An Open Letter to “All Voters” from Startup Anambra.

Dear Voters,

Tomorrow, Saturday, February 23r,d 2019, we shall be making yet another history in changing the leadership of our great nation Nigeria.

We have heard stories, listened to campaign manifestos, Interacted with lots of politicians and their supporters, initiated and partook in political arguments, shared our opinions as well as displayed our choice representatives but then, tomorrow we shall exercise our right as citizens of the Giant of Africa.

While you go out to vote,
1. Do not engage in Election Violence. Do not become a political Thug. Do not become a tool. Do not be used.
2. Stay safe and make sure your surroundings/environment is safe. Stay where you can be sighted and stay off from the voting point.
3. To vote is your right, therefore shun every appearance of #VoterMoni. Before you post results online or report an incident, make sure they are true and you have shreds of evidence to back them up.
4. Vote your Conscience and allow others to do theirs. Do not be used to Induce other Voters.

STARTUP Anambra
5. As you make preparations for tomorrow’s voting, make sure you have food and food items in your store. Also, make you have bought all items that will make you move outside your voting area on the election day.
6. Get as much airtime on your phone as possible, keep your lines open and be in touch with your loved ones.
7. If you work as INEC ad-hoc staff, Wear simple clothes, Carry fewer bags and be prepared for an emergency. Also, Remain neutral throughout the process.
8. Do not engage in Ballot box Snatching, there is no duplicate copy of life. Do not trade your life on the altar of some Thousands of Naira.
9. While we wish to take Nigeria to the Next level as well as get it Working, We need to ask yourself, if these are the only options left for Nigerians.
10. Do not let ANYBODY deceive you, Vote Your Say and Make Your Vote Count.

We wish you the best of luck as we await the results in the next few days.

Congratulations and Journey mercies as you travel down to contribute your little quota to make Nigeria a better place for all of us.

From all of us at Startup Anambra, we wish you a happy weekend and successful voting.

Regards,

#NigeriaDecide2019 #StartupAnambra #2019Elections

Startup Anambra Grant Application Meetup – Ultimate Guide to TEF Application

On Saturday the 12th day of January 2019, the conveners of Startup Anambra organized a Grant Application Meetup to train members on how to successfully apply and obtain a grant from Grant owners and Grant donor agencies. The event which was held at Devamplify Hub Awka saw in attendance passionate young and emerging entrepreneurs who wish to rewrite their entrepreneurial story.

Startup Anambra Grant Application Meetup

The convener Mr Pascal Okeke who also doubled as the Mentor for the day took the participants on a tour of applying for the 2019 edition Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme. Serving as Both a mentor and convener, He taught them the nitty-gritty of funding for startups, the concept of story telling and how they can connect the dots between themselves and their businesses as well as be able to convey the right message tothe reader.

Startup Anambra Grant Application Meetup

He also created some guides to help the participants’ cum applicants successfully answer the grant application questions as well as some samples of answers from previously successful applicants.

Feel free to Download the Guide here:

Download TEF Guide Here

Other samples of answers from Previous successful entrepreneurs are also available for download using the button below.

Download

Startup Anambra Grant Application Meetup

Volunteers Urgently Needed

No organization is driven by one or two individuals but is driven by many who give willingly of their time and talents. We are no different.
I would like to take a moment to thank those who have made a positive contribution over the past two years to the success of this community as well as leverage on the same note to solicit for the new set of Volunteers who will pilot the affairs of this community for the next one year.
We have managed, piloted, as well as taken major decisions on behalf of the StartupAnambra Community and we think it will be best for us to exit the stage and allow Fresh Breed of leaders to emerge.
 
On behalf of the conveners and organizers of StartupAnambra, I wish to inform you that we have opened slots for the 2019 StartupAnambra Leaders. All you simply need to do is to submit your details as well as pick a particular category where you will diligently serve in order to make StartupAnambra a better, active, result oriented and the largest network of young entrepreneurs in the whole of Nigeria.

