By Dipti Parmar, special to Overdrive
Every would-be-entrepreneur should read the tragic story of Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison. In any discussion of this tale, Thomas Edison often comes off as the villain and Nikola Tesla as the victim. I’ve no intention of taking a side in this debate. Of far greater consequence, are the lessons to be learned by any budding entrepreneur.
You see, Nikola Tesla, although a brilliant man with an amazing mind (with more than a fistful of valuable patents on countless innovative ideas) was much more the visionary than the businessman. Tesla sold most of his patents to George Westinghouse for today’s equivalent of US$1 million!
Today’s entrepreneur may suffer Tesla’s fate by failing to execute upon his ideas and innovations. Tesla, lacked the ability to execute. He was unable to bring his innovations full circle by creating a profitable enterprise. The ability to execute is the difference between dreams and reality. Men like Edison, Westinghouse and Marconi had this ability.
Entrepreneurs understandably believe their idea for a product or service is unique. This is a dangerous assumption. Truth be told, it is highly unlikely that your idea hasn’t been thought of before. Weren’t there times you’ve seen something in the marketplace that makes you say, “Oh, I thought of that before!” The reason that is someone else’s product or service–and not yours–is a small thing called execution.
Execution is the ability to take an idea for a product or service and convert that idea into a profitable, revenue generating business.
If your idea is a business to business service such as an invoice exchange like CBAC Funding, or a commercial free satellite radio broadcasting like Sirius XM Radio, without proper execution of the idea, neither would exist! If it did exist, it wouldn’t be your business but a business belonging to someone with the ability to execute on the idea.
How Do I Execute?
Here are five key crucial elements necessary to turn your idea into reality:
1) First and foremost, believe in yourself, believe in your vision and surround yourself with those who share your belief.
• If you don’t have an unshakable faith in your vision, it will be impossible to instill confidence in other players that will be needed to see your vision through.
• By surrounding yourself with others who believe in the value of your innovation, you have a built in cheering section to keep you on track. Be sure to include people in this inner circle that have “been there, done that”. Their expertise will prove invaluable.
2) Accept risk as part of your life, develop patience and an iron will to move your idea forward regardless of obstacles.
• Without risk, there is no reward. Accepting that fact is a key element in bringing your idea to fruition
• Patience also plays a key role. You will find that many obstacles will be placed in your path. Patience is your friend.
• As Napoleon Hill, the author of Think and Grow Rich so eloquently stated, “Effort only fully releases its reward until after a person refuses to quit.” Purpose, passion and a stubborn resolve to overcome all obstacles are essential.
3) Learn to sell your vision
• Moving an idea from thought to reality requires that you be able to sell your vision to others
• Funding for your enterprise hangs on your ability to do this
• Turn to your inner circle, your advisers for lack of a better description and seek out those with the expertise to teach you this vital skill
4) Be open to changing course
• As your idea moves from dream to reality, you will inevitably see new opportunities emerge. Pursue them, even though it may mean an entirely new course
5) Always strive to better your product or your service
• Do you think there would still be an Apple Corporation if it had not improved on its original idea, and taken other paths? You are on the first steps of a journey. You must constantly refine, improve and innovate to keep your dream alive. Change is its sustenance
Execution is not an easy thing. If it were, everyone would be tripping over each other on the way to the bank with the profits from their ideas. An idea is like an opinion. Everybody has ideas. The few that can take that idea and turn it into a reality, those are the few on the way to the bank, and they certainly aren’t tripping over one another.
Dipti Parmaris a digital marketing wiz who is associated with E2M Solutions. She’s been journeying through the world of digital marketing for six years and is a blogger and networker. She’s also a movie buff and loves taking long walks by the seashore. She is @dipTparmar on Twitter.