Have you ever thought about being lost on an island, without food or other resources to survive? That's right: it won't be long before you run out of juice. Intending founders must know that the idea does not make the startup. It is not about the idea but the ability to connect all the right resource dots to convert your idea into reality. Your idea by itself is only really worth a dime. The meat is in the execution. Yes! I said it. EXECUTION.
You must show a high level of seriousness before anybody takes you seriously. You must take steps to get off the starting block. You must believe in yourself and your idea, before you can get others to believe in you. No matter how beautiful your idea may sound to you, it will be very difficult for you to make a difference without putting your skin in the game. Always remember, the vision is yours and no one will see it better than you. The amount of time, effort, research and even money that you invest in your idea is what gives it value.
I have taken some time to elucidate some assumptions and mindset-traps that keep intending founders locked up on idea island:
I don't have enough education-
The truth is that in the world today, you don't have to have it figured out. There are thousands of founders out there that have moved the needle and done exceptionally well in the world of entrepreneurship that at best only had basic education. However, you must have the hunger to continuously seek knowledge or what I like to call continuous personal development. Life in itself is a school and the more you know, the more you learn. You must know that everything now known to everyone today; they learnt: one way or another. And that is the mindset you must have that you can be the very best.
Nobody else has this idea in the whole world-
This is often not true. If you are thinking about it, chances are that there is someone somewhere that is already doing it or at least also thinking about it. And you must invest your time in research to find out who your competitors are. Research is a very important skill to have as a founder. The goal is not to discourage you that the idea you have is already being executed. The goal is to learn how it has been done and what makes your idea(solution) unique.
I can’t talk to anyone about my idea (I need an NDA)-
Remember this vision is yours and it might be interesting to the next guy but they can never envision it the way you do. This is not to say you should compose your idea into a song and release a single. But what this does is that you are able to get a different perspective and understanding about your idea from the lens of other people or sometimes even potential customers. Whatever your idea is; you are not building it for yourself: So, you must give customers the opportunity to share their pain points so as to guide you in the process of creating the solution
I will do it all by myself-
No man is an Island. Perhaps, you have all the skill set, abilities and finance to bring your idea to fruition. This is good but at some point just like anyone else, chances are that you will not be able to scale or you will simply burn out. You need a team. Or at least a team of trusted advisors and mentors that believe in you.
I can't afford to fail-
Failure is not a bad thing. There is truly no better teacher or faster teacher than failure for those who truly want to learn. What failure teaches you is courage and momentum. Think about it: the man who never did it is the one who truly failed. The fact that you summoned the courage to step out of your comfort zone and try is what will set you apart from those who spend ten years just thinking and dreaming about their idea. Failure will teach you how not to do it and hence, accelerate your path to success.
Some things should you do to help you take off-
Validate your idea
Solve a problem - See a need; fill a need
Talk to potential customers and understand their pain. They are more important that funding.
Build for philosophy-Understand that the vision is beyond you.
Research your competition
Leverage Your social Network and ask questions on a third person level
Create your value proposition
Talk to people about your idea
Enjoy the process
Get people around you that believe in you
Most times, you are really not reinventing the will. Some of the ideas you have in mind may already be in existence; perhaps in one crude form or the other. Don’t sweat it. Do not let that deter you. If you do not take anything out of this piece, please get this: No matter what you do, get out of the starting block and “JUST START”.