Ideas are cheap. They are easy, they are common, they are in a sense worth nothing unless put into action.
What is difficult, and what delivers actual results is not ideas, but their execution.
It is not enough to have great concepts, we need to execute them too, that’s what truly counts.
Most great ideas remain dormant because people don’t have the courage, resources, time and/or money to take action. But unless you take the plunge and turn your ideas into actions, you will never truly realise your personal or business potential.
As you think about how you can begin to embrace the entrepreneurial attitude more actively and make this year your Ideas Execution Year, here are 8 things you must actively do – at all times – in order to convert ideas into reality:
- Believe in yourself – Be ballsy, be naive, take risks, believe in yourself and go after what you want. People who take risks are by definition visionaries. We see things that others can’t, so don’t be afraid to take an idea and see it through.
- Seek help – You don’t have to do it all yourself. In fact, just like anything else in business, reaching out for help when endeavouring something new is a great way to secure yourself success. Admit shortcomings in knowledge and find people who can support you and fill those gaps for you. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people whose skills you’d like to add to your arsenal.
- Be patient – Success does not happen overnight, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself. It needs to be nurtured, it needs time to build up but once you reach that momentum, you can celebrate! Take the time to appreciate the journey and understand how things work. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
- Critique is good – Too often, when we have a good idea, we look for people to validate it. ‘Yeah, you’re spot on!’ is the exact opposite of what we need to hear. We need people to tell us we are wrong and give us detailed feedback. This is how we can improve.
- Monitor progress – It’s hard to improve results you don’t measure. In operationally sound businesses productivity and results are measured every step of the way. Targets are benchmarked against competitors, customer reviews and industry expert expectations. Measure your progress and try to improve it continuously.
- Have a plan B or a recovery strategy – Many jump into new ventures without having a way out or a recovery plan. Particularly when talking about executing a business idea, a passionate commitment alone will not carry the business over if the idea doesn’t deliver. You have to be prepared for the worst-case-scenario.
- Systematise your approach – Every process needs a system. Define and use well-thought-out systems, manual or automated, to ensure repeatable success of every key process. Don’t just jump into something without a clear idea is the process you’ve defined is sustainable and replicable.
- Learn how to let go and move on – You may have an idea (or many) that you love. Remember that there is a big difference between a good idea and the right idea. You may have many good ideas on your list. For some of them the time isn’t right. Some of them aren’t important enough. Some won’t be completely aligned with your goals and objectives. That is ok.
During our many years in business, we’ve met inspirational, motivational, creative people and some truly amazing visionaries. What they all have in common is the unstoppable drive and desire to create and to improve. To take an idea and see it through.
So, take the plunge. Start that project. Develop your dreams and turn them into reality. Take your company on a journey and see it evolve. After all, in the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take.