The Slots and Categories Includes:

1. WhatsApp group Administrators: These group will oversee our WhatsApp group engagement, activeness as well as sanity.
 
2. Campus Director(s): StartupAnambra Campus directors will pilot and direct the affairs of Startup Anambra Campus Networks (Two persons will be selected per campus) alongside other volunteers that will help them achieve our goal.
 
3. Catch Them Young Directors: These group will be in charge of our Catch them young program. from planning to execution of our mission and vision to the younger generation.
 
4. Community Managers: These people will sit at the top of all StartupAnambra activities, programs, meetups and events as well as make a strategic decision that will further make Startup Anambra community greater.
 
5. Program Directors: These group will manage and plan all Startup Anambra events, meetups, and programs and report to the Community Managers.
 
6. Virtual Learning Moderators: These group will be in charge of the Virtual Learning classes, scheduling and arranging the learning processes, accessing the discussants + resource persons as well as moderating the 1hr 30mins class every Wednesday.
 
7. Cluster Chapter Directors: Our plans to reach out to cities like Ekwulobia, Nnewi, Ihiala, Umunze, Onitsha and other Anambra mini cities will be made possible through these group. they will oversee that our Chapters in these cities are established, active and result oriented. They will plan events, meetups, and programs alongside community managers and program directors.
 
8. Media/Creative Team: This group will be made up of Creative designers, media influencers and social media experts. They will oversee the online management of the community. creating contents and driving our message across different platforms.
 
9. Product Developers: To further grow the network and accommodate us all, we will be building some open source projects. There is no limit to the number of people who will be part of this group. All you have to do is simply be good with some technologies and join the group.
 
10. Content Creators/Developers: Content is Key, these group of volunteers will be in charge of all our contents.
 
Just click Here to drop your details. Thank you in advance as you volunteer to help make our community Better.
Selection and announcement of our new set of Leaders will be done on the 13th day of January 2019 after our very first event for the Year. You can also Nominate someone for a Position.
Remember, Kofi Anan said: “If our hopes of building a better and safer world are to become more than wishful thinking, we will need the engagement of volunteers more than ever.

How to Make Your Grant Application Stand Out

With competition for grants at an all-time high, it’s important that your grant applications hit the mark every time. In fact, you should assume that every time you submit a grant, you are competing with hundreds of other organizations and/or individuals for the same money. Is it any wonder that many proposals get shelved without a second look? However, there are certain things that you, as a grant writer, can do to make your grant application stand out. Here are our top tips:

NUMBER 1: SHOW THAT YOU CARE ABOUT THE FUNDING BODY

Funding bodies can tell when organizations are looking for a cash grab. Therefore, the first question you ask, and the question that drives the initial stages of your grant application, should be, “What does the funder want?” In grant application writing, it’s vital to know what the funder cares about, their purpose, mission, and objectives. Without a full and profound understanding of why they exist and how they want to invest their money, your proposal is likely to miss the target.

NUMBER 2: MAKE THE FUNDER CARE ABOUT YOU

Once you understand what the funding body cares about, demonstrate why your organization is like-minded. Good grant application writers explain how funding their project will be mutually beneficial because it will achieve the mission objectives of both their organization and the funding body. Above all, the best way to make a funder care about what you are doing is to clearly demonstrate to them that without your program, your community suffers. Grant application writers need to show them the gaps, the issues, and the problems in the community and help them understand how their solution is one that will make a difference in solving the problem. Skillful grant writers paint a picture of a problem or a need that stirs a passionate discontent in the grant reviewer that makes them want to open their wallet and give.

NUMBER 3: SHOW THE FUNDER THE DIFFERENCE THEY COULD MAKE

Finally, tell a vivid story about how the world will be better or different because your organization received this grant. Make sure the grant application reviewer can picture it in their mind. Therefore, it must be achievable, measurable and desirable. Also, as a grant application writer, you need evaluation and assessment measurements to ensure that your goals are achieved and the reassure the funding body that you will use their money wisely.

