Entrepreneurs are fascinating creatures. We see the world through totally different lenses and as a result, are able to achieve amazing outcomes and turn our ideas into reality. Entrepreneurs are the ones who change the world.
While many people have tried to explain Entrepreneurship through a set of skills I believe it is more of a mental process. If you take a look at any successful Entrepreneur, no matter how big or small, they all go through the same process when trying to turn their idea into reality. Entrepreneurship is really about smashing down barriers that prevent ideas from working in the real world.
The Three Barriers
Internal barriers are where most potential Entrepreneurs die a sudden death. Sometimes they’ll have an idea for a product or a service and then a little voice inside their head and starts saying negative things like “This will never work.” “Who the hell would buy such a stupid product?” “What makes you think you are good enough to pull this off?” And usually these people will listen to this voice and decide to kill the idea.
Entrepereneurs know how to manage their internal voices well enough to take their idea out to the world.
After you’ve taken control of your internal voice and believe in yourself and your product, then you might face external barriers. An example of an external barrier is not being able to communicate the benefit of your products and services to your target market.
So while you might believe in yourself and your products, you lack the skills to know how to market it properly. Entrepreneurs know how to tear down external barriers such as these in order to get their idea out to the world.
And last but not least, if you believe in yourself and your products and services; and you figure out how to market to potential customers; then the last barrier you are going to face is sometimes there will be something wrong with your stuff.
Stuff is the collectively technical term I use to describe an idea or a product or a service. No matter how hard you smash down the first two barriers at the end of the day if you are not making any sales then there’s probably something wrong with your stuff.
For example, I get contacted all the time from people who want my perspective on their business ideas and one of the ideas that I got contacted about was a product that was meant to revolutionise the hospitality industry because it prevented spillage when pouring from a bottle. The entrepreneur who contacted me wouldn’t tell me much about the product or his business but confidently requested that I google the name of his product to see the video advertising the product. The video was terrible and worst of all when the product was being demonstrated, I could see that the person pouring the bottle had altered the angle of his hand to prevent spillage. That created incredible doubt in my mind towards the viability of the product.
So that’s a clear example of an Entrepreneur who believed in himself and his product; had spend time, money and energy creating a marketing video; and in the end his product was off the mark.
Entrepreneurs know how to smash down all these barriers to turn their ideas into reality and the more seasoned you are as an Entrepreneur you find that when you talk about ideas you instinctively come up with potential barriers and how you can smash them down. And as you develop your entrepreneurial skills over time, you’ll find it easier to smash down the barriers through skills, knowledge and connections.
That’s why Entrepreneurship is so much more than just running a business. It’s a way of life.
AJ Kulatunga is a keynote speaker and consultant on Entrepreneurship who helps businesses develop Entrepreneurial thinking through the areas of business, motivation and leadership.
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