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.

Get Real about Your Work

Somehow we have lost our way when it comes to our work. Most of us may believe that it’s possible to enjoy delightful work, but how much of our work is actually delightful?

Woman in Field

Some feel that work can all be like play and others feel that some of it needs to be like work. That’s what I examined in this post, Work as Play? I keep changing my mind on that one but that’s not what I want to address in this post. Or do I?

First, I want to ask this question.

Why do we complicate the things that matter the most to us? Specifically, why do we needlessly complicate creating a life of delightful work? (If you’re thinking, “I don’t complicate having delightful work, it’s just that I ________ {fill in the blank}….” then that’s what I mean by complicating it. For example, having reasons why you don’t have a life of delightful work is “complicating” it.)

Is it because we fear the change so much that the complication is a defense to delay it?

Or do we really, deep down, not think that delightful work is possible for us?

Or, are we really that afraid of our own brilliance or of our unique success?

Do you agree that the answer to delightful work is found within? Then why do we look to others for answers? Aren’t we the better source of wisdom in our own lives? What fears arise in you when you examine the possibility of totally delightful work?

That raises another question. Is it really the happiness and fulfillment of delightful work that we want or is it freedom from having to work at all that most attracts us?

For example, I think it’s interesting that so many of us coaches and bloggers seek to develop streams of passive income. What’s that about? We could say that we just want our bliss to be shared with a larger audience, and there could be some truth to that. But let’s get real here. Let’s talk about what we hope to gain.

Do we really want to become Internet info-marketers? Not that there is anything wrong with that. But is that your passion? Are you seeking delightful work or the positional advantage of not having to work at all? If you’re really looking for a way to earn money from not being physically present, is this an objective or an evasion? Is the work that we do so uninspiring that we are driven to develop ways of evading it?

I only pose these difficult questions because I’m asking them of myself right now.

Let’s dig deeper and get real about our work. Perhaps we could take a deep breath and start fresh with our examination?

In our work we ought to experience as much joy as we possibly can. Can we agree on that as a starting point? In my welcoming message I wrote: Delightful work is: amusing, attractive, captivating, clever, engaging, enjoyable, fascinating, gratifying, luscious and thrilling. Captivating, engaging, enjoyable and fascinating! That’s how I’d like to work more often. Here’s a confession. I write about delightful work and not all of my work is delightful. But whose responsibility is that? It certainly can’t be anyone else’s but mine.

I already do enjoy the freedoms that I care the most about, the freedoms of self-expression and self-determination.

The freedom of self-expression allows us to openly say whatever we want about our work. The freedom of self-determination is enjoying the option to be completely at choice as to when, how, with whom, where and on what you work. It is even the freedom of choosing whether to work or not.

Is this drive to develop info-marketing products really our way of seizing the freedom of self-determination? Does this really mean that we want to be free from the obligation of work? Do we really want to be free to choose whether or not we work at all? It’s really interesting to see what remains when we completely remove money and its accompanying self-created pressures from the equation. If you did that, what would remain?

Would your work life look different than it does now?

How specifically would it look different?

What would you immediately drop? Add?

What would you do more off? Less off?

Would you be working more or less? Would you be working at all?

Would you still be trying to build your opt-in list, sell your eBooks and become a successful info-marketer? Or, if money were no longer an issue, would you even care about that anymore?

What would be the central theme of your work? Why don’t we find out?

Excellent, then let’s do an exercise to remove the need for money completely from our work and see what remains.

You’ll need your imagination, a timer, blank paper and a pen or pencil. Set the timer for four minutes and start it when cued to do so. Get that stuff and come back to reading. It will be well worth your while. Ready?

Here’s the scenario. Imagine you’ve received a registered letter from a venture capital investment firm. They represent a large conglomerate that wants to buy the complete rights to an original idea of yours. There is no negotiation. They are offering you 3.7 million dollars. As you read on, you see that there is a catch in the form of some very peculiar terms. The letter will self-destruct within four minutes and the offer will be withdrawn – unless you complete an exercise exactly as instructed. You are being asked to open an envelope and as you do your four minutes will begin.

In the envelope is one instruction. You must write down the whole truth about the work you intend to do once the issue of money is gone. Tell the truth and the money is yours. Otherwise you get zip. Ready? Pick up your pencil and start the timer.