NUMBER 4: DARE TO BE DIFFERENT

Funding Bodies receive hundreds of grant applications and you can bet that many of them offer the same kind of solutions to the same kind of problems. If you want to stand out, then think outside the square. Funders are looking for innovation. Funders prefer to try something new than to constantly fund the old. Shoe the funding body that your solution is distinct, that it’s unlike anything they have seen before.

What’s the difference between a minimum viable product and a prototype?

When you are seeking additional funding as part of a grant application ensure you present your proposition using the right term(s). Your application shouldn’t be evaluated with any other open source data, so a key attribute to a successful bid is to demonstrate you have researched, planned and prepared your project to achieve maximum success.

Frequently when I am supporting clients to shape a project or obtain equity-free grant funding I need to clarify, the difference between MVP and Prototype.

READ ALSO: Your Idea Is Worthless. This Is What Matters

A Minimum Viable Product (MVP):- What is an MVP?

An MVP is an early version of a product that contains just enough features to enable you to launch your proposition to the first group of customers. An MVP reduces wasting effort on developing features that customers do not want or work the way they want.

I recommend this initial version to be used to gather feedback which will inform you how to refine further development of the product.

A Prototype — how does this differ from a prototype?

READ ALSO: Startup Anambra Year 2018 in Retrospect

The prototyping process makes something that was previously theoretical more real.

A prototype is best described as an early sample or demonstration version of a proof of concept. It is a term used in numerous industries for physical and digital products. It can be used to demonstrate a product idea or feature, it does not have to be an entire product. Some parts of the prototype may be fully functional. Others may only appear to be working, used to illustrate ideas and how things could fit together.

The prototype approach allows for rapid development before spending significant effort developing the final version within the product itself.

Fundamentally both approaches are different, which should I use?

MVP is the ideal term if your product will be launched with a small set of fully functional features. It will be a solid foundation upon which development can continue, it will be a quality product which potentially will generate an income.

A prototype may be a single feature or just one of many which enable you to gather feedback in a controlled way. The analysis from the feedback obtained will be used to inform the product roadmap. The prototype will provide you with the means to demonstrate your proposition and is unlikely to be of a quality that could be used to generate sales.

Steps to writing successful grant applications

When reading the requirements for a grant application, it’s easy to lose hope. Skimming the never-ending financial, project and organizational demands, you find yourself questioning whether the application is even worth completing. Anxiety kicks in full throttle and you can barely think.

I’ve shared your frustrations. After writing my share of applications, I’ve narrowed down what most trusts want to 10 easy steps. If you take the time to complete these 10 steps before you begin your next application, you will have material that you can adapt again and again. The more applications you submit, the more opportunities you have to receive funding!

1. Explain the social need your organization responds to.

Even if you think it is blatantly clear (e.g. abortion, assisted suicide, homeless children, soup kitchen), your reader may not see this immediately. Write down, in one to three sentences, the specific issue you wish to address. Try not to define what you personally think or use generic phrases. Rather, use statistics and evidence which demonstrate the issue’s severity and why it must be tackled.

2. Paint a picture of the future for the reader.

Present the social need’s current trajectory. Is the problem getting worse/better/changing? What will happen if it is not addressed and things simply stay as they are? Again, using facts and statistics is important. While most Catholic organizations only describe the issue in philosophical terms (e.g. “It’s destructive to the dignity of a person.”), you must clearly define what will likely happen in the future.

3. Present your project.

In 1 to 2 sentences, explain exactly how your organization will confront the issue. Use simple sentences (no complex sentences, commas etc) that describe your high-level action plan. Again, the clearer your writing, the better the reader will understand your project. You are aiming for them to say: “Okay, I get what ___ is going to do with the money. That sounds good.”

4. Present your project plan.

Once you have told them what you will do at a high-level, explain exactly how you will do it, step-by-step. Describe all the services, tasks and deliverables that this project will produce. Think of each step like a grain of sand. Again, you may know what you plan to do, more or less, in your head, but unless you put it on paper, no one else will know, and trustees do not have time to guess. Be clear, direct and granular. Walk them through the entire process.

