Image by: Alan Cleaver
By Dexter Lunde
We’re all capable of having great ideas. The difference between the average Joe and the successful businessman living next door is that the businessman knows how to develop his ideas, successfully execute them, and maintain them years later.
#1) Know The Risks
Smart and successful businessmen know which risks to take and which risks need to go on the backburner. They also know to keep a couple irons in the fire at the same time instead of dropping everything to work on their brilliant new idea.
That idea may be the next penicillin, sliced bread, Post-It, or technological advancement in multimedia but it won’t be successful if you don’t know how to nurture it with funding. Not to mention, you can’t work on it if you’re flat broke and living out of a cardboard box.
So keep your day job and work on your new ideas with your leftover energy, after hours. Once, it is developed and ready, then you can spend your business hours on it.
#2) While We’re Talking About Your Day Job
Let’s talk about what you should do before you actually quit your day job. Okay, so you’ve got an idea. You envision that it will be the next “Angry Birds”. It will be something that will revolutionize the mobile application world. Got it. What should you do before you quit your job and give your all toward your new idea?
- – Raise money (get a bank account, and a credit card – though you may have to use your own credit first)
– Develop your product (research your idea, trademark protect your idea, develop branding, create a mock prototype and a presentation for investors or customers)
– Develop a team (find co-founders, staff, investors, advisors, etc.)
– Get a set of “beta-readers” (test out your products and conduct surveys and ask questions, then reformat and redesign as necessary)
– Get customers (this involves web marketing, content for your blog and/or website, going to trade shows, etc.)
It’s all easier said than done. Just think: all of this should be done before you quit your day job.
#3) Don’t Be Deterred By Rivals
Trade shows will be a big selling point for new businessmen because that’s where customers and investors come to you. If you’re a little unsure where to start or if you’re looking for a trade show near you, check out this great trade show calendar for 2014 which lists the top 100 USA shows for the upcoming year.
Speaking of trade shows, you will see your competitors everywhere, including there. Don’t let them deter you.
If you’re just starting out and you’re still working your day job, you will see competitors that have flashier start-ups and people (who you may believe) that are treading on your territory. It is inevitable that you will run across people that are working on the same idea. Don’t be deterred by their influence, amount of funding, or their egos.
You may be self-funded, but that just means that you’ll be more careful (right?!) with your money. You won’t have money to burn before you get investors. And even afterwards, you’ll have to watch your pesos so because there will be unexpected drawbacks. However, it is all worth it in the end when you can see your product in the hands of millions and watch your brand develop and grow.
#4) Never Get Too Comfortable
All right, so you’ve been working hard. It’s time to quit your day job. You’ve got extra funding, customers lined up at your trade show booth, potential investors blowing up your phone, etc. It’s time.
Once you start tasting success, beware of getting too comfortable. You must always keep your eye out, stay active out in the market, and you must always keep developing your idea and thinking of new ideas.
#5) Follow Through
Following through with your idea is one of the keys to success. You must follow through with your idea before moving on to something new because having a handful of under-developed ideas isn’t going to bring you success or profit.
#6) People Who Don’t Share Your Vision
When it comes to developing your ideas, it’s always scary to think of someone stealing it. Well, in the famous words of Howard Aiken:
“Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you’ll have to ram them down people’s throats.”
When you want to copyright your goods, you can find the laws concerning various copyright issues on this page. However, if you’re looking to patent your work and/or ideas, you can find that information at the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Once you’ve patent-protected it or gotten the right copyright for it, stop worrying about it and continue to develop the idea into something that will bring you success and profit. Speaking of success…
#7) How to Achieve Success with Your Idea
No one should expect success. Success must be earned and no one ever achieves it if they think that it is their right. In order to achieve success with your idea, you must know your limits, understand the root of your fears, have a plan (it can just be an outline at first), visualize your goals (this is “The Secret” to success, after all), and embrace positivity (pessimists rarely get very far).