How Bad Do You Want It?
The below picture is nature proving there are no excuses – a beautiful flower growing in solid rock at the top of Table Mountain. Ideas can be a dime a dozen; but it’s the action on the idea where the magic happens.
Talking from experience, my idea to Climb Table Mountain every day was packaged with the end result – but it was still worth nothing until I took vital steps in turning it into reality.
I truly believe that none of us are given ideas we aren’t capable of achieving. Pay closer attention to ideas that come to you. Next? Don’t waste time and:
1. Get Started
I had no clue how to speak to an audience of almost 2000 people. I had no idea how to set up an NPO (non profit organisation) I had no clue about where to even begin. What I can share is that my idea set my soul on fire; and if you don’t feel that excited about your idea? You’ll probably drop it at the first hurdle you face; and there will be many. All of the above happened because I took action and met people at various stages to help me.
Some of my closest people didn’t support me; later a business coach told me to drop the project and worst my own doubts challenged my desire to follow through. In essence, all these challenges tested my mental state of how much I believed in what this could achieve before I even took my first step.
What a gift.
Your self-belief is key here – and that is something you need to entrench whether you want to start a business or not.
One of the best decisions I made was investing in a business coach, Karel Vermeulen, that didn’t just talk but had built multiple successful businesses from the ground up. When I asked him about this step he had this to say:
“I know this sounds like a cliché – but the first most challenging aspect for me was to full heartedly believe in my idea and myself. I invested in myself with self-help seminars; reading books and daily positive affirmations. Be careful with whom you share your idea or dream, as not everyone will believe in you the way you do. Shocking as it sounds, even your family and some close friends will laugh at you and think you silly and out of your mind. Don’t think that you need all the answers and the know how – just start where you are and with what comes to mind – the know how – the rest will follow. The universe will bring the right people on the right time along your path if you are open to that, to recognise this and believe in this. Like Nike say – “Just Do It”.
These words perfectly lead me to my next piece of advice
2. Surround Yourself with the Right People
On a personal capacity – this is one of the most important things you can do and is NOT something that happens overnight. It takes time to build trust based on consistent behaviour. Remember that when you are building your business because the same principle applies.
I’ve spent 12 years building trust and networks in Cape Town. This means I’m blessed with incredible support with whatever I pursue. I recognise when I have gaps and as such I invested in a business coach to help me, and keep me grounded and manage my expectations. Unrealistic expectations set you up for “failure” which will start causing doubt to creep in.
Recognise early on, you’re on a journey and everything you experience (good and bad) is helping you to be the best business person out there.
When you’re in business its going to demand you make some tough decisions – following your passion and/or idea may mean you’ll need to do the same in your personal life. Coach Karel had this to reiterate:
“It is extremely important to align yourself with likeminded people. As they say: You’re the sum of the 5 people you spend most of your time with. Some friends may pull you down. I had to sever what I thought were great friends, as they didn’t have an entrepreneur mindset and as such constantly talked negatively about my ideas. Sometimes it’s hard, but sure it’s worth it. I can’t stress the importance and value of getting the right coach. You can save yourself many pitfalls and heartache by getting the right advice. Find a coach that has and is doing even bigger things than your idea; succeeded in the areas that you want to. Think of it as an investment in your life. Don’t make the mistake thinking “how much is it going to cost me?” Get into the mindset of “how much is it going to make me? How much am I going to learn?”
3. The Time Lie
Hiking every day has taught me the value of time and how much we have at our disposal. At least 15 days a month I have people joining me. More than half of those are longer than 3 hour hikes. I constantly hear people tell me how much they “wish they could join” or “I’d love to be retired to be able to do it so often”
Absolute rubbish. All of it.
At most, I spend 3 full days hiking (including all the slow hikes) if you sleep 9 full days and spend another 7 at work – you STILL have 11 full days to do whatever – you – want.
It’s not that you don’t have time, it’s that you don’t value your idea enough to dedicate time to it. Understand the value in dedicating time every day to a specific skill. Before you know it, you are two months down and have improved your sales, public speaking, basic accounting, fitness – whatever you choose to practice daily.
TIP: Do an audit of what you spend time doing. You’ll quickly see how much time’s spent on activities not bringing you any value
Stop using time as an excuse – just be honest and say “its not a priority for me right now”
This is where number four is so important.
4. Your Why
I was involved in a business that had all the makings of success: right industry; tremendous financial support; access to knowledge.
It failed. In my view because the owner skipped important steps of figuring out what worked first before expanding. He just thought he’d use his wealth to expand rapidly.
I share this because a lot of times we think having more money is what will make us more money and our lives easier. The principle is the same: whether you have R100 or R100 000 you need to use it wisely to make more money.
I spoke about my idea setting my soul on fire. I don’t use that lightly. I’m grateful for that feeling because if it didn’t I would’ve given up ages ago and it wouldn’t have given me the determination to take that extra step. To fight through my own insecurities or ‘perceived’ lack.
Nobody has all the answers when they start.
When you tap into your own inner strength and why – nothing will stop you.
Last but certainly not least:
My idea happened 37 years 7 months and 17 days into living. And I believe if I’d had the idea sooner it wouldn’t have worked. Just like your parents were right about most things because they’d experienced it – so too do you have to go through your own experiences to shape your path and passion.
Do as many things that you love as often as you can.
I didn’t strategise my idea out – it was a culmination of my experiences coupled with my desires for the future sprinkled with synchronistic conversations a month leading up to it landing in my lap.
However, if you already have an idea or even multiple ones for a business? Firstly, be grateful most would kill for one. Choosing can be agonising so I suggest writing down what lifestyle you want and be specific. That will be column one in a spreadsheet. Then write up top each business idea and then see which idea satisfies the most things you want in life (not just business but personal too)
This way you’re comparing apples with apples versus trying to decide whether a pro for one business is equal to or more than a pro of another.
This is all just step one. Having seen the benefit from investing in a coach – if you’re serious about taking your idea to the next level, I highly recommend it. Karel gave me twenty three specific bullet points that he guided me on based on how he built businesses up from the ground and has written a book about it. That’s how much information there is on taking this to the next level.
I hope your idea sets your soul on fire and you commit daily to making it happen.
Tel: 078 677 6979