5. Provide cost and time estimations for the project.

Boring and tedious as this task may be, it is what divides applications into the “no” and “yes” piles. Sometimes it is best to break down the costs by phase, month and project component (i.e. staff costs, material, travel etc). You must be as clear as possible about how the money will be used over the duration of the project. Include the names of the people who will be active and their roles.

6. Make the request.

Detail how much funding you aim to secure in total, along with the specific request you are making to the trust. This is where you ask directly for the amount you wish from them. I always offer three to four tiers of possible funding (see the free workbook at the end of this post for a template).

7. Paint a vision of success.

This may seem like drudgery, but be assured it is a major factor that will influence whether you receive a “yes”. I know this because trustees continually tell me so. I recommend that you provide a table that lists the different groups of people you will help, the number of individuals in each group and the total figure. The numbers do not have to be exact. What is most important is that you visualize your impact.

8. Guarantee your sustainability.

Trustees want their money to be used wisely and for it to have a long-term impact. Include details about how your work will still reap benefits once the money has been spent. Yes, this can be tricky. You and the project’s leaders will have to devise a plan to keep moving forward.

9. Give examples of your current achievements.

You can call this ‘social proof’. Most Catholic organizations find it difficult to talk about their achievements. This, however, is one of the key blocks to successful fundraising; no one knows if these organizations create impact! Present three cases which demonstrate how you are shaping positive social change. Again, quantify and qualify this change. You will immediately be recognized as an organization which trusts say yes to.

10. Provide your mission statement and contact details.

Many organizations start with their mission statement, vision and story. I place this at the back because it is not the main factor in an application but, rather, the tipping point. If you have followed the first 9 steps correctly, this will win the trust over. Again, the description of who you are and what you do should be absolutely clear. Do not use generic terms. Include your organization’s details such as your charity number, address, trustees, management board, and contact information.

Consistency is the key to success. Once you have followed these 10 steps, you will have a template for writing grant applications that you can carry forward. You will thereby reduce the time it takes to complete applications and be able to submit one after another.

…and 2018 was Amazing

…and 2018 was Amazing

As we bid farewell to Year-2018, 2019 would be another great year full of pleasant opportunities.

From all our organized events and Hangouts to co-organized programs, meetups, masterclasses, parties, and annual gatherings. It’s all been nothing but an exciting year for us all as we conquered 2018 with collaborations, bringing forth new startups, acquiring new knowledge, pitching, winning and making memories.

StartupAnambra team wants to use this opportunity to say a bigger thank you to all our friends, members, partners, entrepreneurs and startups working from Anambra to the world, high profiled personalities from the Private and Government sector, all Tech, Startup and Social Media Communities etc who directly or indirectly added to our successful 2018.

Special thanks to the Volunteers and pilots of our community, who is no doubt has been the best strikers, midfielders, defenders, and goalie, literally speaking. On behalf of the Team Leads, I want to say Chukwu Goziere m Unu Niile!

Next year (2019) we will roll out lots of beautiful packages and programs designed to help entrepreneurs from Anambra as well as South Eastern states Grow + kick-starting of our southeast movement. We will need your contributed effort to achieve it.

2019 promises to be more exciting!
Happy New Year!

Your Idea Is Worthless. This Is What Matters

You may have a great idea, but that doesn’t make you a successful entrepreneur.

With the idea, you’re about 1% of the way there — because a successful business is only 1% idea. The other 99%?

  • Assembling a great team
  • Researching and fully understanding your market
  • Marketing better than everyone else in your market
  • Obtaining ample funding
  • Putting your company in a sustainable position
  • Getting timing right

And many other factors.

In other words: execution.

Amazing execution can make an ok idea great. A great idea with poor execution will go nowhere. If you have a great idea that you want to turn into a business, consider these things:

Don’t worry about people stealing your idea.

You could probably tell your idea to a million people, and still be safe.

The likelihood that another person would have the drive, passion, and execution to take your idea and turn it into a profitable business is extremely low.

So what about Facebook, perhaps the greatest example of a “stolen” idea there is?

Honestly, the Mark Zuckerbergs of the world are going to build highly successful businesses whether or not you share what you’re thinking with them.

