I got a message from one of my new found friends the other day, Mike (the founder of IdeaWhip) recommending that I start writing about some of my experiences and lessons that I’ve
learned…wait, am learnING…while in the process of launching my 1st startup/business/dream.
Well I’ve decided to take him up on the idea as I’ll be posting these thoughts in a series entitled: “Snapshots of a Startup.” My aim is to share a “snapshot” of an experience by detailing out the situation I faced, the thoughts I had, the challenges that were present, my course of action and, finally, the reflection back on the lesson I learned. So without further adieu…let’s get started…
“People will live for a vision but they’ll die for a cause.”
One of the 1st major decisions that my partners and I faced was choosing which idea(s) to pursue. For months we brainstormed on formulating some innovative ideas and, ultimately, came up with a list. From there we worked on narrowing it down to what we thought were our very “best ideas”…you know, the BIG ONE’s.
With about 5 or so remaining, we thought it would be best to go after the top 2 or 3 under the strategy of partnering with another party on each of them so we could pursue more than one opportunity. As time progressed, all of us seemed to have a bit of uneasiness in our “gut.” It felt as if we had several things in the mix but not “the thing.”
One day, my partner’s Uncle (who is a very savvy businessman) imparted some very important advice into our lives on the topic of FOCUS. He bluntly questioned us on the logic behind our ideas and then…in a sort of defining moment…asked us the question of “What Could We Be the Best in the World At?
From there we understood that we couldn’t do everything, and to do so would be actually setting ourselves up for mediorcrity in each endeavor (aka spreading your peanut butter too thin!). As we went back to our idea lab/think tank/drawing board…we talked long and hard about some of the principles mentioned in the book Good to Great.
- What can we be the best in the world at?
- What makes the most economic sense?
- What are we passionate about?
It didn’t take long by any means to figure it all out because the answer resonated loud in each of our souls. We finally had found it…and by it, I mean our PASSION. We had lacked a focus because of our tendency to emphasize the economic opportunity of one idea over another, instead of seeking out the one that was a fit in all 3 of the categories.
The moral of the story is to discover the idea that fits with your core competencies and then run with it. If you’re not passionate about the idea/business, then chances are you won’t be great at it. Yea, it may be good…sure, you may make some money…but if you want to go for the Big Kahuna and be great at something, then you must be passionate about it. Fortunately for us, the idea that we have chosen is a solid fit for our strengths, it’s something that we are extremely passionate about, and is something that we have an edge in.
All companies (people) have vision…but few have purpose (a cause). Choose the latter and I promise you won’t regret it! Run with your vision…live for your purpose.
By Micah Davis