I have been where you are now……..
The idea of the best new thing floating around in my head.
There I am. On stage at the largest product convention in the world. People are shaking hands, high fives in the office, and I’m sipping a Mai Tai on the beach in Bali watching sales analytics climbing.
It’s funny how your brain works sometimes. Its actively working to motivate you to get out there and make it happen. Yet, it rarely manifests all of the failures and hard lessons it takes to get there.
Maybe that’s just me. I’m an optimist.
The Start-Up Mindset
The problem with my mind, maybe yours as well, is that it doesn’t want to to see the blood, sweat, and tears to get on that beach in Bali. I have started a number of companies and built numerous products but I don’t ever recall daydreaming about all the little steps it will take to get me to the beach.
I didn’t daydream about the first steps.
Who daydreams about the first day you talk to strangers about your idea? Who dreams about the first prototype that looks like a homeless frog built it?
I haven’t met anyone that does that, yet.
That is the first area that we have to target in our own minds to “startup”. The easiest way, that I have found, to do this is to take one small actionable step towards that goal.
It’s a very simple concept and yet I consistently find that people don’t do it first.
I can’t tell you how many founders and aspiring founders that I have met that seriously overlook it.
“We will provide ________ on our ________ platform for $XXX.”
” We solve XYB with our fancy frog shoes by ABC. People will love it!”
I have a series of questions for any new venture idea:
“Who did you talk to?”
“What did they tell you that they need?”
“How much did they say it would be worth to them?”
Just those three questions.
The majority of new venture ideas have skipped the MOST CRITICAL part of any business.
What pain are you solving and how much is that pain reliever worth?
Not the idea in your head. The actual comments from potential customers. What did the people tell you?
The first steps to take for your new venture
Remeber the Mai Tai in Bali?
Well, that is step number 538,445. Let’s talk about the first step and the easiest way to gain momentum for your startup idea.
Go talk to the people.
That’s it. Get out there and talk to people.
It really is that easy……………..to write.
The practical application can be one of the hardest first steps you take. There are many reasons why it is so hard and each idea is different. However, they all have one thing in common.
Fear of rejection.
“What if they don’t like my idea?” “What if they don’t like me?
What if….. what if …… what if……….
It is a primal instinct for humans to need inclusion in the tribe and being rejected by the tribe reduces our chances of survival. Its a basic instinct from our evolution that tells us not to be rejected by others because we might die.
Accept that our brains are hardwired to avoid rejection.
How about a way to help you overcome that fear and charge ahead?
You’re going to be rejected. It’s going to happen many times.
Do a web search “Companies that control more than 50% of their market”
What I hoped you discovered is that most companies don’t control 50% or more of their market. Which means that they get rejected more than half the time by customers for various reasons.
So just remember, when you’re talking to people, that more than half of them won’t be receptive to your ideas.
Arming yourself with that knowledge will make it much easier for you to talk to a lot of people.
It’s completely normal that a majority of people won’t be into your idea.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE TALK TO PEOPLE ABOUT OUR IDEAS
Many things happen when we talk about our ideas with people. The most important things are the growth and evolution of the founder and the idea.
As a founder, you will need to grow with your company. Talking to the people you serve is the best way to start. You will learn what people want and need. The things that motivate them.
That knowledge will help you lead others towards your vision.
The idea will have to grow with its customer needs and wants. Talking to them about it is the best way to gain insight into their wants and needs.
You also gain confidence and support from “the tribe”. That alone will keep you going on the lonely top ramen nights.
I’ve been there.
Some pro tips to help you with the first step
Here are just a few ideas that can help you get started talking to people about your idea:
Create a short survey.
Go to events and gatherings where your product or service might be used.
Join online groups with people that might use your product or service.
You have to start someone to get to your beach. Start by talking to people.