In fact, I’m certain that the net benefit you can gain from talking to people about your idea is greater than any risk you might run of finding another Zuckerberg.

Using people as sounding boards to collect feedback lets you refine your idea until you achieve its best form.

Don’t react to what your competition is doing.

Rather, focus solely on making your product the best it can be. Everything else is just a distraction.

Once you’ve launched, turn that focus onto how the market is reacting to your product. When a market reacts negatively to a product, that’s when you need to make changes — not when new competition enters the market.

When we set out to introduce a new motorcycle taxi service to Bangladesh, we weren’t the first to market.

In fact, two weeks prior to Pathao’s app launch, a company called SAM (Share a Motorcycle) held a press conference announcing a very similar service to ours. It resulted in a lot of hype — people were expecting it to revolutionize the country’s transportation system — so we were pretty worried.

But poor execution on their part resulted in a disastrous launch.

Their app had tons of bugs, they didn’t have enough drivers; their first few weeks on the streets were a total mess. Of course, this opened the door for Pathao — and we executed. We ensured better service, faster delivery, readily available drivers, and created a smoothly functioning app.

We blew them out of the water.

And today, Pathao is the country’s most popular motorcycle taxi service, with over 100,000 drivers and a valuation north of $120 million — even though we weren’t first to market.

Ideas are no more than a starting point.

In fact, most startups ultimately look nothing like their initial idea.

Building a successful business requires constantly altering and improving an idea based on what you learn. There are plenty of situations in which an entrepreneur learns their product isn’t marketable — but something similar to it is. On your entrepreneurial journey, you may find that people don’t want to buy your new caffeine-packed energy drink, but they would if it were healthy.

So make it healthy — execute on that newfound knowledge.

I’m sure I wasn’t the first person to come up with the idea of creating a website offering prank phone call audio templates.

But I was one of the few people to execute it well. In fact, since launching PrankDial in 2009, I’ve watched seven different companies start similar websites — but ultimately fail. PrankDial, on the other hand, has generated more than $10 million over its lifetime.

Don’t sit around coming up with great ideas — this will prove a fruitless endeavor. Instead, consider how you can execute an idea. After all, ideas are one in a million — but proper execution can yield millions.

 

Originally Published here

Writing a great pitch deck – What you need to know.

Why is it so difficult for founders and business leaders to explain what they do? They have a great product they are passionate about but often find themselves unable to convey their message to customers, staff or investors.

Consumed by running the business day to day, they get lost in detail and cannot see the forest for the trees. Their business lacks a clear, compelling story that explains what they do and why it matters. The new CMO of a video entertainment network explained to me how debilitating the lack of a clear narrative was to his own business: “Without a clear expression of the brand that my team can get behind we get bogged down. We deliberate over every opportunity and decision because we don’t know what’s on-brand and what’s not.”

Each one of his team had their own version of what the company did and so they described the business and the products they were selling in a different way. Over the subsequent weeks, I took on the task of creating a song sheet that they could all sing from. This took the form of a simple and clear 15-page deck and it became the foundation for more detailed pitch decks, presentations, sales materials and a brand book that were created by the marketing team, all telling the same consistent story.

Having by now created dozens of decks for organizations of all shapes and sizes, I can share what I’ve learned about how to build an effective narrative for a business or brand whether the goal is to raise money, sell product or provide a north star for staff to follow.

Say what you do up front. The mistake of many decks, especially ones that are pitching a new product or business, is to not clearly explain right at the beginning what it is that they’re pitching. On the title page, right under the name you should put a simple description of what it is so the audience can place it. If you don’t do this at the start, guaranteed they’ll be puzzled and frustrated and won’t be absorbing what’s in the deck. That description might change over time as the product evolves, as was the case with Uber which started life as Uber Cab, a car service which has since become a much broader personal transportation company. But its first pitch deck said what it did right there on the title page.

