What makes just the seed of an idea become a ‘good' idea and what makes a good idea become a ‘great' idea. Is it the idea itself, or is it the determination, passion and tenacity that works the transformation? There are many of us who have good ideas, and, on Thursday, I am proud to be chairing the Raymond Big Idea Start-up Challenge event, in Dubai, which has the theme of: "Dream it. Dare it. DO it!" and on that day, a finalist will be selected from hundreds of entrants.
However, it‘s not just about winning a prize, it is about maintaining the motivation and energy of the entrepreneurship journey to success. Add value! Find a niche market! Engage with the customer! Building trust and maintaining drive and commitment, are all skills that will be essential in order to succeed as an entrepreneur.
When one individual has great success with an idea, how many of you will say ‘that is so simple! Why didn't I think of that?!' The answer is that you may well have thought about it, but that is all. Entrepreneurship requires more than thought. It needs research, focus and action!
How many of you are willing to take risks, have sleepless nights and surrender some of the security that you treasure, by taking that risk? Without risk, there would be no successful businesses. No Coca Cola to quench your thirst, no Microsoft operating systems, Apple computers, Jimmy Choo shoes, or Rolex watches! All these global brands started with the idea conceived by men, or women, who were willing to take a risk when others were too easy in the security of an unexciting job to move out of their comfort zone.
True entrepreneurs know how to gather a talent that will help them realise of their dream. They make mistakes but they don't give up. They dust themselves down, learn by their mistakes and move on. Entrepreneurs have a ‘can do' attitude, will be innovative and know how to unlock both the hidden potential in themselves and in others. Invariably, they don't set out to please everyone or to be the most popular person in town. What they do want is to succeed.
They surround themselves with optimists who will encourage innovation. Those who appreciate that for every step forward there will be, at times, two steps back. But eventually, the majority of steps will be upward and onwards viz. the iPod, the iPad and the iPhone!
Entrepreneurship is sifting the small amount of gold out of many thousands of tonnes of soil, in order to obtain that which may last for many years, or forever. For within many of us there is some gold, although finding it takes hard work, tenacity and a desire to be better than the crowd. Is this you? Is this your child?
When Bill Gates left university to make a small computer that used the new BASIC programming language, about 35 years ago, on a table in the garage of his home in California — he knew the excitement of pushing technology to the limit, of that time. He had the self-motivation to lead where others would follow. He did not know that he would one day be the richest man in the world, but he did have the courage of his convictions.
We can all do more with our lives than we think we can. Often, we are held back by our own self-limiting beliefs and self-imposed barriers. It is part of our mindset and attitude. If we think we can, the chances are we can. If we think we can't, then we probably don't.
We have the world in our hands, however I am fully aware that we are sometimes restricted by our environment and financial factors and I am not minimising these potential barriers. We have to earn a living to maintain our families and our own lifestyle. But, successful entrepreneurs have families also!
And so, for the winner of the Raymond Big Idea event, I wish them every good fortune in their journey of entrepreneurship. It won't necessarily be easy for them but the satisfaction of seeing their idea grow and succeed is the most amazing feeling in the world.
The author is a BBC guest-broadcaster and Motivational Speaker. She is CEO of an international stress management and employee wellbeing consultancy based in London.
Innovation: Growing ideas
- Entrepreneurs dream it and do it!
- Everyone can do more than they think they can
- Growing an idea is growing yourself