Good ideas don’t come by every day. While there are certainly ways to generate more ideas, most people will only have three-to-four truly groundbreaking ideas in their lifetime, so it’s vital that you capitalize on them and take advantage of any potential opportunities that your ideas may present.
Related: Need a Business Idea? Here are 55
However, when you try to turn your plans from ideas to reality, it’s easy to fall into some common pitfalls that keep your ideas stuck on the drawing board.
The following are the most common traps that many would-be entrepreneurs and industry disrupters fall into. These are the reasons why good ideas die. Knowing what they are and how to overcome them is a key ingredient to succeeding in life and business.
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1. Lack of commitment
So, you’ve got a good idea and you have plenty of thoughts on how to make it come to life but there is a problem. Most people like the idea that they have, but they do not have the commitment to execute on the ideas and turn them into a reality.
If you truly have faith in what you’re pursuing, you need to be determined and committed to the cause. You must maintain the discipline it will take to execute things properly.
2. Not enough research
Once you are 100 percent committed to your idea, the next fatal mistake that many people make is that they do not take the time to properly research their business idea.
A lot of people make the mistake of underestimating how important research is to the entire process. But failing to thoroughly research how you can turn your idea into a reality is setting yourself up for failure.
Read as many books as you can. Listen to podcasts. Talk to experts. Do whatever you need to do to have a complete understanding of how to execute your idea and what you can expect.
3. Poor timing
So, you think your idea is ready for the world? Have you considered that the world might just not be quite ready for your idea?
Timing is pivotal to seeing your idea flourish to its full potential. Sometimes, great businesses experience setbacks, because they came in too early or too late to their desired market.
Analyzing your competition so that you can stay ahead of the curve is certainly important in ensuring that your idea can be as successful as possible. But so is being patient and biding your time until you are certain that the market will respond positively to your idea.
4. Lack of strategy
Recent research from the Content Marketing Institute revealed that barely half of all brands surveyed had any sort of content marketing plan.
Developing a winning marketing strategy may seem like a huge undertaking to small business owners, but it doesn't have to be. Good strategy boils down to two things: 1) effective planning, and 2) well-thought-out organization.
Planning can often be an extremely boring and tedious process, and the easiest option is simply to have the basics figured out and to wing it from there. However, if you do not have a clear, organized plan for how you are going to take your idea from concept to production, you may encounter problems that you had not expected. The result? The idea is doomed to failure.
As the old saying goes, if you fail to prepare, then prepare to fail.
But let's say that's not the case; you do have a plan of execution. Once you have developed it, you need to stay organized.
Whether you track progress and budgets with a pen and paper, Evernote or Excel, you need to track the important KPIs (key performance indicators) and stay organized with your idea.
5. Unrealistic expectations
No matter how much you believe in your idea, it’s wise to not get carried away with unrealistic expectations of overnight success or massive revenue within a few months. It’s okay to dream big, but don’t get disheartened when your idea doesn’t take off the way that you expected it to.
These things take time to develop and grow, and to expect instant success is naive and will inevitably lead to disappointment and failure.
6. Fear of failure
Finally, and most importantly, do not be afraid to fail. There is no shame in failure, and it should not be seen as something that you need to hide and be embarrassed about.
Even if your idea fails, you still did more than 99 percent of people ever will. It takes courage to pursue an idea and put your heart and soul into it, knowing fully well that it may fail, and the simple fact that you have started makes you more successful than anyone sitting on the couch waiting for “someday.”
Failure is nothing but an opportunity for you to learn and grow, and many of the greatest success stories came from the greatest “failures.” So, quash those fears. At the end of the day, the only true failure is not trying and giving it your all.
The graveyard is the richest place in the world -- not because of gold or silver buried among the dead, but because of the amazing, world-changing ideas that have died because the people who had them were not willing to execute and take risks.
Don't be among the majority who allow their ideas to die with them. Take the risk, know what traps to avoid and bring your idea to the world.