Put yourself in their shoes. It’s safe to assume that pretty much nobody will care about what you’re pitching as much you do and will need some help making it relevant to their own lives. You’ve been working on your product for months and are deeply enthusiastic about how it’s going to change the world, whereas to others it’s not interesting unless you are able to give them a reason to be interested by showing how it can solve a problem that they can relate to. When working on a pitch presentation for Filmhub, a B2B global marketplace for film, I made it relevant by relating it to their own personal experience as consumers of watching movies on Netflix and Amazon.

Use an emotional hook. You’ve now told your audience what your product does and given them a way to understand why it’s relevant to them. Now you need to help them see that it’s got a higher purpose that will improve the lives of huge numbers of people. The purpose statement is important because it justifies why you are devoting your time and energy to building this product and why what you’re doing will have a positive impact. People want to make money and if you’re pitching to investors this will always be the most important thing, but they also want to have bragging rights and want to be associated with projects that have lofty goals. The question to ask yourself is what would make them want to wear a tee shirt with your company’s logo?

Write before you bullet. Your presentation should tell an engaging story that draws the audience in. While writing in bullet points is where you might end up, I always recommend first writing out the full narrative in long copy in a single flow, and only then splitting it up into slides and creating bullets to convey the important points. All too often decks are disjointed and by relying on bullets that aren’t part of a flow the presenter struggles to tell a coherent story, so losing the audience. Once I had to give a pitch in front of 400 high level VC’s. As I walked on stage the deck wouldn’t load properly on the conference organizers system. Luckily I knew the narrative so well I managed to deliver the presentation without slides and without missing a beat.

Use pictures and graphics. I spend a lot of time sourcing and creating images and graphics that tell the story. In fact, if I look at the process of creating a deck, I’d say I spend 50% of my time constructing the narrative, 30% getting the right visuals and only 20% putting them together in slides. My guess is most people spend 70% on creating the slides, which they do before anything else and then leave the story and visuals as an afterthought. A well chosen image or graphic that conveys a complex point is incredibly powerful way of making your pitch clear and engaging the audience. When choosing photographs I try and avoid Google images and instead search for really interesting images from a variety of different sources. Building graphics can be a lit of work but is totally worth it in many cases and can help you really think through what you’re trying to say.

Think of your titles as headlines. Back to my earlier point, the audience cares much less about what you’re presenting than you do, so you need to give them as much help as you can to follow your train of thought and absorb the major points of your narrative. The titles are your signposts and each one should tell the audience what you’e trying to convey in the slide so that even if they don’t pay attention to the detail they still understand the big picture of what you’re saying. For instance, rather than just saying, “Market Opportunity” maybe try “Why This is a Billion $ Company” with the points below the title supporting that assertion.

Quotes and data add credibility. Well chosen quotes from industry experts and supporting data from credible sources will help your audience believe what you’re claiming. Quotes make the presentation less dry and more like a story — but avoid cliched quotes from Einstein and the like — while a powerful data point or two from recognized research sources can be very compelling and show you’ve done your homework.

Make it presentable in 15 mins. The temptation is always to include too much, but your audience has a very limited attention span and if you’ll lose them if you can’t do it in under 15 minutes. In many cases you need to do it in less: I’ve pitched to VC’s where there was just 5 minutes to present. The trick is to put all the major points in 12–15 slides and then have backup slides with more more detail to cover any questions.

Do at least two versions. At the very least you’ll need a version for presenting in person and one that can be left behind or emailed that contains copy that can be read and understood without any other context. If you’ve written out the full narrative before building the deck, it should be pretty easy to write this version. You might need more than these two versions. Every audience is coming from a different perspective (see my earlier point about putting yourself in their shoes) and will benefit from a version of the deck tailor-made tho them. It’s vital to do some research on who you’re presenting to so you know in advance what they’re interested in.

Always be improving. As you present you’ll get feedback and questions that will help you improve your deck for the next time. Every time is a learning opportunity and I’d recommend taking notes and making changes the same or at latest the next day while it’s still fresh in your mind.

Some final thoughts: know your material back to front and rehearse; try presenting without a deck so slides don’t become a crutch; find a designer to make it really professional looking, or at the very least spend some effort sourcing a good template; and finally, consider hiring an expert to help you create the narrative and put the whole thing together.


