you want to catch the big fish, you’ve got to go deeper. Going deeper means going beyond simply getting emotional about an idea and believing it will change the world or make you wealthy. It means verifying the idea has legs, impact and is meaningful enough to catch the BIG Fish.
- Have you done an assessment of the idea?
- Have you defined the technical requirements of your idea?
- What are the required functions and features that will materialize your idea?
- Any studies on proposed user experiences created from your idea?
- Any assessments of competing ideas?
- Any analysis of what value your idea would create and for what audiences?
- Any assessment about why users would support your idea?
- Any profile assessments on potential users?
- Any business model which defines the core competencies, key processes, primary value propositions, key suppliers and customers, key revenue drivers, primary messages etc. which would bring your idea to market?
- Any financial projections from start-up to full operations?
- Any definition of critical human capital needed to run the operation to support the idea?
- Any definition of legal entity and type of equity offering if any for investors in the idea?
Knowing why getting the answers to these questions and more is important to getting the BIG Fish involved is the first education entrepreneurs need. Knowing how to get the answers to the above questions and more is the second.
Most will discover their idea wasn’t realistically worth funding once they understand why getting these answers is important. A large percent of the remaining will learn enough to decide whether they should continue once they learn how to get the second set of answers.
Those who learn why and how to get the needed answers to confirm their ideas are the ones who learn how to be successful. Then the challenge is to learn how to not let success led to failure.