It’s not stuffing up your branding or missing out on the world’s best domain name, the biggest mistake you can make is simply not starting at all.
I have to be honest: there is one thing in life that makes my blood absolutely, unequivocally, undeniably boil. And I am also afraid to admit that I find it very hard to control the emotions when it does. It starts with a flicker, turns into a fume, my stomach churns, I do a cranky eye roll followed by a swift shake of the head and then it’s all over – I am actually angry.
This thing has nothing to do with financial setbacks, staff mistakes or even my gorgeous dog vomiting in my brand new car (and yes, that happened). It actually has nothing to do with me. Instead, I get fired up when I find myself in a conversation with someone who has had a dream or idea for a long time but instead of pursuing it like a piranha with a school of fish in sight – ferociously, relentlessly, passionately – they just want to talk about it… forever.
In short, they aren’t willing to put in the hard work to bring it to life. They are a gunna.
For the record, I’m actually okay with the talking – I love to theorise and dream with people, what really irks me is when they start saying things like, “You’re so lucky, what a charmed life you have!” and that is when I fire up. Inside I want to scream out, “I have worked soooo darn hard for all of this; I have dreamed big but I have also worked big; I have fought hard and not given up when others would have and that is why I even ‘have’ at all.”
there are 2 types of people – the implementers and the gunnas.
In my mind, there are two types of people in this world – the implementers and the gunnas. The gunnas always say they’re gunna do this and gunna do that, but really, they never do. So no matter how good their idea is, it will always be just an idea.
If you aren’t willing to jump at an idea or even take the smallest leap of faith to make something happen, then you don’t deserve the spoils when it does.
Instead, I love implementers, those who put their butts on the line and commit. They reach inside themselves and get a little uncomfortable, they spend their savings, have some sleepless nights, work the weekends, rally some troops… they take a risk.
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.
If you’re going to dream, then get out there and do something!
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.
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. That’s one of the reasons we started running events like Kick. Start. Smart. (kss.collectivehub.com), which has already taken place in Brisbane and Sydney with the next stop, Melbourne on November 25. Events like these are crucial for motivation and empowerment when you’re on the road to brilliance.
Intentionally tie yourself to someone who will drive you hard
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.
Read how to network to your advantage:
1. 5 secrets of successful networking
2. How to network in your local community
3. Public speaking tips to make the most of networking