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Every day, thousands of ideas are born. Unfortunately, only a few ever get to see the light of the day. Many of us have conceived ideas that can change society and earn us a fortune, but we might have lacked the willingness to give life to them because, among other challenges, entrepreneurship means taking risks. Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn, was right when he said, “The entrepreneurial journey starts with jumping off a cliff and assembling an airplane on the way down.”
Presenting some reasons why you, too, need to take that leap — take the necessary steps to build your ideas in today’s competitive space.
Nobody knows your ideas more than you do. So, when you work on them, it’s likely that you’ll develop a feeling of uniquely personal satisfaction. Indeed, the process may be a dream come true. The trouble is that many are led to believe that only a particular set of people with special traits can create things, but this is wrong. Everyone has the skill to realize their dreams, and we all can develop distinct ideas in different industries.
Of course, being an innovator is not a small feat, so if you eventually succeed on a project, you’ll experience a boost in self-esteem. Even if you fail, it is not the end of the road; there are many other projects to work on in the future that will utilize the skills and experience gained along the way.
If you are unsure of an idea, there’s no harm in giving it time. However, if it sticks with you for more than, say, three days, you should start gathering some facts, including exploring market possibilities and product concepts. And, of course, you can fine-tune and experiment before putting it out there for investors or the general public.
The world we live in is one with unlimited problems, and solutions are desperately needed to address them. If you are creative enough, you can exploit this vast range of market opportunities. Bear in mind, however, that your innovation doesn’t necessarily have to be targeted at the public; sometimes it can simply be beneficial for your own personal use. If you need a tool that can make things easier for you at home or the workplace, go ahead and create it, because you may also find that someone out there might need the same tool, and then the sales process has begun!
You can also conceive of many innovations at once, and the choice will then be yours to determine which one(s) to develop at a particular time. If you need help deciding which satisfies you personally or financially, I recommend the Realizr idea development tool.
The consequences of not trying
Keep in mind that not taking risks simply means that you are also not ready to make any gains, and that you will also miss out on developing new skills that can help you in the future. Think of it as saving money in the bank versus investing in the stock market. It’s true that the latter takes some time and bears more risks, but there’s reason to be confident of making good profits if you are patient enough. This same analogy applies here: Ideas will remain idle until you develop them, and you will never grow unless you take the initiative. Most importantly, perhaps, I want you to be spared the regret of discovering that someone else is making waves with a project similar to one you conceived.
It’s natural for human beings to be anxious when they venture into something for the first time — to be tempted to withdraw from taking action for fear of doing something wrong, looking foolish or not meeting expectations — but you must learn to overcome these obstacles. Quite frankly, for entrepreneurs, courage is not the absence of fear: it is the ability to persist despite it.
Experience has made most of us realize that failure is part of the business process, and that those who fail more are likely to succeed more as well. For instance, Thomas Edison and James Dyson had to repeatedly invent and reinvent their breakthrough products before they were truly ready, but these efforts paid off and they got the desired results… and then some!
So, whenever it seems as if your ideas are not working, just remember what Edison said about his many iterations of the electric lightbulb: “I didn’t fail 1,000 times; the light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”
Put another way, fear is a temporary cognitive and emotional reaction to a threat or potential achievement, and you can actually use it as a source of motivation to succeed.
The benefits of a team
You can’t be a master of everything, and trying to figure out everything by yourself will only result in feeling overwhelmed. In fact, research has shown that the best ideas are not inspired when we are alone, but during interactions with like-minded people.
Building a product requires effort and concentration, but if you devote all your resources to it, how will you keep up with other aspects of your life? Because of course, time is money, so you should put yours into the most valuable tasks.
Opportunities for product developers are so many that you would only be short changing yourself by refusing to work on what could be a true breakthrough. Remember that the more time you spend doubting yourself, the better the chances that others with similar ideas will jump in, and no one wants to live in regret. So, don’t delay success by “waiting for the right time,” because there’s no better moment than this one.