It has to be some real world feedback.
The first step towards building out any idea you might have is to talk to your target audience, the people your idea is for and sell them the idea.
If you applied this to your business ideas, chances of starting a business that is out of tune is minimised.
It is a known fact that most ideas, products, business models never survive in their initial form when they meet real world usage. The sooner you get real world feedback, the better.
So, if you have an idea you are nursing, the first thing is to call up 10 people you consider would be your customers and sell them your idea. Do they think it is useful? How much would they be willing to pay for this? What features would they need that you have not included?
After these initial 10 conversations, sit down and review your idea – remove and add as needed.
Then go out and talk to 10 more people. Repeat.
After these initial 20 conversations, you are ready to start building. (That’s assuming the idea survives the 20 conversations)
Watching The World
Its time to start asking questions: Is this all I can become in 2016?
What grace, ability, wisdom, and capacity has God put in me that I am yet to tap into? What do I need to do to tap into it?
Its obvious to me that I need to become aggressive enough in order to work at my full capacity.
There’s that nudging deep within that you have all it takes to be better than this, bigger than this.
We can all do better, certainly! And we need to dig deep within to see it.
What practical steps and decisions will you make this year to break off your own set limit and set a new record?
I think creativity starts from “I don’t know, let’s try this”.
That’s where the problem starts from. Who in her right senses trusts the man who says “I just want to try?”
We all want it done safely, with the lowest risk levels possible. We cannot take risks on every project… That’s just too risky.
Industrialists are not in the creative business. They are in the scaling business and we need to be clear about this.
Visionaries are usually the creative ones, after they create it, industrialists move in to scale those creations into billion dollar industries. Creative fire lost.
If you will be creative and stay creative then, it seems you would have to go it alone, with a smallish operations. At some scale, creativity cannot really be entertained.
My business model is to make money everyday. That’s my drive. That’s my dream!
Ever since I was a small boy mature enough to understand the concept of money, poverty and wealth, I decided I would not be a contract-preneur getting large chunks of money once in a while. I rather wanted to make money everyday. Even if its in trickles.
I can’t go to work in a conventional company either. How on earth will I get paid only 12 times in a year? I don’t want that for myself…
At this stage, I’ll prefer to make NGN10, 000 everyday than collect a NGN1, 000, 000 pay check every month even though its obvious that collecting NGN1 million every month will make more money in the long run (NGN12 million!).
It is way easier for me to scale up my NGN10, 000 per day business into something bigger (open more business outlets, branch out into new areas, or optimise the current operations) than it is to scale up the salary.
My bulk SMS operations do not make me millions everyday as at now, but its an ‘invisible’ income stream. Just quietly making me cash while I run after bigger things. Of course, plans are now underway to scale it up into a bigger monster.
I think it sucks when a single client is responsible for over 90% of your company’s revenue. You are practically subject to their wimps, you have to do anything you can to keep them satisfied and yet they can still dump you at anytime. If you have seen the TV series “Mr Robot”, you will understand this better.
I’m convinced making money every single day from multiple sources is a goal we should all be working towards.
I am always puzzled when I ask a business person about their marketing or sales process and get blank stares in return. Some go on to respond along the lines of “print flyers/brochures/handouts/*insert other publication type here* and distribute”.
Does that approach still work?
One thing your business really needs is a sales process.
A sales process is a system. It is a repeatable series of steps that helps to map out and track interaction with prospects from their first point of engagement with your business through to a close.
A sales process will help to quickly acquire customers if done right.
Who are your prospective customers and clients? Where are they? What is your plan to get in touch with them, become acquainted and get to do business?
Your sales process also has to be constantly reviewed for effectiveness, it has to be fluid and not some rigid unbendable laws.
Watching The World
Yesterday, I pushed out a short ebook titled “Making Money in 2016”.
The book’s design will not win me any award. I wrote the book as comprehensively as I could and did some editing and then published it, inviting people to download it for free.
I have nearly 1 dozen ebooks in different draft stages that I am yet to completely review, edit and design.
I am like this because I want all of them to be perfect.
I really want it to be wow!
But it is wasting valuable time.
So, I shipped it instead. Done is better than perfect.
It was in 2010 I conceived an online space for people interested in learning how to make money online. The idea was that a newbie could join the site, interact with people who have done it before, get ideas and consult them and get started.
I dubbed the site Money Makers Wall and got started.
The project failed. I rolled with the wrong guys.
I had explained the idea to a lot of people and decided to team up with 2 other people who seemed to understand the idea, but we just couldn’t deliver. I moved on.
In 2014, after a lot of interaction with different people, I knew I needed to revisit the project, this time not even limiting it to only online businesses. All businesses welcome. One thing led to the other and I ended up with GYB: Grow Your Business.
I think often about some of the things I’m working on presently. None are new ideas… They are all things I worked on before and failed at them and then moved on.
I don’t have new ideas. I merely have gathered more wisdom since the last outing.
Every time we fail is a chance to start all over again, but each time more intelligently!
Every now and then, I ask myself: what if I didn’t shutter Money Makers Wall? What if rather than kill it off, I had tried to fix it immediately? The result would have been that those 4 years ‘wasted’ in between 2011 – 2015 when GYB started, I would certainly have struck gold with Money Makers Wall by building a very valuable business resource for people.
When you are sure you have found a project that resonates with your heart and soul. A project that seems to convey your existence to people, never give up on it. Continue to work it out, don’t go looking for new ideas, what would you need such for?
We have to learn to patiently work out our ideas and not abandon them only to revisit them 4 years later.
You don’t need a new idea. Make your existing ones work.
I’ve observed that it is absolutely important to ask the right questions.
If we are making no progress or slow progress, We have to ensure we are asking the right questions so far.
We must never assume we are on the right track, we must never assume all is well. We must diligently sort everything out.
Just like from that 2004 movie, “I, Robot” where the hologram informs the hero: “My responses are limited, you have to ask the right questions”.
I feel the same is true of the universe.
Every now and then, I come across people building answers in search of questions. Such projects eventually tanks, there’s just no way they can stay up.
Every time we have to face a new challenge, we can confidently go forward with boldness if we go in full consciousness of the “little wins” we have had before.
Every little project, every little task we have ever done equips us and makes us better.
I am drawing a parallel with King David’s story. In that legend, he took his work of shepherding so seriously that when a lion attacked his flock, he killed off the lion. He could have ran away, everyone would understand.
A bear also came calling and suffered the same fate.
The day a warrior named Goliath challenged David’s nation to a winner-takes-all fight, David (with no military training) stepped up and won the challenge.
If I could figure out and execute the smaller things, I am more than qualified to take on bigger things.
I cannot keep on chasing lions and bears forever, where’s the growth in that? Every lion and bear I had to deal with was preparing for the day a Goliath would come calling.
When Goliath knocks, I brace myself… Same faith, just different targets.
One difference between the pros and the amateur is not really skill level.
It is commitment level.
The pros are committed to doing the best they can – every time. The amateurs just want to do it well.
The pros get better because they committed to giving it their best shot every time while the amateurs never really improve due to lukewarm input.
When in doubt, add some more commitment.