Build it and they shall come. Talk to them about it and they will help you build it better.
Turning an idea into a business opportunity takes a huge amount of effort, guts and determination.
I should know, this is the third time I am taking the leap to do this!
The start-up phase is the most exhilarating. It’s a huge rollercoaster of a ride. You’ve jumped in the carriage and as it pulls up the first incline, you know that you are about to tip over that edge at pace, screaming, excited, laughing, crying, scared. Scared by the fact that once you get going, you know there’s no stopping.
Doing it on your own isn’t half the fun, but being confident in making decisions on your own is critical.
As usual I have reached out for advice and I’ve noticed that this seemed to be split into two types of reply:
- Build it and they shall come. I know this means have faith and trust in your own ability, but it doesn’t help me to understand how I get the build right
- What do you want to be doing that for? Which usually means, ‘that sounds like a lot of effort to me, I couldn’t be bothered.’
So, this week, I have taken a different tact. I have reached out to those who I am building it for, and I have been blown away by the response. Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou to everyone who is offering help or getting involved as suddenly there is real value in what I am hearing.
People are telling me:
- What they believe will work
- What features they do or don’t want
- How they expect to be involved
- What they might also need
- How the business can help them grow
They are asking me questions, which has given me the chance to discuss the whole concept without recrimination, or criticism. I’ve moved from defending what I plan to do, to openly discussing my plans with hope and love for my idea.
It has been a cathartic experience. I was even drawn to tears when I came off the last call. Tears of relief? Tears of joy? I’m not sure. But what I am certain about is that when people share your vision it is powerfully humbling. Suddenly you know you are creating something that not only feels right to you, but you know is right for the people you want to help the most.
I have always been an advocate of asking good questions, it’s part of what I do as a good coach, right? I help people learn more about themselves. But what I was shown this week was that if you find the right questions to ask your customers you will tap into a whole new level of understanding for yourself.
So, my new mantra ‘Build it and they shall come, but ask them what they want you to build and they shall stay.’
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