The following is from “What’s the Big Idea? How One Idea Can Change Your Business and Your Life” by Mac Anderson

You can see the second part of this series here!

There’s no one-size fits all for entrepreneurs. Some, like Jeff Bezos, get their Big Ideas for launching a business early in life. Others, like Ray Kroc, feel the pull of the entrepreneurial spirit in the prime of their lives.

Although all Big Ideas are unique, I found that there are some common denominators in turning an idea into reality. They are:

1. Be Passionate About Your Big Idea

Examine your motives for wanting to launch your business. Successful entrepreneurs don’t look first at how full their bank accounts will be if they’re able to get their new business off the ground. They want to make a difference in the world through their Big Idea’solving a common problem, offering an easier way to do things, developing a new product that fulfills an unmet niche.

Passion is the underlying thread for success. There’s no doubt about it, starting a business is a lot of hard work. It’s your passion for your Big Idea that will see you through any obstacles that will come your way.

Just look at eBay’s Pierre Omidyar, who followed his passion for computer programming and saw a unique niche that could be filled on the Internet. Writing code for the launch of his online auction site while still working full-time, Pierre was focused on creating software that would benefit people, rather than solely on making money.

‘You have to really believe in what you’re doing, be passionate enough about it so that you’ll put in the hours and hard work that it takes to actually succeed,’ Pierre said.

Passion’it’s the driving force that you just can’t ignore. It’s what will make your new adventure seem more like fun, than work. It’s the difference between wanting to start a business and craving it.

‘Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.’

‘ Albert Schweitzer

2. Let Quality Differentiate Your Product or Service

Maintain the quality of your product or service. Your product or

service is your calling card…and your business reputation. Like Mary Kay, who built her business on the ‘Golden Rule,’ you should create the same type of experience for your customers that you would like to receive.

For Kemmons Wilson, his commitment to quality spawned the idea of giving families an alternative to the second-rate motels prevalent during the early 1950s. That alternative standardized amenities travelers now take for granted and differentiated the Holiday Inn motel chain in the travel industry.

With all of the competing interests and expenses a start-up company faces, there may be a temptation to lessen the quality of your product in order to cut costs, but it is your relationship with your customers that will suffer. And that’s a relationship that all entrepreneurs cannot afford to damage or take lightly.

3. Select Your Company Name Carefully

Your company name is your identity, so choose it carefully to best communicate your mission and your brand. From Spanx creator Sara Blakely to Jeff Bezos selecting rather than Cadabra Inc., successful entrepreneurs know that capturing customer attention is a key first step to launching your business.

So take the time to brainstorm and try on the sight, sound and connotations of various names. Choose a name that’s short, memorable, has a positive feel to it and as much as possible, one that captures what your business does. Think about how your business name will look on your business logo and if people will remember how to spell it when searching for your website. Be sure to check with the United States Patent and Trademark Office and domain registers to see if your suggested name is available to do business under.

Let your company name make a great first impression for your new business.

4. Believe In Yourself

As you begin to put your Big Idea into action, there won’t be a shortage of naysayers who may think your idea has no merit. To create a business where there was none before, you have to steadfastly believe in the benefits your business idea will bring to others.

In each of the success stories listed in this book, the entrepreneur listened to what others around them had to say, but believed that what each of them felt in his or her gut was right…and then acted on it.

Cookie connoisseur Debbi Fields is a great example of following through on instincts. Everyone around her told her the cookie business would not be a success, even as they devoured her chewy delights. But she knew in her heart that she was on to a great idea…and more importantly, followed through on that idea.

Entrepreneurs see opportunity where others do not. Listen to the concerns of others. (They may have thought of something you haven’t.) But, trust your own judgment and believe in your own idea. If you don’t, who will?

‘Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.’

‘ Mary Kay Ash

5. Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

Entrepreneurial is another word for risk. But for successful entrepreneurs, starting a business is a calculated risk, one they investigate thoroughly before taking the leap. It is that leap which differentiates entrepreneurs from would-be business owners. Every entrepreneur with a Big Idea has some trepidation about leaving the security of a salaried income.

Starbucks’ Howard Schultz took a huge pay cut to get his ‘feet wet’ initially as Starbucks’ head of marketing. But, he really stepped out of his comfort zone in launching his own company, betting that Americans would enjoy espresso served right in stores, as he had during his trip to Italy. He knew that making the decision was a milestone moment’one that would affect the rest of his life, and that of his young family. He also knew that he had to try.

The fear of regret is a powerful motivator for moving beyond any qualms…and taking action. Those with an entrepreneurial spirit don’t want to look back on their lives and regret not stepping out of their comfort zones, missing the opportunities that could have changed the course of their lives for the better.

You can see the next part, Ten Tips for Success – Part 2, here!

If you’d like more lessons on leadership, purchase “What’s the Big Idea? How One Idea Can Change Your Business and Your Life” at the Inspired Faith Gift Store from Beliefnet.

Reprinted by permission of Simple Truths (c) 2011. In order to protect the rights of the copyright holder, no portion of this publication may be reproduced without prior written consent. All rights reserved.

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