How To Make Your Idea A Real Business

I define a real business with two main qualifiers. One it’s authentic to you and two it pays you. Authentic business building is all about receiving money for providing value that fulfills you. That’s it.

As Steven Covey in his excellent book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People shared – Begin with the end in mind and put first things first.

Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
Synopsis: Self-discover and clarify your deeply important character values and life goals. Envision the ideal characteristics for each of your various roles and relationships in life.

Habit 3: Put First Things First
Planning, prioritizing, and executing your week’s tasks based on importance rather than urgency. Evaluating if your efforts exemplify your desired character values, propel you towards goals, and enrich the roles and relationships elaborated in Habit 2.

This may surprise you but the first thing in turning your idea into a business is not incorporating or figuring out how to file your taxes. It’s not ordering business cards or putting up a website.

These things are all necessary but distracting steps, that can dilute your energy and cause you to avoid taking action.

No one has ever been paid for getting ready to be in business.

You aren’t really in business until you have a customer.

Are there preliminary steps that you must take to develop your idea into a business? Yes there are but they do not have to take you months to accomplish and you don’t have to write a traditional business plan.

Getting started in real business building activity is more important than writing a plan you may or may not ever follow.

Yet a written summary of the business is an essential focusing tool. Just write out what your business idea is, explain the product or service, define who you will be selling to and what aspect of your product, service, delivery or business model gives you a unique edge in the marketplace.

After you do that – then get busy building your business. A good place to start is by asking, answering and acting on these five questions.

1). What can I do now to move this idea forward into a business.

2). What are the next 90, 60 and 30 day milestones to set and hit to prove that I am doing so?

3). What are the three toughest questions I could get from someone who is testing my commitment and the idea’s validity?

4). What are my most enthusiastic and confident responses to each question?

5). How can I put myself in front of potential clients or customers now so I’m having real conversations about my real business?

Do these things first and you will create clarity and progress.

Go direct to what you want. Take action to get it and before you know it – you’ll have a real business.

I’m Not Ready Yet

Often an employee who wants the freedom of being her own boss will make a statement about her lack of readiness. Have you considered what makes us ready or not? Readiness is a self-described, subjective state of being that is not usually given the consideration it deserves.

Often when folks declare a lack of readiness they can’t answer this question. What exactly needs to change for you to be ready? This tells me that they may not really be working on their readiness but complacently existing in the never-never land of avoidance.

I think it’s fascinating that in our games playing we get set and ready. Skeet shooting wouldn’t be much fun unless we were primed and loaded for action. Try catching any ball when you don’t know it’s being thrown. Yet in life, when much more is on the line, we don’t often invest in the same level of awareness or preparedness.

Some even prefer a ready-fire-aim philosophy. These folks would rather be thrown into the fire so that they are forced to adapt and respond. Is there a more effective way to increase our readiness? I think there is.

Yet are we ever completely ready for big life challenges? I’m not sure we can be or even want to be because then our sense of adventure would be dimmed.

But there does seem to be a readiness progression of sorts that can certainly make us more ready than randomness does.

1). Willingness is a state of openness and receptivity to the possibility of change. Readiness begins with being willing to change. Without willingness we aren’t even in the ballpark let alone the game.

2). Fitness is just beyond willingness. It’s when we’ve begun to condition ourselves to the possibilities and various scenarios that could happen.

3). Alertness is just beyond fitness. In this state we are poised and primed for action. Here we have crossed over the line of expectation by making a deliberate decision. We now know that we’ll make our move.

4). Preparedness is the final most advanced stage of readiness. It’s when we know that the move or change is imminent and we stand confidently ready to face it. This is the “bring it on” state of mind that says I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.

At what stage of readiness do you find yourself regarding your next big move?

What do you really mean when you say you aren’t yet ready?

When you say that you aren’t ready, do you have a strategy for readiness or is it more likely a defense or excuse against action?

What makes you feel like you’re ready?