As a starting point, one great piece of advice I received about ten years ago came from a quasi successful man in his sixties. He said, “Make sure you write down all of your ideas. Make a journal of your daily thoughts, ideas, and activities; you will be amazed at what you come up with.” I haven’t been religious about the daily journal, but the times I have more than proved the worth. Human brains are definitely powerful memory-storing machines, but you won’t recall every detail and every thought on command. Everyone has good ideas once in a while, make sure your write it down for when the time comes to use it.
“On résiste à l’invasion des armées; on ne résiste pas à l’invasion des idées”
(Commonly: Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come)
– Victor Hugo
We have all seen (or will see on the new moon of April 21st) with KONY 2012 how powerful an idea can be. Whether its an improvement to a procedure at work or a fresh, innovative, new business idea; write down every idea that comes to your head. At a minimum send yourself a quick email or text message. Find a way to save those ideas. I currently have a dumb phone so I text message (yes, using T9) my Gmail address where I have a filter that labels stuff from “530….@vtext.com”.
Step 2 … Enough with the steps already, just Nike it…
If you’re a thinker, a want-to-be entrepreneur (or have religiously completed STEP 1 really really ridiculously well outlined above 🙂 ), you’ve likely has a great idea or two, but don’t know which to do. Or perhaps you work long and hard to dream up ideas, but you can’t pick one. Well heed this advice from yours truly:
There are enough damn thinkers,
what the world needs are doers;
so pick one and get started already.
You must have a reasonably good idea as your foundation, but in my experience making it with your business is like everything else in life; ambition, determination, problem solving, and a bit of naïveté at the start. Earlier this week I was having a conversation with Duncan Campbell, a very successful serial entrepreneur from Portland and more recently the founder of “Friends of the Children” non-profit (or social business if you will). Mr. Campell said to me, “If I could give you one thing from this conversation it would be to pick one thing and focus on it for 2-3 years. It doesn’t have to be what you do for the rest of your life. The thing is, very few people can do 2 things well. Pick one and focus on that for now.”
^– [This is me stoked at the top
of the steepest street in the world
(Baldwin Street in Dunedin, NZ)]
There is no step 3. Keep working your butt off.
P.S. – If you’re curious what this means for me:
Recently I have been working on a crowdfunding for solar PV business model, an volunteer incentivism social business, the foundations of an entrepreneurial ecosystem locally, adding a new division of renewable energy to an existing company, consulting on a few small ventures, and getting my MBA. I have made a commitment to become more focused this year on my own business needs by delegating some of my ideas to businesses, institutions and individuals that can and would like to bring them to fruition, even as their own ideas.