You’re at the starting block and ready to jump into entrepreneurship. Turning an idea into a business requires a lot time, effort and $$$ so just because it’s good- or even great- doesn’t mean you have to pursue it. This entry is about the power of planning to help you get at the idea that’s right for you, no matter how many twists and turns there may be in the journey.
There have been countless times in my life where I’m convinced that I was absolutely on the right path, especially when it came to turning a great idea into a business. I can say with certainty that every business I started was not what I originally planned or quite intended, whether it was NuKitchen or Wicked Start. I’m not alone—we’re not alone. And from my discussions with hundreds of entrepreneurs, changing course is often the case with the original idea and actual idea that is turned into a business. I was pleasantly reminded of this again by Karl Cronin, a participant in an amazing group of aspiring entrepreneurs who I’m mentoring through a 12 week program to launch a new business. What’s surprising but welcome from Karl is how dramatic his change in course was.
Karl, who’s residing in California, has been thinking about starting his own business for years. When he first approached me about joining the mentoring group, he wanted to design and sell really cool belt buckles and other accessories- with a western twist. Further, he shared with us designs and they were awesome so I of course encouraged his entrepreneurial dreams. Accessories, after all, comprise a huge market with a $1B + opportunity. However, over the past couple of weeks, as he was following his 10-step roadmap, it was becoming increasingly clear to Karl that while he wanted to start a business, it wasn’t about clothing accessories. As he was scoping out his original idea and thought about what he was passionate about- what he loved doing 24/7- what he had already been doing in his spare time…. was creating digital MUSIC!!!
Wow! Karl had already invested a lot time and energy in planning his accessories line. However, after Step 1, he realized that he wanted to create his own online digital “record” label- think “classical meets pop”. Why another record label? According to Karl, “The main problem the music industry is facing right now has to do with how it can produce and merchandize tangible products in a digital age. I have developed a niche following, ultimately earning a living. With the belt buckle & accessory idea, I was trying to tackle the merchandise problem directly, developing a product I could wear in my performances and sell alongside my CDs.”
The real idea here- the passion- was creating music. Karl’s time wasn’t wasted— not at all— if it wasn’t for coming up with cool accessories, he never would have come to me and discover how to turn his true passion into a business. Changing course, Karl is now planning his digital record label. He’s still an active participant in the mentoring program— but will be launching a different business. Kudos to Karl for planning and as a result, completely changing course to follow his passion.
The message is clear- believe in the power of planning your business so that you can make sure it’s the right opportunity for you. Follow your passion but plan and be flexible, even if it means changing course.