Make your dream a reality starting with these 6 steps.
Perhaps the hardest part about being a business owner and entrepreneur is taking your ideas and turning them into action – after all, to paraphrase Thomas Edison, ideation without execution is a hallucination. Don't let your great ideas lay dormant because you think you lack the time or money to turn them into action. We can all agree that the hardest part of making an idea a reality isn't the brainstorming or beginning stages but how we get from point A to point Z.
Stop thinking and start doing
Better is the enemy of good – if you wait for perfection, it will never come. Don't let the thought that your idea may not be as good on paper or in reality hold you back from trying to make it happen. If it is a problem worth solving, there will be competition, but that should never stop you from trying. Steve Jobs did not invent the cellphone, but he did make it better.
If you can't drive the idea forward, then it may not be the right one for you. Waiting for someone else to do it (roommate, friend, contractor, etc.) is a sure path to failure. No, you can't know or do everything, but if you can't see the path forward clearly, it won't work. No one else should, or will, understand your idea the way that you do. Take on the new tasks and dedicate as much time to it as you would any other major responsibility. It is up to you nurture and grow your idea to make it a reality.
Have a plan
Failing to plan is planning to fail, and having a plan and planning everything are two different things. Be thorough in your plans for how you want to implement your idea, but don't be so rigid that you can't zig or zag when needed. It's not if you will pivot but rather how often. You can sum up the success of many companies with these three words: pivot or die.
Show it off
Whether your idea is a new product or service, you need to validate it, build a minimal viable product (MVP) and demo it to your audience. Let them touch it, try it, break it – in the end, the feedback you receive will be invaluable.
Listen to understand
Too many of us just listen so we can prepare our answers instead of trying to understand, but this traps us in a cycle of only considering our thoughts instead of taking in feedback and praise that can be built on. When you truly listen, you'll learn what your industry and/or customers need, and you can then apply it.
Make it better
You started, made a plan and tested it, but none of that matters if you can't take your feedback and put it out into the world. If you see yourself growing complacent or thinking there is nothing else you can do to change, challenge yourself, speak with your family and friends – keep striving to make it better until there is nothing else left.