On December 2, 2015, at the peak of my career, working for one of the most desired global institutions, earning the best salary ever imagined, something happened. I told my family, ‘It is now time!’ They all responded, ‘We knew it.’
Your wealth is in your business idea. We all entertain a million business ideas in a lifetime and many die without being realised. They die because we doubt and underestimate ourselves. We fail to harness the idea and carry it through because we feel someone should make it happen for us.
The ideas die for failure sharpen and drill through it mentally until we see its end. Many business ideas die because we share them prematurely with other people. Once we have shared our passion, we lose the passion, the inner drive.
Some other business ideas die because we think they are out of this world. How can an idea succeed when no one has ever done such a business before? We have many business ideas that die because we think we cannot pioneer anything given our background. Can anyone from Mutwiwambwa village engineer anything that can be of demand in Zambia and beyond?
We have a lot of young people whose dreams die because they do not know how to carry the idea in the ‘womb’ upon conception. There is a lot to learn from our women when they conceive. They must first be ready to conceive. If you were not ready for that big moment, you will not desire it and may end up aborting. Women get excited upon conception- they know they are about to deliver something to the world; something unique and worth embracing. They do not just walk about shouting about the baby. Over excitement without self-management can easily lead to a miscarriage.
Miscarriage of business ideas happens daily because those that conceive them are not emotionally mature. They have no mentor like that grandmother who advises the young pregnant woman about what to eat, how to sleep and the need for daily walks. The body must have some level of endurance so that it sustains the pregnancy as it expands. Here are a few tips for you to manage a business idea:
MANAGE YOUR EMOTIONS: Emotions are very important in the formation of business ideas. If it does not excite you, you will be disturbed, bored, de-energised and frustrated from the very beginning. However, emotions are emotions. They evaporate just too quickly. Emotions are like a match-stick. They just ignite the real thing. The ignition fires up the plugs, but it is not the ignition that drives the car.
When you are pregnant with a business idea, quickly convert it into a written proposal. When your emotions die and no longer feel like carrying the business idea forward, the written information about the idea will encourage you to execute it.
THE IDEA IS YOU: Most business ideas die because they do not represent you- your personality, your passion, your character, your formation. I have coined something I call, ‘outside-in business ideas’. These are business ideas that are formed because someone is hungry, unemployment, desirous of buying a car. The moment someone eats a portion of Hungry Lion and gets full while plotting a business idea, they abandon it. They get a job or receive a car-gift, they forget about the business idea. Most ideas are carbon-copies of other people’s ideas. Consequently, they die very quickly.
There are other business ideas I call, ‘inside-out business ideas’. These are formed because you have a personal interest to change or offer something to people. You want to create value that may not have existed. One of the entrepreneurs who is in my line of business, Michael Gerber, writes, ‘The first question for an awakened Entrepreneur is, “What good would this thing I am thinking of creating do for the one who buys it?”’
Business ideas that are aligned to your passion, to your personality, to your interests and a strong desire to offer something to the market rarely get frustrated. At Bridges Limited, we have been rejected many times; some companies even trashing us off like we have nothing to offer. But because the business was formed from inside us to change something, we know there will come a time we will be on high demand. We keep going, driven from inside to the outside.
SCAN THE ENVIRONMENT: Count the cost, do a business plan. Above all, even if the idea is really yours, from inside-out, it could be an improvement of other ideas that existed before yours. Before Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook, there was MySpace, Friendster and Friends Reunited. Facebook was a borrowed idea but improved. Many of us resisted Facebook initially. But because it was an idea formed from inside-out, linked to what existed before, we cannot do without it today. You are the business idea. Wake and work up! Happy Easter to everyone.
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