Obstacles to business growth: A Cautionary Tale of the Entrepreneur brimming with brilliant ideas

African American businessman falling on wet floor in office

Entrepreneurs are a special breed of business people, often characterised by their effortless ability to create brilliant ideas. But in their brilliance lies their potential downfall, as illustrated by the cautionary tale that follows of an Entrepreneur called Chris.

 

“Chris knew that he was very intelligent and many of his family, friends and colleagues agreed with his opinion. Even as a young man, he was brimming with brilliant business ideas, not just in outline but in full strategic detail. He was clear on how to launch each of those ideas and turn it into a successful business. His family, friends and colleagues predicted a rosy and profitable future for the budding entrepreneur.

 

Scroll on twenty years and Chris’s success has not materialised. He’s still scrabbling around for ways to earn enough to keep the roof over his head. Buy him a pint and he’ll share with you his latest brilliant idea for his next profitable business.”

 

So what went wrong

Imagine you’ve got £100,000 in capital to invest in your own business. One approach would be to invest this amount in just one well researched idea for which you’ve developed a step by step strategic plan. Another approach would be to invest your £100,000 equally across 20 different good ideas, each with their own strategic plan. What will happen? In the second case each idea has had an investment of only £5,000 compared with investing £100,000 in a single well researched idea. Not only has the single project received a far higher monetary investment, it will also have received a far higher investment in terms of your time and energy, and thus stands to deliver you far greater rewards. This is not the approach that Chris followed, unfortunately for him.

 

Entrepreneurs by their very nature produce many brilliant ideas

Unlike Chris, successful entrepreneurs know how to handle the temptation of getting distracted by each new possibility and chasing after it, thereby not paying attention to their main business. They know that the risk is that they can end up with many half started projects and achieve no real results. Their solution is to focus on one business at one time, establish it so it’s successful and someone else is handling the day to day running. Only as that stage is coming into close focus do they start their next business, even though they’ve had the strategic plan ready for it for some time.

So what to do with all the brilliant ideas that come to you while you’re establishing the first business?

 

One approach

Allow yourself a limited time (set an alarm if necessary) to write down the idea, visualise its full potential, plan it in outline and then put it away in a ‘future projects’ journal, a tin on a shelf, a file, whatever works for you. It’ll be quietly simmering and percolating. When you’re ready to select the next project or business to focus on, look through all the ideas and select whichever seems the most appropriate.

 

Another approach

Set up a business of developing your brilliant ideas to the point where they can be sold as a business package to other entrepreneurs for them to establish on a stand-alone or, ideally, a joint venture basis. You’ll not only profit from your ideas in the short term but also have the opportunity to see them grow into large profitable projects You’ll need to have a thorough knowledge, both theoretical and practical, of how to run a successful business before this is fully viable.

 

Whichever of the approaches works for you, what they give you is a way to capture and profit from your brilliance rather than letting it become an obstacle to your growth. Poor old Chris!

 

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