What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned as an entrepreneur?
I’ll tell you mine in a second, but first, allow me to set the scene with two stories, each teaching the same painful lesson.
Back when I was still working in the fitness industry, a friend approached me with an awesome idea for a startup. It was similar to something that existed in the US, but at the time, there was nothing like it here in South Africa.
It was perfect. He’d focus on the business and tech side, and I’d be responsible for building and maintaining relationships with partners, many of which I already had. My mind started to race at the thought of co-founding a startup!
We spent the next few months working on a minimum viable product, but just as we were preparing to launch version 1.0, someone else came along and put out the exact same thing! Ouch. Needless to say, there was never a version 2.0 (or any version, for that matter).
My second story is possibly even more painful to write.
While I was backpacking through South-East Asia in 2014, I found an amazing museum/3D art gallery which allowed you to take pictures and appear as if you were in the scene, despite it being painted in 2D. It was amazing!
(Funny side note here: I got to the museum right before they were closing, and had no one with me to take pictures. So all my shots are just of the scenes themselves – not nearly as fun.)
For the next two years, I imagined how cool it would be to open a similar museum in Cape Town, certain that people would love it the way I had. My girlfriend (now my wife) even suggested opening it as a pop-up exhibit at the waterfront so as to minimize risk slightly.
You can imagine my dismay, then, as I drove past the exact venue a few months later and saw a giant billboard advertising that very museum. Game over.
So what’s the moral of the story here?
It’s simple. If you want to make an impact with your ideas, you need to reduce the amount of time between conception and taking your first action.
My business coach calls this ‘speed of implementation’, and it is the number one differentiator between those who have a lot of dreams & ideas and those who we look at in awe at all the cool shit they’re creating.
Speed of implementation is one of my guiding principles for 2018, and if you’ve felt the pain of seeing other people create your brilliant ideas, I urge you to adopt it, too.
Remember, ideas without action mean nothing. But ideas followed by fast action can change the world.
My question I leave you with is this: What tiny action can you take today towards turning your idea into reality?
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