You've hit the common entrepreneur's dilemma — you think you have a great idea, yet you're not quite sure how to turn it into reality. Whether it's a service or product business in consideration, there are a few key steps you should be taking. Everyone has ideas, and yours may be out of this world, but unless you actually act on them, your idea is worth nothing. What makes someone's idea special is how he or she implements and executes it.
This is a lesson I've learned through recent experience — particularly during this past summer. I found myself working a tiresome nine-to-five job. It felt so constraining and restricting — I yearned to do more with my life. I had this innovative watch-buckle concept percolating in my mind, yet had no experience with watches or buckles. In the past five months, though, I've turned my idea into a product. I've had more than a few late nights and early mornings, but it is incredible to see my hard work start to pay off.
I was literally pacing in front of my door when the first prototype arrived from the supplier. It had been four months since I had really started to pour my life into Yes Man Watches, and finally our baby had arrived. The process has been unreal — but you can do it, too. I'm a sophomore in college, going after life. Over these past three weeks, I've raised over $30,000 on Kickstarter to go into the production phase.
Chase your dreams — don't just think about them. Regardless of the turnout, your experience will be invaluable. Check out these four tips to turn your idea into a reality:
You can't half-ass entrepreneurship. You should know everything about what you're getting into. No excuses — you can find anything online, and if you can't seem to find something, then look harder. Interested in launching a crowd-funding campaign? Do you watch TV for fun? Well, stop watching TV and start watching Kickstarter videos.
Low On Capital
This is probably the most common excuse, but you don't need a million bucks to start off. I know people who have started with dollars and now make millions. Are you looking to make a physical product? Try 3D printing. It's super cost effective and it's an easy way to make a prototype. If you need to hire a formalized designer or engineer, then look abroad.
When starting Yes Man Watches, I originally wanted to keep everything in America. But, I realized that I could exponentially reduce my costs if I moved certain components of the operation overseas. Utilize sites like Elance, Odesk and Freelancer to find reputable, reliable and capable people.
Get Down And Dirty
Stop thinking and start acting. Taking action is the most powerful trait we can harness in life. If you think you'll be able to have your friends work for you, you're most likely wrong. No one likes doing busy work, but it has to get done. One day, one of my marketing chairs said to me, “Nathan, this is intern work. I want to do more.”
The fact of the matter is that there is no such thing as intern work when starting off. An entrepreneur needs to be willing to get down and dirty. Having the passion to do anything and everything to make your dream a reality is essential.
Live Your Business
Your business won't grow by itself. Do you think you can just put up a website and automatically get traffic? No. You need to be the driving force behind your startup. As a founder, you literally shouldn't breathe without thinking about your startup. Do you enjoy going out? Every time you go out and meet someone new, you should mention your business. Everyone should know about what you're trying to do. This is essential for networking and expanding your scope.
So, start chasing your dreams today. You never know where you could end up if you never try. Wayne Gretzky was onto something when he said, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take.” Take that literally and I guarantee you'll get a lot further in life. Seriously though, have you started chasing your dreams yet? Hope you have a long night.
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