As you approach your ideas as an entrepreneur, you’ll want to ask yourself three questions:
With each venture, are you getting closer to your true interests and potential?
Of course, statistically speaking, most ideas never happen and most new business ventures fail. When you pursue a new idea, it is impossible to know whether it will be able to attract a team and become a viable business. However, at the very least, every experience you take should move you closer to your interests. When people come to me for career advice, I profess that I have no idea what they should or shouldn’t do. However, I explain that any career move that gets them closer to their interests is a safe move to take. What you want to avoid doing is something that keeps you stationary or sets you back. A fledgling idea that is completely unrelated to your core interests is likely too risky because, if it fails, it will offer no circumstantial benefits. Whereas, if the idea is related to your passions in life, the experiential education gained in its pursuit will be valuable – whether or not the idea ultimately happens.
Can you let others own your ideas?
By sharing ownership of your idea, you can empower your team and increase their commitment. At the same time, shared ownership – and shared credit upon success – also serves as a form of non-financial compensation. When you embark on an idea, you won’t be able to afford great partners and employees unless you are able to share ownership. Ironically, if your idea is too sacred and dear to you, it may suffer as you try to motivate a team. The need for momentum in the early days of idea execution requires that you unleash control and, at times, compromise your singular vision to make room for the visions of others.
Can you be comfortable with the unconventional and mine the circumstantial?
While the conventional approach in business is to plan extensively, most entrepreneurs that I have interviewed – and even established companies that consistently innovate – take bold leaps and perform quick experiments in the pursuit of new ideas. These approaches require a willingness to mine the circumstantial opportunities that may present themselves along the way. New innovations like Twitter and others resulted from unexpected deviations in somewhat unrelated businesses. They succeeded because their leaders were comfortable going off-plan and exploring the unexpected when their gut told them to do so – even if they didn’t have a clear end in mind.
***This article is adapted from the research and writing of Scott Belsky and the Behance team. Behance runs the Behance Creative Network, the Action Method project management application, the Creative Jobs List, and develops knowledge, products, and services that help creative professionals make ideas happen.