A common thing you’ll hear from those who strive to become an entrepreneur is a lot of talk about their ‘big ideas’. They will tell you that they are overflowing with innovation and new concepts. They either have the next big product in their workshop at the moment, or they have it in their head.
Of course, this is not a bad thing if it is the case. No good business can exist without a working idea. Something that is either new and desirable or is a variation on something that has worked thousands of times.
However, as a successful entrepreneur, I think it’s important to understand that an idea is not enough. In fact, it’s not even as important as all of the other things that need to come together to generate success. Ideas can be outsourced, bought, copied, shared. But the mindset required to execute an idea and turn it into a business through action is rare.
We all know that one ‘ideas guy’. The guy who sees every article about a new business or invention and says, “Oh I came up with that years ago. I just didn’t follow it through”. Or the talented creator who actually does manage to create products but then struggles for years to actually sell them.
Building a business is a tough proposition at best. Think of a business as a building. We often think of the idea as the ‘foundation’ of the building. We believe that if our idea is strong enough, then no matter what we build on top, it will survive. But in reality, this doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.
The ‘foundation’ of your business is you, and the skills and mindset you have built as an entrepreneur. Confidence, willingness to learn, positive thinking, the ability to sell a product, time management, accepting risks and failures.
If you take the time to build yourself up as an all-around great businessperson, then you’ll offer a strong foundation for any idea. You’ll still need a good one, but even an okay one could last for a long time on the strong foundations you have built.
Justin Cobb is an international entrepreneur, based in the US, with a network of companies spanning the globe.