5 Ways to Turn Great Ideas Into Success Stories
Most great ideas start out simple, and with instant dreams of success and accolades. What does it feel like to have your ideas come to life? Before you celebrate the victory, understand that good ideas are a dime a dozen and simply having the next best idea is not enough. Whether it is your next project, interview, or business venture, take one step further to think about the ‘how’. To effectively turn your thoughts into a successful reality, it is important to understand the system necessary for execution. Follow these five steps to turn your ambitions into a great success story.
- Have a clear understanding of what you’re trying to accomplish. You should be able to explain your idea in 1-3 sentences. If you need more than a few sentences, you haven’t thought it through enough to understand it yourself. At this stage, ask yourself “what’s my bottom line?”. Think of the ‘bottom line’ in business terms as your ‘mission statement’. Every successful company has a mission statement. Forbes contributor and entrepreneur Patrick Hull says ‘an effective mission statement must be a clear, concise declaration about your business strategy” (Forbes). If things get off track, your mission statement will regain your focus, and remind you of the direction to success. Failing to understand the direction to success can be costly, as well as waste time and resources.
- You can’t do it alone. Once you fully understand your mission, figure out who needs to be involved to get it done. The right team is imperative to getting to where you want to go and getting there efficiently. CEO of 140, Jon Elvekrog, said it best stating “you succeed or fail not on the strength of your idea or your product, but on the strength of your team” (Entrepreneur.com). The right people aid in driving your passion, progress, and most importantly, the execution of your plan. The best ideas, products, or businesses, won’t succeed with the wrong team guiding it to the finish line. Don’t include anyone you think might be helpful. Instead, understand what roles are absolutely essential in achieving your goals. This will prevent the ‘too many cooks in the kitchen’ problem that can bottleneck your necessary progress.
- Figure out the details before meeting or discussing with anyone. Anticipate what questions people might have and answer them before they’re asked. Mega businessman Elon Musk believes you should ‘constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself” (QUARTZ). In order to maximize productivity, take on the role of the expert. By providing clear objectives, you give your team a reason to trust you and have confidence in your vision. At minimum, make sure you have these items finalized: deadlines, tasks, assignments, next actions, clear understanding of what the goal is, and what the finish line looks like.
- Communication is key. When the time comes to involve key players, make sure your mission and agenda are clear. The first meeting will be when you communicate the most. How prepared you are for the first meeting will set the tone for how prepared everyone else needs be for all meetings. Once you have clearly communicated your vision, it’s time to listen. Your team’s constructive criticism is key to your progress. Make sure each meeting has time allotted for feedback, Q&A and tending to your team’s perspective. Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman said he sometimes ‘[feels] like the company’s psychiatrist”, but understands that “hearing about their problems cleans out the cobwebs and keeps the organization humming’ (Business Insider)”. Even if you disagree with the feedback, your team should feel their input is valued.
- Empower your teammates. After setting your team up for success, it’s time to trust you have chosen the right people to do the job. Once a week check-ins are ideal to keep people engaged and motivated to excel in their work, but “no decision should ever wait for a meeting. If a meeting absolutely has to happen before a decision should be made, then the meeting should be scheduled immediately“ (Google CEO, Larry Page). Meetings should be used to communicate progress and strategies for next actions. How often you check in with your team will vary, but don’t wait too long because momentum can easily fade. If someone is not fulfilling their role, then re-evaluate the assignments, deadlines or the players, and adjust accordingly.
The road to turning good ideas into a reality is rocky, but if you believe in your idea enough, use these steps to create your own success plan. Think about the last time you felt motivated or passionate about something. What did you do about it? Too many people have good ideas and rely on others to push them to success. Take pride in your ideas and be your own driving force behind those ideas. Knowing what you want is the first step, but make sure you surround yourself with people who want to be a part of your journey and are ready to help you turn your dreams into a reality.