He ran a factory with his brother but it was over when the Asian imports destroyed their market. He moved cities and thought that he could trade similar products, importing them from different markets overseas. On one of these shipments, a full container load, which he had financed himself, was hit by a sudden drop in the volatile local currency. He had not taken forward cover on the currency. He was devastated.
John is not a quitter. Over the next few weeks he began to plan for his future. An image began to form in his mind. He realised that the idea that he had for a new business is what he wanted to do. He would start a small takeaway and restaurant business but keep it to a size where if things went wrong he wouldn’t be over his head.
Within a year, John had achieved a personal breakthrough. His restaurant was successful from the start and when he needed to expand it within the same here, he chose to move to slightly larger premises with more tables but still keep to his philosophy of keeping it small. This means that he has a large overflow of customers onto the pavement but none of them seem to mind. He’s done the opposite of the large chain restaurants. Go visit one of these large chain restaurant any day in the week and you can see up to 200 tables or more empty. That’s not a way to run a business.
John realised his breakthrough idea when he was soundly thrashed and bruised. But it taught him how to run a small business in this economy when others are losing their businesses and have become busted, ruined and destitute.
What is a breakthrough idea? We tend to think of a breakthrough idea as something involving new technology. But that’s not the breakthrough we’re talking about here. A breakthrough idea means for many small business owners, start-ups and entrepreneurs a personal breakthrough in their lives.
But where do these breakthrough ideas come from? Some people think it comes from a brainstorming session with flipcharts, enhanced lighting, different colours and relaxing furniture. But as one consultant says, you won’t find breakthrough ideas through typical strategic planning, executive retreats or brainstorming sessions. Breakthrough ideas come from unexpected places almost by accident or through circumstances. They always seem to involve “creative combinations”.
You’d probably be able to name these breakthrough ideas and the companies subsequently formed: a standard, mass-produced motorcar, turning a personal computer into a digital hub for consumers, renting movies through a monthly subscription service, creating a third place between office and home to enjoy high-quality coffee drinks and organising the world’s information and making it universally accessible and useful. These are some of the breakthroughs mentioned by strategy+business magazine.
The good news from the consultants is that people – not companies – create breakthrough ideas. They involve an individual working with specific challenges and finding unusual or novel ideas in unexpected places and combining them.
If you are looking for your personal breakthrough idea like John found his, go see for yourself how to achieve a breakthrough in your life. You will be happy you did. Just check out this information on the web or go here www.ideaaccelerator.co.za/books.