Since the start of the year, I’ve had tons of great ideas of what to do next in my business. But I have been so busy working with clients that I haven’t had the head space nor spare time to really think strategically.
So I took advantage of the long weekend and escaped to the Netherlands with my laptop, big sheets of paper, and lots of colourful Sharpies to spend some much needed time working ON my business.
I carefully chose a beautifully decorated Airbnb which had lots of space to spread out and was flooded by natural light. I believed that spending time in a different environment would allow the creative juices to start flowing.
Because I wouldn’t be distracted by normal life. I could stay up all night working on my business if that’s what I wanted. There would be no one there to disrupt my flow and tell me otherwise. I could make TONS of progress.
Sounds great, huh?
There was just ONE problem.
you can’t create in isolation
While having the space and time available to focus on your business can help you to be REALLY creative and productive, you’ll be wasting your time if no one wants to buy your completed masterpiece.
So often I hear entrepreneurs express a variation on this theme:
“I have this great idea that people are going to LOVE.”
My recent experience in this idyllic home-away-from-home reminded me that we are all enthusiastic about our businesses and passionate about our ideas.
We fall into the trap of believing if we build it, customers will come.
Even I had to take a step back and ask myself “Do people REALLY want this?”. I had to examine my own fears of rejection and push back against the part of me that was afraid to learn the true answer to that question.
drop the assumptions
A lot of startups miss the mark with their products or services because they’ve been created in isolation. Have you had conversations yet with your potential users to understand the challenges they face? Many entrepreneurs skip this important step because they are too excited by their idea and to create the finished product before talking to prospective customers about it.
Don’t waste your time nor money creating something that nobody wants.
The only way to find out if people truly want and need the solution that you’re offering is to ask the question of your target customer. Not your mom. Nor your best friend. And definitely not your partner.
Once you start to hear responses that let you know you’re on the right track, put together a skeleton of your idea and test it out. Gather feedback from early adopters, make changes where necessary, and then test out the next iteration. This method will allow you to slowly attract more customers. The right customers for your offering.
acknowledge the fear
It can be scary to put yourself out there. You don’t want to hear people tell you that your idea is rubbish or that they’re not interested.
Everyone experiences these fears in business. We all want business to succeed. And everyone worries at times that it’s not going to work. Myself included!
Everyone has products or services that aren’t quite right and need to be tweaked. Everyone hears news that they don’t really want to hear.
Even when business is on the up and things are going GREAT, occasionally you’ll hit a bump that knocks you off course. You’ll forget about all those great things and just focus on the one thing that is BAD. It might even ruin your day.
But don’t let it stop you.
Continue to work hard, have conversations with your customers, come up with new ideas and test them out.
let’s get clear about what you should create
In Simplicity, we’ll look in depth at your customers and how to create a product or service that they won’t want to say no to.
Learn more about this unique business accelerator and get yourself on the waitlist for the next cohort here.
Just booked this Sunday space at the new “Startup Retreat” in the Innovation Warehouse, to work one day there and meet like minded wannabe entrepreneurs.
Danielle Anderson says
Fantastic, Giorgio! Surrounding yourself with like-minded people is really helpful, especially when you are just getting started. I found that it helped me to bounce ideas around and know that others were experiencing the same highs and lows that I was going through.
Lisa McLoughlin says
Love this and going to pass on to my partner who is pondering what to create next 😉