Just about everybody has a great idea from time to time. Some people run with those ideas and set out a course to make those ideas become a reality. Other ideas never get off the ground because they never move beyond the idea stage. Often the action is the biggest factor in whether or not a great idea becomes more than just an idea. For many of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs, success began with an idea. No matter what the idea was, they decided to pursue it and make it happen. A lot of people have the entrepreneurial spirit but not everyone has a great idea. So one might ask then, “Can a person really become an entrepreneur if he or she doesn’t have any good ideas?” You might think that the answer is no. After all, how can you start something great if you don’t have an idea to go with it?
Searching for a Great Idea
However, the truth is, lacking an idea is not enough to stop someone from becoming an entrepreneur. In fact, it could be that you just need a little help to get the creative juices flowing; and you might discover that you have more ideas than you think. I spoke with Rob Ryan recently, who is the founder, and former chairman and CEO of Ascend Communications. Rob currently mentors and works with entrepreneurs through his Entrepreneur America Mentors’ boot camps, located at his ranch in Montana. When I visited with Rob at his ranch we spoke about what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur and I posed the following scenario to him. “I’m an aspiring entrepreneur but I just need an idea for my business. How would you go about coaching an entrepreneur to come up with a great idea?”
Drilling for Core Competencies
Surprisingly, Rob told me that that type of scenario happens to him all the time. He said: “It sounds funny but people say I want to be an entrepreneur but I don’t have an idea.” It sounds like conundrum but Rob said he has a method that he uses to help entrepreneurs facing this challenge. Rob said he sits down with them and starts to ask them some questions. He asks them what they are really good at, as well as what they are passionate about? Rob said he is trying to drill down to the individual’s core competencies. He said once a person has some core competencies identified then he or she can start to use those “as the ingredients to figure out their idea.”
Ideas Will Become
Rob said that when a person identifies his or her ingredients then it is time to start brainstorming ideas that are associated with and based on those ingredients, or core competencies. Rob said there are no right or wrong ideas and that they shouldn’t be ranked or judge. The only qualification in the beginning is that your ideas have to use at least one of the core competencies you have identified. Rob said “that would take me about an hour or two and we’d come up a whole host of ideas.” So there you have it. You can still become an entrepreneur even if you don’t have a great idea right from the beginning.
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