“Ideas are free. Implementation costs.”

I often refer to myself as an “idea guy” when it comes to marketing. If you ask me for advice on something, I am blessed with the ability to spit out ideas left and right – and very quickly. And there are more people like me in this world who can do the same, we call them ideators. But that is the easy part.

The hard part about having ideas is the implementation.

“Ideas are free. Implementation costs.”

Most people and organizations have great ideas, but they don’t know how or don’t want to fully implement them in the marketplace. Talk to any successful entrepreneur or business person, and they’ll tell you about countless ideas they had that never saw the light of day. I have a friend of mine who has a new business idea every time I talk to him, but he always follows up his ideas with reasons on why it will never happen, because he knows some of his ideas will cost him more than he is willing to pay. I know people who are excellent cooks, making restaurant-quality food in their homes, but won’t open a restaurant. And we can all think of at least one person who could change a product category if they took their idea and implemented it, but they won’t do it.

“Ideas are free. Implementation costs.”

Nothing worth having in this world is free. Beyond money, it’s going to cost you in terms of the “Three Fs” – Family, Friends and Free Time. It’s called sacrifice, and no one who is great accomplished anything without it.

I am an avid watcher of the television show “Shark Tank” on ABC. It is one of the few shows that I DVR and watch religiously. If you haven’t seen the show, let me set the stage for you…

Every person who comes on that show has an idea. Some are good, some are bad. I applaud each and every entrepreneur who enters the Shark Tank, because they have taken the first step that most of us are afraid to take ourselves. The one thing they all have in common is that they all have an idea. An idea for a new product or service, or an idea to enhance an existing product or service. What separates the entrepreneurs on this show is their implementation.

The investors on this show, referred to as sharks, always can be heard telling the entrepreneurs that their ideas are not companies, just products. And by saying that, the sharks are agreeing with the idea, but disagreeing with the implementation that the entrepreneur is proposing. The entrepreneur who is turned down often lacks in the area of implementation and how it will get the product to market. And when it does get to market, they don’t have the foresight to show growth and innovation.

“Ideas are free. Implementation costs.”

What ideas do you have? What new products or services do you want to create? What existing products or services can you enhance? How can you take your ideas and implement them?

Here are three tips to help you:

1. Do your homework. Some people try and pass the test without studying, and we all know what happens when we take shortcuts, right? Spend time doing the right research, so that you know your potential idea or product inside and out. There is nothing more frustrating than a good idea from a lazy person.

2. Take the leap. Just before someone jumps, they normally get a running start. Doing your homework is the  running start that will allow you to leap as far as your momentum will take you. As you leap, it’s important to remember that the best jumpers in the world start low, but increase their trajectory by propelling their feet – keep kicking.

3. Pad the ground. After you take the leap, you might fly or you might fall. If you fall, the padded ground of your supporters will be there to cheer you on as you float by. If you fall, that same padded ground of supporters will be there to soften the cushion. Those same supporters can also just hold you above their heads as you get your footing together to take the next leap.

Whatever it is you want to do, remember that you have to be equal parts IDEA and IMPLEMENTATION.

Photo courtesy: http://thenextweb.com.

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