“Ideas are easy. It’s the execution of ideas that really separates the sheep from the goats.” – Sue Grafton
We often hear that an idea can change the world. It’s true, it can. However, an idea alone does not mean anything. It’s the execution that really counts. Over the years, we have helped several startups and entrepreneurs right from the ideation phase to implementation. One thing, which we can confidently say, is without the power of execution, your ideas are as good as nothing. Our firm belief and our advice to all entrepreneurs is:
Execution is more important than Planning. Planning is more important than Ideas.
Logically, you cannot execute properly if you haven’t planned well and you cannot plan if you don’t have an idea. Although the entrepreneurial process begins with an idea, and is definitely considered the most important step but we must understand it’s just one of the steps in the overall process.
Every seminar we deliver every workshop we take or everyone we engage with has many ideas. Some of them even claim it to be a billion dollar idea before even figuring out on how to implement it. Everyone has ideas. So please don’t flatter yourself if you have an idea. It probably is the next big thing but we will never come to know unless you take the pain to execute it. Ideas do not sell, its execution does. We often find entrepreneurs have an ego about their idea alone. Well, idea alone means nothing, and having a ego at that phase is detrimental to the overall prospect of the venture.
You might be taking a bath and like Archimedes you have an Eureka moment. Excellent, so what? Do you want the world to bow down to you for coming up with that idea. Well that doesn’t really happen in the real world. If you are lazy implementing it, at the max someone else will make the effort and implement it. You have to be happy with the consolation of your idea being a success while the real fruits (read money) is enjoyed by the one who implemented it. An entrepreneur is not only an idea generator, he or she has to be the executor of the idea.
So how do you really change the world? Well, to start with when you think of an idea start developing it, understand its feasibility, imagine the way forward. Try and put the pieces of the puzzle together on how all of these will come together and make it a profitable, sustainable and value adding venture. Once you have got all the pieces, start your blue print. Work out your plan, get some research done up, look closely at your numbers, understand the strategy which would be the best fit.
If you think you are a maverick genius who doesn’t need planning and you will be able to flip your business into a profitable one just like that, I must say you are a Harry Potter with his cute wand trying “flipendo” all around. Things just do not happen, especially in today’s age where competition is fierce, the business environment is challenging, an average life span of products or services are shrinking day by day. So invest in planning, enhance your idea and put in a well-documented business plan.
Is business plan the final frontier? No it isn’t. With the business plan you do have a structure and a roadmap. But a business plan without the drive to implement it is just like those innumerable study schedule we made during board exams but never really implemented them.
A well drafted business plan paves the way to implementation. If you have a business plan just for the heck of it , and implementation runs on your whims, it’s of no use. Your business plan must be prepared keeping in mind what needs to be done in order to execute your idea.
Execution brings in its own set of challenges and learning. Every learning affects your business plan. You enhance your business plan as you go along and sometimes even tweak your idea to make its sharper. It’s the feedback process between execution, to planning, to idea, that makes your venture more refined and competitive. Flexibility and adaptability is the key skills of any entrepreneur. Well, we don’t really have a choice. If we don’t adapt we will be extinct like dinosaurs before we can even spell it.
In a nut shell each of these phases is extremely important for entrepreneurs. A successful venture needs a combination of all. So if you have an idea, stop fooling around with it, start doing something about it.