Most people start their business life’s by thinking of a new idea. I’m guilty of it. I asked my friends if they thought it would work. Thinking if enough people liked it, I’d be safe and it would take off.
From the start it meant I was focused on what other people thought instead of believing in myself and my own idea. It’s all about you, not just a good idea. For the past few years I’ve been running a tech company that helps Startups in London turn their ideas into reality. Only recently have I dramatically changed my selection process. To one that puts confidence into my work and time. More often then not I’ve work with Founders and clients that have great ideas but not the personality to carry it forward.
Every client failure feels like a failure for the whole team. Especially when we’ve worked so hard to deliver results and the client gives up in the first 2 weeks (it’s happened). So what traits do I now look for to safe guard myself you ask? – Specific ones that makes me believe, at every level, the person is the correct fit.
Recently I read a great blog about what investors look for in startup companies. In summary it was 99% about the person. Their attitude, their belief, their people skills, and the idea coming last. That got me thinking so I started reading around. More often then not people have millions of good ideas (I have at least 2 a day) but the reason they fail is because they don’t have the will, time, or correct attitude to make them work.
Idea cheating is a top killer. Thinking about a second idea whilst in the middle of the first should be a big no no. I advise my startups to focus on doing one idea to the best of their ability. Time spend thinking about a second idea means your not thinking of solutions to fix your first ideas problems. This shows cracks in commitment and not having the stamina for the long hall.
Over dependency or doing much as a Founders is another way companies end up sleeping with the fishes. Not actually doing anything in the business means you have no way to train others to take over. At the start the Founders have to put in most of the admin tasks (grafting such as emails, blogging, marketing, networking) otherwise the company will not move forward. If you have the capital to hire someone to do these things, great. If not you’ll need to roll up your sleeves and start.
Energy is an actual a big part of business, which most people aren’t aware of. Enthusiasm for a project is not always going to be there. Some days you find yourself asking yourself “what are you doing”, “why isn’t things moving faster?” and “when will things start taking off?”. Do you believe things will just automate themselves?
Building a business is extremely hard. All these things don’t come naturally and require a lot of focused energy to push through the bad times. Some founders have it as others fall at the first sign of trouble. Once again it all boils down to if your able to carry on and focus on finding solutions.
As you can see from just a few examples, the full picture is not about scoring an amazing idea but more about the persons’ ability to execute the idea. I’m always excited about hearing new ideas but I’m more existed to hear someone progress and journey to success.