Can I tell you something personal?

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The long descent
The long descent (Photo credit: VernsPics)

The other day a subscriber commented that starting a business was simple: you need to come up with a plan and then work that plan. The subscriber said he was frustrated that most people he deals with in his business just don’t get it. They aren’t prepared to put in the hard work and focus.

If you’ve been procrastinating on what to do when developing a new product or service or even new venture, it’s a sign that something is wrong. It may be that you have not done enough research. You may even not believe in your own vision. You also may not have “stretched” your ego far enough so that your plan fits into the mental picture of how you see yourself.

Coming up with something new takes you out of your comfort zone. You may have the fear of the unknown. You may never have tried something new before and because of your past efforts that did not succeed, you may be frightened that you are going to fail yet again.

Instant or overnight success is a pipe dream. Success only comes after much experimentation and hard work. It requires preparation and planning.

A lot of our personal success has to do with our own explanatory style. If you have a half-empty viewpoint, you take the blame for all your failures. From a half-full perspective, obstacles or difficulties are not seen as personal shortcomings but the result of temporary conditions that are not in your favour. A good example of an explanatory style that worked for an entrepreneur was that of James Dyson. He was the inventor of the bag-less vacuum cleaner. He made something like more than 5,000 prototypes before he settled on the one that he felt would be best for the marketplace. He didn’t see all his past attempts as failures but rather as “experiments” that led him to his ultimate goal.

It’s important to understand that if your first attempt fails, you need to try again. The Business Model Generation methodology is a tool for prototyping. It lets you try out many different ideas before committing to many resources that may be wasted. Your first prototypes or business models may fail. But this is why we prototype, says Hans Peter Bech a business adviser who says that “failing is learning”. “Our first business models are based on assumptions and guesses. As they fail, we will learn something that we incorporate in our next iteration.”

What is your deepest personal secret when it comes to starting something new? Does your stomach knot up in anxiety? Do you have the right mental attitude that enables you to become a director of your own movies?

By visualising yourself succeeding, you encourage yourself to duplicate your performance in reality. When you rewrite your script, you see yourself coming up with the right solution and avoid being trapped by feelings of defeat.

Ideas that are safer than the conventional may not lead you to a personal breakthrough. In the idea generation phase your initial ideas don’t need to be feasible or even sensible. You can rather wait for the idea development stage where you tweak or enhance your idea so that it becomes something that is more realistic and has a better chance of being commercially viable. On a personal level, the idea generation phase can be filled with anxiety unless you have trained yourself to accept the new, weird or off the wall. You need the self-confidence to know that you can make adjustments later on.

If you want to increase your ability to think creatively so you can solve problems and develop new ideas – a critical skill in this economy and the new economy – at no cost to you, then simply subscribe to Idea Accelerator and join the inner circle of business people who have rekindled their spark of excitement about business and have more confidence in their ability to come up with fresh ideas and innovative solutions to meet today’s challenges.

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