If you are going to dream, then you need to get out there and do something with it. You don’t have to follow every idea – in fact that would be ridiculous, and if I had taken that stance, I’d have a mildly successful dripping wax company instead of a growing global multimedia movement. But you do need to do something with some of them.
The key to success is to do, so here are five ideas to help you get off the fence if you’re sitting rather close to the ‘gunna’ camp (as in, someone who’s ‘gunna’ pursue their dreams; you know, one of these days).
1. BREAK IT DOWN
Define your idea or dream and start to drill it down in a very practical, specific way. Ask yourself all of the tough questions, putting passion aside. Can it work? Can it make money? Is there a gap in the market? How will I fund it? What’s my timeframe for success? What hurdles are in my way? What risks do I need to take? Can I start this and hold down my existing job? What are my real options here? Is this just a pipedream, or am I genuinely willing to do what it takes to make this happen? And if I am willing, what is my strategy from today to X?
2. SHOUT IT OUT
Once you’ve mapped out your idea and asked yourself the tough questions, the next step is to sell it to people that matter. This is not just family members, although their support can be key, this is about identifying potential partners, clients, investors, distributors or producers and gauging their interest in your idea. You may need to be persistent here, and this is when you really divide the gunnas from the implementers, because a true gunna will give up after about eight setbacks. The latter will make it to at least 100. When I first came up with the idea of Collective Hub magazine, I began knocking on doors and I would have approached upwards of 500 people. The ‘nos’ were incessant in an unstable magazine industry but I 100 per cent believed in the idea and felt in my gut that it was right, so I kept going. I was willing to work very hard to get it off the ground, and I did for a few solid months, putting considerable time and resources into it. When that final ‘yes’ came, it was a bloody big one – and it felt oh so sweet. If I had given up at the 200-setback mark, there would be no Collective Hub today.
3. WRITE A CHEQUE
When you have a solid idea and have also gathered some supporters, it’s time to put your money (and resources) on the line to make it happen. It can be your own money or money you have gathered from investors, family, crowdfunding – whatever. The key is to make a financial sacrifice. Dreams become real when we open our wallets – overseas holidays shift from sheer wanderlust when we book flights; property aspirations become real when we bid at an auction. As the old adage says, ‘Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also’. If you aren’t willing to invest financially (not just with your time), this is a clear indication that you don’t believe in your idea enough to see it through when things get tough.
4. HANG OUT WITH INSPIRING PEOPLE
This is one of the most crucial steps in any budding entrepreneur’s journey to success – you have to consistently put yourself amongst clever, innovative, disruptive entrepreneurs on a similar journey to you. Courses and conferences are one of the best opportunities for this. Hear from experts, then mingle with everyone in the breaks, hearing about their mistakes and wins, sharing contacts and troubleshooting together.
5. GET ACCOUNTABLE
Intentionally tie yourself to someone who will drive you hard and keep you on course. This is one of the best gifts you can give yourself – this person will be like an annoying rock in your shoe, but they could also be the difference between you actually realising your dreams and letting them just hang around as conversation fodder for years. Whether you achieve success or not is irrelevant – I’m certainly hoping you succeed, but at the end of the day, I really just want you to have a rock-solid go at life; to get on the bus, to go somewhere, to do something, to chase that idea, to follow that dream, to aim for the stars while you have a chance.