First you may have been tempted to fix a few other things in your life. But after you purchased the home and car, after you traveled the world, after you were generous with charities, friends and family. Now what? What about your work?

What did you write? How will your work be different? I’m betting that your answers are more real than the work you are now doing. I’ll share my answers in the first comment and I’d be honored if you share yours as well.

The bad news is that no one is waiting to offer you 3.7 million dollars. The good news is that you now have a blueprint to follow to do the work you were meant to do. By doing so, you have raised the probability of making your work delightful and of earning your own 3.7 million dollars. The only question is this: Will you use this blueprint or will you go back to following your fears instead of your own inner wisdom?

Will you please honor yourself and do this exercise? Will you honor yourself (and all of us) even further by commenting and sharing what you actually came up with?

In case you’re wondering, I found the writing of this post to be completely delightful.

Opportunities Abound… But Where Do They Come From?

Become an opportunity creator rather than an opportunity seeker.

I used to search for opportunities. As an opportunity seeker, I once sought out ways to make more money. But I know now that what I was really looking for was greater freedom. That freedom was found by recognizing my own talents, values and capabilities rather than seeking opportunities created by others.

As a self-described “multiple streams entrepreneur,” I value having four to six income streams in various stages of development at all times. This year, for the first time in my life, I have more opportunities than I have the willingness to develop. How did this happen? How did I become flush with solid, cash-flowing streams when I once so desperately and skeptically sought them out?

Did I go out on the web and find a wonderful site that . promotes “sure things.” No, I did not. Sorry if that disappoints you.

In fact, I’ve reached this abundant state by making an internal adjustment. My focus is now more inner-directed than external. I no longer seek opportunities designed by others. This is an approach that could work very well for you.

How? By following the following two steps.

  1. First you’ve got to decide on your value-based requirements.
  2. Then, you must not waiver from these when evaluating possibilities.

I now follow a higher, freedom-based standard when deciding on my income streams. Here are my three decision points:

  1. Leverage (the ability to build something once and repeatedly make money from it automatically)
  2. Joy and fulfillment
  3. Creativity expressed

What might your value-based points of decision be?

To help with your internal evolution, I thought we could look at the most likely sources of fitting opportunities. Where do the most fulfilling money – making opportunities come from?

  1. They come from your trust-based connection to others. Associates with a shared business history are more likely to tip you off to good possibilities they themselves are developing.
  2. They come from your visibility in the marketplace. Make your presence known in the forums you care about.
  3. They appear out-of-the-blue, based on the abundance of space in your life. Want to recognize more authentic opportunities? Then create a vacuum so they have room to sprout. Let go of opportunities that do not align with your values.
  4. They come from your willingness to be receptive and to keep a truly open mind. Being open-minded means being open to new ideas or arguments. It means having an unprejudiced, approachable and accessible mind.
  5. They come from your decision to boldly intend them into being. “Someday perhaps the inner light will shine forth from us, and then we’ll need no other light.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  6. They come from your authentic actions. Trusting your gut and acting on it is an irresistible force.
  7. They come from your ability to keep your head up in the midst of seeming misfortune. You may have heard the phrase … “it’s all good.” Even the darkest challenge only needs the light of time to see the hidden benefits.

Did you notice the main theme in the above list? Opportunities primarily come from the inside out. From that perspective you are engaging authentic positioning that allows you to see even more possibilities. Authentic positioning is the process of aligning your core self with your business intentions and actions so that you are positioned optimally for success.

Ground your actions in your own uniqueness.
Don’t seek the right opportunity. Create it.

That usually means creating a profitable business of your own, in your own way. Nothing works for everyone. That’s why so many opportunity seekers who try to duplicate the success of others end up disappointed. It’s not about the opportunity. It’s all about the man or woman who’s creating it and working it.

All things don’t work for all people. What if truth was actually more individual than universal? What if some systems work for 90% of the people and you’re among the other 10%?

Earl Nightingale was fond of offering this non-conformist, success advice. Look around at what most everybody else is doing and then do exactly the opposite.

Decide to put yourself in play in a very big way. Yes, the truth will set you free, but only if it’s your truth. There are no one-size-fits-all money making opportunities or success formulas.

Don’t seek the right opportunity. Create it. Do it your way. Create the business opportunity that perfectly fits your lifestyle and you’ll have more money, greater freedom and fulfillment. Opportunities abound, from within.
Stumble It!