“If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old” ― Peter F. Drucker
Lately, it seems that I’ve been around entrepreneurs that see ideas as the way to success. Within minutes of congratulating them on a great concept, I ask them the gut-wrenching question, “So how are you going to make it happen?” The following 5-10 minutes make or break in whether I believe someone has the roadmap to execute this idea or not.
I know that seems a bit harsh, and I’m not saying that if they don’t answer perfectly it means that they won’t accomplish it. No, it means that for me to believe in an idea, I hope to hear about the roadmap to execution. How is it going to go from this piece of ingenuity floating around to something that can be held, interacted with, understood?
I can’t count on my hands how many weeks in a row I’ve opened up Wired, TechCrunch, or Entrepreneur only to read another article about an agency or startup that went under. The founder blew through cash like a hurricane, client experience was horrific, the product wasn’t up to expectations, or a hundred other reasons typically follow.
There’s a reason so many of us have heard of Theranos, HomeJoy, Zenefits, Quirky, and so many others.
This principle of execution isn’t just applicable to major leadership teams and companies with funding.
It applies to all of us. From the little guys like myself to the big fish who are messing around just a bit too much. We all have to pay attention to the details, take the time to make better decisions, and hire correctly. Every single step matters, and if someone tells you it doesn’t… stop listening to them.
In order to create something amazing, you’re going to need to do the following.
Spoiler alert: It takes quite a bit more than the two quick pieces I’m writing below, but this is a good start.
1. Do the nitty-gritty.
The day to day work that will make you pull your hair out? Yep, that’s going to happen. It’s going to happen…all the time. So best prepare now. Learning to meditate, calmly handle tough situations, and increase the patience you have for yourself + your future teammates is key. There’s going to be thousands of hours spent doing work that might seem as if it has no immediate reward…and that’s where the beauty is. The reward is often unseen but makes its entrance at the perfect time. That perfect time usually being right when you’re about to throw down everything and walk away.
2. Get used to failure.
“Failure comes so much quicker than success.” We’ve heard it played out of every Gary Vaynerchuck video and motivational speech in the last decade, but the truth is…they’re right. The chances are high that you’ll lose a prized client, deliver a product that gets failing reviews, hire the wrong person, say the wrong thing at a conference, (insert thousand other small failures here), and you know what, if you keep your eyes forward and treat yourself + your team with patience and grace, it will get better. Much better.
Take your time, be patient, don’t always listen to the crowd…and execute.
P.S. Set some time aside and read Think Big, Act Small by Jason Jennings, it’s a gem.