When I was very young and the Internet was brand new, I registered a domain name with an idea to create an online resource. It was a great idea.
But, here's the problem: I didn’t execute and follow it through, so my idea was essentially sh*t.
I didn’t renew the domain name, either. So, the name eventually expired and someone else scooped it up and did exactly what I had envisioned. And that effort turned into a multi-million-dollar online asset. That's right: We both had had the same great idea, but I lost and the other guy won -- simply because he executed and followed through.
That's what's key here: Market Domination Media, my online marketing agency, wasn’t my first idea. It wasn’t my tenth idea. But it was the first idea that I fully executed and followed through with, which led to its success.
Entrepreneurs are great at coming up with ideas -- that's what we do. Yet, ideas alone don’t guarantee success. Have a good idea, yourself? Here are ten things you need to do, in addition, if you want to achieve success.
1. Ooze confidence.
You need to be overflowing with confidence -- not cockiness; there’s a big difference -- and know that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. Will you always have the answers? No. Will there be times you get stuck? Yes. A high level of confidence allows you to face the many difficult situations that you will encounter head-on and handle them accordingly.
2. Accept risk.
Pursuing your idea is a lot like skydiving. You anticipate your parachute opening, but each time you jump, you accept risk -- there is always that chance your chute might not open. Being an entrepreneur has many risks, including financial issues, personal relationships and even health. When you run wide-open with your idea, completely accepting the risks associated with it, you stand a much better chance of reaching the finish line.
3. Define your purpose.
It’s important to have a very clear purpose defined -- the reason for pursuing your idea. Are you doing it for the good of society or do you want to own an ocean-front house and a fleet of exotic cars? There is no right or wrong purpose. This serves as your motivation when times get difficult and you need a little kick in the ass to keep going.
4. Create a plan.
Anyone can come up with an idea and a desired goal -- that’s the easy part. It’s the complete plan that allows you to get from start to finish that’s the difficult part. Write everything down and reverse-engineer a plan that will give you a legitimate shot at accomplishing your goal. Be as detailed as possible, covering every step along the way.
5. Assemble a like-minded team.
You’re setting yourself up for failure if you think you will be able to handle everything on your own. The weight of tasks, deadlines and stress building up on your shoulders will eventually crush you. Surround yourself with a team that you have 100 percent trust in. They need to share your vision and have the same tenacity you possess for it to be a happy marriage.
6. Constantly build momentum.
Taking your idea from concept to fully executed is an uphill journey. You have to constantly build momentum and not stop. If you do, the energy and effort required to get back up to speed will be much greater than it would have been had you kept plugging away. Even if you are working on an idea in your spare time, away from your full-time job, a consistent two hours of work daily is far more beneficial than sporadic full days dedicated to your idea.
7. Anticipate obstacles.
Entrepreneurship isn’t all fairytales and unicorns, regardless of what you see in the media. Insane valuations, investors fighting to get a piece and bottomless funding are very rare. Shoestring budgets, bootstrapping and constant obstacles are the reality of pursuing your idea. When you go into it expecting -- and being mentally prepared -- to face obstacles, you stand a much better chance of successfully dealing with them.
8. Establish a professional/personal balance.
Burnout can derail even the best ideas and prevent them from coming to life. It’s important that you find the perfect professional/personal life balance. There isn’t a magic formula -- you will need to figure this out on your own. It will vary greatly depending on your personal life commitments and responsibilities. When you do find that perfect balance, both aspects -- professional and personal -- will significantly improve.
9. Set micro-goals.
Even the most treacherous journey will appear to be do-able if you break it into smaller, easier-to-digest pieces. This is where setting micro-goals can play a very crucial role in bringing your idea to life. It will not only help you make steady progress, but the satisfaction you feel when you accomplish any goal, even a micro one, will give you the motivation and fire inside to push toward the next one.
10. Be patient.
"Overnight success" has odds similar to those for winning Powerball. Sure, it happens, but very rarely. If you are banking on overnight success, you will be in for a serious wakeup call. So, be patient, and if you fail, don’t quit -- some of the most successful entrepreneurs experienced “overnight success” after several years of being relentless. As personal-success author Napoleon Hill said, "Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success."