By: Redmond Millerick
And no, I’m not talking about a nudist colony. Unless, of course, you’re into that type of thing. What I’m talking about is having the drive, creativity and insight to do something bold. Something daring. Something that has played in the back of your mind since that first lemonade stand. Starting your own business.
Now, becoming an entrepreneur is a difficult process. It takes time, hard work and the strength to keep pushing. Above all, it takes an idea. That’s the reasoning behind the phrase, “So you want to run a pickle farm?” Your idea doesn’t need to be traditional or sensible. It just needs to function and become something the public didn’t know it needed.
Look at companies that have popped up in the last few years — businesses like Dollar Shave Club, Instagram and Birchbox. These ideas would have seemed ridiculous a decade ago, but they are now a part of the common vernacular. So have faith in what you’re pursuing, friends. To help get you started, here are some thoughts to have as you chase your dreams.
1) Understand why they are saying “no”
Your idea for a business might get shut down. People will hear it and think you’re an idiot. Maybe you are. Maybe your idea is dumb. Maybe it won’t work. That is a real and honest possibility. Then again, maybe your idea is just ahead of its time.
Can you imagine going to a company 15 years ago and trying to explain the appeal of Twitter? You would have been turned down faster than someone using a corny joke to try and slide in your DMs.
To give your idea support, you have to be able to explain exactly why it’s important, how it will work and who will benefit. Have the questions answered before they ask them. In a world where a million new ideas are popping up every day, you need to have a strong and secure idea in your mind so companies have no choice but to listen.
2) Follow the Beatle’s advice — “Help”
There’s no Beatle’s tie-in story on this one. I just wanted to make a song reference. Anyway, this is pretty standard. When you’re unsure of yourself and where to take this idea, or what the next step should be, ask someone.
Talk to your friends, professors, business associates or other people who have started their own businesses. Remember, this is your idea. Whatever they tell you, take it into account, absorb it, internalize it and then make the decision you want to make.
Remember, you’re asking for help and advice, not for them to take over your idea. Only you know exactly what you want to do with it.
3) Be committed to your idea
Look, it’s great to want to make money and have a nice lifestyle. That’s a normal goal to pursue. Do not, however, make this the centerpiece to your business. If that’s the only focus you have, your product will begin to fail, and inevitably, so will your business.
There needs to be something more, something that intertwines your story and the products’. As part of the team that developed Xavier Hot Dogs, am I the biggest hotdog fan in the world? Not even close.
What I do enjoy is creating new ideas, making people laugh and surrounding myself in a positive and fun environment. My advice isn’t for you to be obsessed with the mechanics of your idea, but to surround yourself with ideals and a vision, and make a product that can help achieve them.
4) Don’t be the guy that passed on “Seinfeld”
There’s a man. He wanders the streets of L.A., muttering to himself. He says only four words, hour after hour, day after day, year after endless year. “George.” “Kramer.” “Elaine.” “JERRY.” He is THE MAN WHO PASSED ON SEINFELD.
Look friends, don’t overlook your potential. You might have ideas that get shut down or ridiculed, and you might get laughed out of the room. But that doesn’t mean you give up.
Don’t pass on your own creative intentions because someone thought it wasn’t a good idea. If you believe it will work, then go for it. If you don’t, someone else will, and you could be forced to see your success and potential go to another, one who had a similar idea and wasn’t afraid to try. Be bold. Be daring. Be stupid. Be amazing. Don’t be the Seinfeld guy.