⌚ 4 min read
Maybe you had your lightbulb moment just last week and have been frantically researching ever since. Or perhaps you’ve been sitting on your idea for years, but never had the courage to go through with it (even though you know it will work!).
Whatever your case may be, it’s never too late (or too soon, for that matter) to make your dreams a reality. No matter how wildly different or comfortingly familiar your idea is there is a five step process anyone can use to go from idea to reality. Here’s what you need to do:
Step 1: Crystalize your vision
How can you get anywhere if you don’t know where you’re going? The key to making anything happen in life is visualizing that final destination and then finding the motivation to get there. The path from where you currently are to where you’re going isn’t linear and that means your vision of the future needs to be strong enough to help you navigate the highs and the lows.
Some of you might be thinking, “Well, my vision is to be successful!” And that’s great, we truly wish you all the success you're after. BUT that’s not a vision and it won’t do much to help you get anywhere.
To truly create your life and business vision, imagine the most self-actualized version of yourself, and answer the following questions with as much detail as possible:
Is your success depicted by professional accomplishments, personal joy, and/or financial freedom?
How do you feel?
In what ways is your life different?
How are you spending your time?
Dive into the specifics as much as you can and you’ll soon start seeing a clear vision of your future.
Step 2: Define your why
Why do you want the particular vision you created in step one? What’s the bigger picture you are after? This is called your “why.” It’s what motivates you on an emotional level. Whether it’s having the flexibility to spend more time with your kids or making a difference in the world, your why will spark you into action and quiet doubts.
Defining your why and finding motivation go hand-in-hand. There are two kinds of general motivating factors - those that pull us to something and those that push us from something. “To” motivation is the classic kind where you visualize what you want your business and life to become and that becomes your fire. For instance, “to” motivation could be visualizing a future where money is no object and you can provide your children with whatever they desire. On the other hand, “from” motivation means you identify things you’re currently lacking and don’t want to worry about in the future. For example, in this case, a part of your vision could be never having to worry about having enough money to buy your kids everything they need. In many cases, “from” motivation can light a bigger fire in people working towards their vision.
Step 3: Strategize
You have a vision, you found your motivation, you know your why, now it’s time to plan on how you're going to get to where you're headed. This is where we get into the nitty gritty of turning an idea into reality. It’s determining your business model, finding your niche, crafting a value proposition, creating customer personas, hitting the right chord with your marketing, and on and on. (FYI: We offer ALL of this and more in our Intro to Business course).
Having a set strategy not only actually sets up a business but also keeps you on track and focused on the right things. Commitment to your vision, persistence, and speed are key in this stage. No matter how much you love your original idea, you have to be willing to make changes based on what the market wants and what your competitors are doing. Do not become so stuck on your idea in its original form that you fail to see all the signs leading you to a revised, but better business strategy.
Step 4: Find your differentiation tactics
You can have an amazing strategy, but if it’s not helping you stand out, you’ve got nothing. The concept of differentiation is rather simple: show customers that your product or service is the best choice to fulfill their needs. Whenever making decisions, ask yourself, “Will this prove to my customers that I’m the obvious choice for them?” One way to be the obvious choice is to make your product prettier, work better, or more convenient. Read more about that here.
Step 5: Execute
To execute all of the above effectively, you must remain committed to being unwaveringly productive, striving for excellence, keeping up your entrepreneurial spark, and staying true to your values and ethics. When we have a clear sense of our core beliefs and values, it’s easier to remember our motivation for doing what we’re doing. Aligning both big and small decisions with your values ensures that you will stay on track with your purpose.
Execution is what makes or breaks you. Everything else can be lined up perfectly but if you trip up on your execution, it will all be useless. No pressure right?
Who are we kidding though? Following your dreams, starting a business, pouring 100% of yourself into something is chock-full of pressure and plain scary. But it’s also exactly why we created courses to help you work through all the emotions and business skills and strategies you’ll need. What else are you waiting for?