How to turn your business idea into a reality that is profitable, getting a business off the ground, plus do we really all have the same 24 hours in a day?
A conscious decision that I have made as I’ve progressed further in my career, is to actively engage with the next generation of event planners. Visiting universities to give lectures and speak with young people to share my knowledge and experience is something I’m truly passionate about. Alongside the obvious questions of ‘what’s the most expensive event you’ve every organised?’ and ‘how much do you earn?’, one of the queries I love to answer is ‘how do you manage to turn your idea into a reality?’ The answer often raises even more questions …
Why is that some people seem able to start and run successful businesses, while others, usually those with great ideas and creativity, can’t seem to get off the starting line? Is there a secret to success, or is the ability to make things happen wrapped up in genetics and pre-disposed personality traits? And can you develop habits (or change old ones) to become a person that can turn your business idea into a reality.
NATURE VERSUS NURTURE
My opinion on the nature vs nurture debate is that it’s often a bit of both… Yes, some people naturally have the ability to get things done. When they get an idea, some are like a dog with a bone and can’t rest until they’ve reached their destination. While others are happier to take a more leisurely path.
There are pluses and minuses to both personality types. In my view, it’s good to get there quickly, but there’s a fine balance between rushing it and making costly mistakes. On the other hand, take too long and you risk losing out to competition, or worse, running out of steam altogether.
Whichever type you feel you fall into, remember nothing is set in stone in life. There are habits you can create (and undo), there are tips you can take from other people, and you can learn from other’s mistakes. You can reinvent yourself.
MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR TIME
While talking on the Secrets of a CEO podcast, Love Island’s Molly Mae recently came under fire for saying that we all have the same 24 hours in a day. She was criticised for talking from a position of privilege and to some extent I can see why this angered people. It is certainly more difficult to fit career progression and personal development into a day that involves looking after a family. Even more so if you are a single mum. I know, I have been there.
However, there is some truth in the fact that if you want to get a business, idea or project off the ground and turn your idea into a reality, you need to make sacrifices. And how you use your time (any spare time that you do have), will be one of the make-or-break factors.
As you settle down to watch Netflix or the latest series of Love Island in the evening, ask yourself, could I spend this time more productively? Alternatively, if you’re more productive first thing, set your alarm for an hour earlier in the morning and get up before everyone else. We all need downtime, but my successful business has come at a cost, 10-hour workdays are often a minimum for me. As they are with many entrepreneurs. Start by committing an extra hour a day and see how much you can achieve.
USE YOUR SITUATION TO FUEL YOUR DESIRE
When I started my business, I had just £200 in the bank. My career grew from a position of need, rather than want. I was recently divorced. I needed a job that would support me and my daughters, which paid enough for us to live a good life, but that was flexible enough for me to still be able to see them. Nothing out there fit the bill. Being the person I am, I was determined that I would find something that would allow me to live the life I wanted. When I couldn’t, I decided to create my own.
The risk of failing for me outweighed everything else. And it kept me focused on what I needed to do to achieve my goals.
HOW TO TURN YOUR BUSINESS IDEA INTO A REALITY
I’ve always been a ‘doer’ and have never one to shy away from a new challenge. Yes, I’m bold as brass, and these days, when inspiration takes hold for me, it’s like a freight train hurtling towards its destination. There’s nothing that will stop it coming to fruition. But realising ideas is something I’ve certainly got better and better at over the years.
The reality is that, like anything in life, making ideas into reality takes practise.
PRACTISE MAKES PERFECT
The best kept secret of the successful is that it takes practise to get into the mindset. The more you achieve, the more you realise what is possible. When looking back over my career for my recent book, I had the opportunity to realise just how far I had come. My first event was good, great even, but it was nothing like what I am able to put together now. I had ideas then that would have made it even better, but I was not in the mindset to achieve them.
For me, each event, each project, each idea became bigger, better, and more spectacular than the last. So, start small(ish) something that’s achievable yet still out of your comfort zone and make a start.
CELEBRATE YOUR SUCCESSES
Another tip is to keep a log of what you’ve achieved and be sure to look back over it. Sometimes in life we don’t realise how far we have come and what we’ve managed to create. I am always focused on looking ahead – not backwards. So, occasionally, my PR team remind me of an interview in a newspaper, or a TV slot that I filmed several years ago.
It forces me to reflect and see how successful the business has become. Or I’ll be looking through my photo library for an image and come across photos from event ten or twenty years ago. It’s a fabulous feeling – like reminiscing with family.
Looking back over where you were when you started can be a real revelation, and important. And celebrating successes often leads to more of the same.
REALISE THE PATH MAY NOT BE STRAIGHT
Some people become stuck in the pursuit of perfection when trying to get an idea off the ground. and you can read my blog about how to avoid perfection paralysis here: https://www.liz-taylor-consulting.co.uk/index.php/2021/12/07/how-to-avoid-perfection-paralysis-in-business/
Think of the journey as a winding path.
TIPS TO GET YOUR BUSINESS OFF THE GROUND
Do something every day– It can feel overwhelming to think about everything you need to do to start a business, but doing one, or a few small tasks a day can help you reach your goals sooner than you’d think. Make this your new habit.
Think big – if small is your final destination, then you’ll only achieve small. Aim high and you may undershoot but chances are you’ll reach higher than you would have done.
Get a mentor – bouncing ideas off people who’ve been there and done it is a great way to navigate the challenges of starting a new business. Never be afraid to approach a business owner, most are happy to share their story or answer a few questions.
Or secure a personal mentor to guide you. I am loving my role as a mentor for event professionals starting out. Using my skills and experience not to tell them how to ‘do it,’ but to enable them to explore and pursue their own path.
Get yourself out there – my business was built on networking and there are few that wouldn’t benefit from a good book of contacts.
Find more ideas on how to get a business off the ground and ensure you turn your business idea into a reality before it’s too late, read here:
STUCK FOR INSPIRATION?
Try some of these tips to getting more ideas: https://medium.com/an-idea-for-you/9-habits-that-make-it-easy-to-come-up-with-great-ideas-466adbd98694