Do you want to have your own business and not to depend on your boss? Do you have an idea you want to put into practice? Can you imagine your future with that project you've been dreaming about? Do you really believe in your idea and you can't wait for it to be real?
If you're looking for the best way to get take your idea forwards, this article isn't for you. Today, I'm telling you about the dead ends, the quicksands and the deceptive mirages you'll find on your way and how, if you follow them, you're sure not to materialise your idea.
One of the main paths you will find yourself tempted to follow is to rush into everything that is practical, quick to solve and seemingly urgent.
Do you have a logo yet? A website? An app? Have you ever rented a space? Did you order the flyers? Good! You're too early! Your idea has already taken its first steps to fail. Unless… you have begun by doing the conceptual work that is necessary to give it structure and support.
Ideas, like children, cannot walk immediately without having spent the necessary time gaining muscle strength, balance and sense of direction.
How is your idea going to help change the world? To change the world you don't have to have a megalomaniacal idea. You can change a person's world, you can improve the experience of a niche population, you can make something easier. There are many ways to change the world, a little bit at a time.
What's your mission? How does that distinguish your idea from the rest of the ideas out there? Who's your idea going to help? How are you going to add value to these people?
Before all this, is your idea right for you? Does it fit with your values and with what you want for your life? Do you want freedom from schedules and to be able to travel whenever you want? Are you thinking of opening that restaurant you've always dreamed of? Then your idea may not be compatible with the life you want. Imagine your dream life five years from now and see how your idea fits in it.
Speaking of the next few years, are you looking forward to quiting your job and starting your own business? Did you save enough to pay rent, bills and food for the next six months? Fantastic! Still, you're going to give up your idea before it succeeds.
Soon you'll find that six months pass in the blink of an eye, especially if you stay at home and work alone without a schedule. Even if you can withstand the pitfalls of Youtube videos, Instagram stories and Facebook feed and the strings of household chores, even if you can impose yourself a schedule that ensures you work between 7 to 12 hours a day with 1 day off a week, the 6 months won't be enough for your new idea to support you.
That's going to be especially true when you get to the fourth month and start feeling anxious for everything to evolve faster, because you've only got two more months of paid expenses.
In order for your idea to see the light of day, you'll need time to work on the conceptual part, introduce yourself to the market and attract enough customers to support you and the business.
As much as it's a digital business and costs are lower, there are always costs. Without good savings or at least a part-time job, your idea will die of thirst surrounded by water.
It's true, you keep working from home to save money, because your idea doesn't give you money to look for a workspace, right?
It's a responsible decision, but it will quickly swallow your motivation. You're going to get more and more inertia and less desire to leave. The events will seem like great excuses to go out and meet people, you'll sign up for several of them, but on the day of the event, it's going to be raining, you're going to have sneezed three times, you forgot to wash your hair or you haven't talked to anyone in person in two weeks and you're going to end up staying at home, buried a little deeper. There are always more events, right? You'll go to the next one.
Besides, when you finally worked up the courage and went to that event you couldn't really miss, you kept quiet about your idea. You heard other people's ideas, laughed at one joke or another, even dared to participate in a conversation, but share your idea, no! It's not ready to be shared yet, there's a lot to polish, people might laugh at you and find your idea ridiculous. Or worse, they might find it brilliant and copy it. Either way, you'd better wait until you've got everything planned in detail, polished and ready… to fail.
Alone in your head, your idea does not have the opportunity to be tested, to be polished by the public, to be confronted with other perspectives and difficulties. Your idea is a greenhouse flower which thinks that it is a wild flower and when you come across the real world, it will languish, because it has not had the opportunity to adapt and gain resistance.
More than that, your idea needs a support network, a network of people to help you materialise it, the famous network of connections: networking. However, no one will support an idea or a person they don't know. So even if you talk about your idea to other people, you need time to build a relationship of trust with them, you need time to help them with their ideas, so they can help you with yours.
Even if you run into the same people once in a while, two or three events a month aren't enough. Keep frequent contact in person and by email, work in environments conducive to the exchange of ideas, invite people for coffee; creating a network of contacts will boost your idea. If you want to know more about how to make networking simple, read our article.
You're super creative and you're not short of ideas, aren't you? And you've got one or two others that you're dying to get started on. Maybe a collaboration with a friend, so you can split work between the two.
And your first idea isn't bearing the fruits you had imagined, so the best thing to do is to diversify the attention you get, so if the first one doesn't work, the new one definitely will. And that's how all ideas die , in the desert, as you search for the mirage of the next idea.
To be put into practice, an idea goes through several phases and the same happens with your enthusiasm. In the initial phase there is excitement and everything seems possible, however, as you progress, it is natural that you will encounter bigger obstacles, which will be a test to your endurance, and consequently, to your idea. Sometimes the period of overcoming barriers, one after the other, is long and you lose focus. It's very tempting to move on to the next idea, whether you admit or not that have completely given up on the first one. The problem is that this is going to happen with the new idea and the next one, and so on, until you decide it's worth continuing until the end. Everything new is more interesting, but the novelty will always wear off and if you don't find the willpower, creativity and support to continue when your idea proves difficult to put into practice, you'll always go back to square one.
This is not to say that all ideas must be pursued until the end and that you should never give up an idea that does not bear fruit. Sometimes there are ideas that are not as good as they seemed and really do not deserve to be materialized. However, this decision must be made after an analysis has been made to the viability of the idea itself, without the shine of a new idea competing for your attention. If you don't dedicate yourself fully, heart and soul, even if it's only two hours a day, after work, or on weekends, your idea won't be nurtured enough to grow. An idea kept running on fumes doesn't come true.
If you completed one or more of these four steps, congratulations: you added another idea to the idea graveyard, where incomplete and prematurely discarded ideas rest.
Do you know any more ways to kill ideas? Leave your answer in the comments.