Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Ideas and Action

Anyone can have a great idea, lots of them: million dollar ideas; ideas that will change their life; ideas that will change other people’s lives; ideas that will change the world. But any idea that stays on the chalkboard is worth only the chalk it's written with.

What's missing for most people is decisive action and disciplined follow-through to take their ideas from concept to reality. Here is how I have turned a lot of my “million dollar ideas” into millions of dollars.

Take some form of productive action daily.
It could be something as simple as googling a phone number or doing some basic research--something that takes you closer to your goal. Be careful though, being “busy” does not necessarily mean you are taking action; action takes you measurably closer to your goal. When a task, idea, or goal is so big or challenging that you can’t move on it, break it down into small steps that you can take action on daily. Ideas don't count as building blocks, only actions do. Considering this, how is the construction on your house of dreams coming?

Be scrappy, resourceful and do it yourself.
No one is going to have the same passion that you have for your idea and no one will be willing to invest as much time, energy and passion in making it happen as you. If you have to, make your action steps smaller, but do not quit or allow yourself to stall when tough circumstances appear. Persistence and patience are key to solving your entrepreneurial puzzles. I have no formal education on business or marketing yet almost very major accomplishment and entrepreneurial success I have had in the last five years came by figuring it out and doing it myself. All you do-it-yourselfers know there is no substitute for the school of hard knocks.

Don’t wait to take action until you have the perfect conditions.
Circumstances, conditions and timing are seldom perfect. That’s why all of the successful entrepreneurs that I know create their own circumstances as they need them. Just like with travel, the quickest way to get to your destination is the most direct route. If that means figuring it out and doing it yourself sometimes, so be it.

Seek guidance from people who already have the results you want.
I personally have about a dozen people I look up to in all different areas of life and business. People that have the results that I want to achieve whom I look to emulate as closely as possible. These people don’t even know that are on my imaginary board of directors. Leveraging other people’s knowledge and experience will help you cut down on mistakes and accelerate the process.

Put productivity over procedure.
People can take months batting ideas around, preparing a business plan, consulting accountants and attorneys, getting a business entity set up, etc. I see people stuck in the “getting-ready-to-get-ready” mode all the time. (I made my first million before I actually had an accountant or business entity set up. Not recommended.) But hey, I made my first million, and my last million by taking action on my ideas. You should try it.