Boiling the ocean.
So cliché. We hear those words all the time in corporate America. It basically means you are trying to do way too much within a given endeavor/timeframe. Usually, those projects end up failing because you didn’t focus your efforts on the goal at hand and you let things get way out of control to the detriment of your resources.
But those words also have a lot of relevance for startup entrepreneurs, whose budgets are considerably smaller and time to market may very short. The first step is establishing a reasonable and manageable goal. Building toward that goal requires a well-thought out plan of action, with trackable tasks and milestones. You’re never going to meet your objectives if you’re flying by the seat of your pants. It’s focus that propels you to the finish line.
Courtesy of supplychainsabroad.wordpress.com
Easier said than done. I know. You’re excited and eager to create something prospective customers will embrace and value. Your passion drives you and ideas flow with no sign of stopping. It’s like you can’t control it…
But you must.
Take a step back. There’s a time and place for everything and even though you’re tempted and desperate to launch something beyond this universe, be thoughtful and careful about your longer term strategy. Start simple and work your way forward. You will have a better chance of meeting success if you keep your initial plans short and your end goals manageable.
This is the time to test. Try something. If it works, great. Incorporate it for the next launch. If it fails, you learned a lesson. Don’t make it a super-costly one.
Go big or go home?
Not always the way.
Go small to start. You have a better shot of winning big.
Courtesy of streetsmartproductmanager.com
I’m a big “Shark Tank” fan. Love the way they refer to themselves as a venture capital firm on steroids. Well, maybe only Mr. Wonderful made that reference…in one episode. But it stuck with me…because it’s kind of true. =)
I love ALL the sharks. I think they each bring their own unique elements to the show and I’ve purchased more than a few products while the entrepreneurs are busy negotiating (read: sweating) the deals of their lifetimes. Quick hint…if you know you’ll be featured on “Shark Tank,” make sure your freaking website can handle the excess capacity! For crying out loud, that’s not the time for your site to crash from being pounded by prospective customers!!!
But I digress…
I came across a video clip of Mark Cuban’s 12 tips for entrepreneurs and while I don’t agree with all of them (specifically #s 10 and 11), most are extremely valuable and should be embraced.
My responses to Mark?
Swag is very much worth the money. Not because I’m a total logo-whore but because I know for a fact there are companies in Silicon Valley making money hand over fist and I’ve got their logo-embroidered golf hanging shirts in my closet.
Plus, LazerShark just secured $2 million in venture funding so…
And never hire a PR firm? I beg to differ. While they cost a heck of a lot if they’re any good, they have the “ins” with folks who can get your company name out to the masses. Sorry, but nobody gives a crap about the founder of a company whose name hasn’t made it public. But given the right PR boost, the founder can write his/her own ticket.
Don’t worry Mark. I still love you. ❤
Want to know one of my biggest pet peeves?
The chronic complainer who LOVES to point out problems but NEVER volunteers a solution.
Those people irritate the hell out of me.
Guess what? If you want to be successful in business, DON’T be one of those people.
I’m fired up, can’t you tell with all the caps? LOL!
Now, I can certainly appreciate the fact that people may get deterred by a lot of red tape and invisible barriers to change within their corporate structures. That aggravates me almost as much because you may have a fabulous idea that will never get any air time and why not? Because of ridiculous rules and perceptions that hinder more than help.
But my feeling is not to succumb to that defeatist mentality. If people aren’t listening to your ideas and you’re very passionate about them, you may be in the wrong job or company. Consider a move where your input will be respected and valued. It’s amazing how empowered you’ll feel in an organization that welcomes progressive thinking.
In my experience, there are lots of reasons why an idea may not be embraced.
- People are territorial and don’t like scope of their work challenged in any way
- Exorbitant development and/or implementation costs overshadow the perceived benefit
- People are resistant to cultural change and don’t want their apple carts upset in any way
- People don’t want to expend additional efforts outside their normal scope of work
- People are not incented to find new ways of working (sadly, their paycheck isn’t enough of a driving force)
And the last reason…the idea just may not be very good. Sorry. It had to be said. =)
But none of those reasons are good enough for you to stop considering new and better ways of doing business. Let the ideas flow! Don’t get discouraged by the naysayers. Haters ALWAYS gonna hate.
You know the moment when inspiration strikes. The whole EUREKA experience…it’s incredible, isn’t it?
And do you know what’s even better? You mention the fabulous idea to an objective outsider and they’re just as charged about it as you are. That’s the second you know…you have SOMETHING and it’s BIG!!!
Anyhoo, I’m kind of there now. Yesterday, I came up with not one but TWO ideas…one is for a new romantic suspense series which I started and LOOOOOVE and one is for a business of sorts. More to come on the latter…still a bit too pre-beta for discussion.
Ask me if I worked on either tonight.
Sometimes it’s nice to have the ideas, the hope and the promise of what can materialize once the gears start cranking. It’s kind of like a honeymoon period…before you have to do the real work that makes all the fabulousness become a reality.
Yeah, I like the reflection period…before all the stress and anxiety kick in. But that’s all part of the process…and how the magic ultimately happens. =)