Originally published at medium.com on November 13, 2018.

Are You An Idea Guy?

Some people have more ideas than they know what to do with. While this sounds great on the surface, having too many ideas can be something that inhibits success. The “idea guy” is someone who is on the never ending treadmill of being unable to transform ideas into successful actions.

As entrepreneurs, “idea guys” can be frustrating to work with. Most entrepreneurs have ideas, but to be successful, unless you are in a planning stage you should be executing.

I had a colleague once that everyone called “Big Plans”. He was constantly coming up with new ideas and asking for money. His ideas often never got of the ground. He was able to run a successful business but when it came time to expand — his lack of planning resulted in many half baked attempts.

“Big Plans” made about 500k a year. He had a house, a nice car, vacationed a few times a year, but it wasn’t enough. He was always insecure about his business, so he hired managers — “took himself off the ladder” — and became a full-time “idea guy”.

For the decade I knew him — he never seemed to get ahead even though he made a ton of money. The problem was he couldn’t shut his mind down. He would rather chase something new that he knew nothing about than invest more into what he did know.

Eventually he began distinguishing dream from reality. Instead of investing a few hundred grand a year in losing businesses — he began speaking of more practical things like expanding the business he was in.

Being an “idea guy” does not mean you you are an inadequate thinker. It simply means you are an undisciplined thinker. Success as an entrepreneur isn’t measured in ideas — its measured in execution. You don’t need to waste a decade learning this the hard way — harnessing your brain is easier than you think.

Steve Jobs once said “Ideas are worth nothing unless executed”.

Idea’s are not a bad thing — but if you are an “idea guy” and you want to succeed, you need to adapt. Do what ever you need to do to discipline your mind, make plans and stick to them.

If you are an “idea guy” all is not lost. It is still possible to be extremely successful.

How To Survive Being An “Idea Guy”

  • Don’t ask anyone you care about for money — ever.
  • Don’t pitch your colleagues, customers or anyone you are going to continue talking to.
  • Assume you only have one chance to ever really pitch an idea to someone.
  • Pay attention to the idea that’s actually making you money.
  • Write your ideas down — all of them.
  • Schedule a date on your calendar to revisit some of the idea’s you have written down — write down your initial reaction to your ideas. Revisit your ideas at another time and see what your reaction is like then. A good idea is always a good idea.
  • You’re ideas are valuable but probably too plentiful — people get frustrated because they do not understand your process. Be aware of this, try to only share a limited number of ideas that you’ve heavily researched!

The “idea guy” is usually the one pitching for money. When you’re a pitcher it’s very important to not sell to your close relationships constantly. They are your closest allies in business. They are the people who will lend you money for your primary business if you ever need it. If you burn out this network and people start saying “oh great, another idea” then your brand as a person is tarnished.

Business itself is a lot more like a boring math class than a creative, spiritual, existential, journey. You may love what you do — but that doesn’t mean you love the minutia.

If you want to run a business and you don’t want to fail — you need to realize the difference between a pivot and a whim. The business should largely be run based on your business plan and subsequent action plans. It sounds terribly boring because it is – but you need to plan effectively in order execute.

Creative people have always had a difficult time with the execution part of business.

Ideas are necessary but they are like opinions — everyone has at least one. Taking an idea a step forward, doing proper research, and writing a plan, not only makes you look more credible —it will help you refine your ideas into quality plans backed by research.

A well thought out and researched business plan isn’t a guess. Its not a best case scenario. It should be written with full knowledge of what lies ahead and how you are going to operate profitably. As things crop up — action plans are written to layout how a problem is going to be solved. The biggest mistake entrepreneurs make is making decisions that are crucial to the business without effective planning.

“Idea guys” are great Entrepreneurs when they are able to focus on each idea, run the numbers, and think it through. Separating ideas from ideas with merit can only be accomplished through planning and research.

Many entrepreneurs never master the art of planning. In a well run business — the plan runs the business. If you are at the center of a business with a plan — you’ve got all the ideas you need.

 

Click here to read from Source