However good the idea sounds.
However many family and friends agree.
The only true validator is the market itself.
It’s stomach churning to see so many appear on Shark Tank or Dragon’s Den, who’ve invested life savings or remortgaged their homes to invest in their idea – to boldly admit they haven’t even asked the market if it wants what they’re offering.
Forgetting their business isn’t about them, they’ve sadly found the fastest way to fail.
Only Professionals win
Start with a proven approach
Focus on the process
Manage your money
Discipline your thinking
Be consistent in your execution
Play the long game
It’s bloody hard work
Because products and services are becoming ever more commoditised and automated, they’re looking for the ingredient that makes a difference.
People are buying Ethos. Your ethos, your company ethos. Your employee’s ethos.
An ethos of empowerment
Drive for results
And most of all, Humanity.
These are the things now being valued and actively sought out by clients.
As I returned from shopping on Saturday, I got out of the car a felt a strong surge of puzzlement.
I couldn’t make out why, but carried on unloading the car.
And then I realised.
There was an Owl hooting above me.
I looked up to see a small Tawny owl sitting high in a tree, happily calling out to affirm his territory. “At lunchtime?”.
Being nocturnal of course, all the other owls were asleep. His call was beautiful, but none of them were listening.
I laughed out loud and thought, “How many times have I done the same thing when looking for new clients…?”
If you think about sales as a client ‘conversion’ process, the implication is of a master/servant relationship, with the primary beneficiary being you.
If you think about sales as a client ‘convergence’ process, the implication is of a partnership, with both sides benefitting.
If you’re in it for the long haul, the convergence approach yields measurably better results.
Playing Video Games
All these have grown into multi billion dollar industries.
Will your part time enthusiasms become full time passions?
As the industries above show though, if you do something you love just for the sake of doing it, you never know what opportunities it could lead you to.
Because 99% of people will do nothing with them.
John says “That, is a fantastic idea, and I’m going to start using it from tomorrow!”
And never does.
Nor do the other 98 people that heard the same idea.
The 1 person, however, that it really clicks with, takes the idea and runs with it. Morphs it into something different, new and unexpected.
That person, is the one the one that comes back to you. Wants to work with you. Is eager to explore with you.
No hard sell, no psychological tactics, no persuasive wrangling.
How fun is that?
The last shop they went to, looked promising had some things that may well fit the bill.
So, off to the changing room to see how they looked.
half way through trying them on, a member of staff walked in to the changing room, said “we’re closing”, switched the lights off and walked away.
No warning, no courtesy, no smile, no interest.
If this is the face of an acceptable approach to customer service in the retail industry, is it any wonder the high street is failing?
Willingness to do, what the majority of other people will not do.
It’s that simple. And it’s not just my opinion, it’s the way things work.
If you’re an employee, it’s getting in half an hour earlier and leaving half an hour later.
If you’re a business owner, it’s walking away from a bad deal especially when you need the money.
If you’re an entrepreneur, it’s living out of a suitcase for 6 months to kick start your dream.
If you’re a consultant, it’s having your client’s best interests front and centre above your own.
But most importantly, it’s being yourself. Making visible your place of authenticity, honesty, and genuine feeling. The place where your greatest work comes from.
Sharing that with the world.
Now that really is something the majority of people will not do.