Any successful entrepreneur can tell you that starting a new business is an exciting adventure. The adventure generally begins with a dream. Dreams turn into plans and plans then feather into reality. It sounds so mundane but the process is quite dramatic, especially when the rubber begins to hit the road.
One thing is certain: no matter how much you plan, the unexpected will rear its ugly head. Handling the unexpected is easy if you maintain your composure, remind yourself of the vision you had at the onset, and then look to adapt to the new reality. Human beings have a peculiar tendency to try to make their world adapt to a crystallized vision of how they would like things to be. There is no harm in having a lofty vision, but if you get too detailed as to how that vision should translate into reality before the time is right, you will quickly become frustrated and disappointed.
Let’s say your dream is to find an effective solution to the epidemic of chronic disease in the United States. Where would you start? Well, what are your starting points? What resources do you have at your disposal? What relationships do you have that might help you plan out and implement your vision? Never start with what you don’t have or what you wish you had. Always begin with what you do have at your disposal.
The fun part begins once you’ve articulated your vision. Now you have a chance to begin to envision a strategy. What, in general terms, is your plan of attack? Let’s say that your research shows that the reactive, invasive approach found in our present medical system doesn’t seem to be making a dent in the problem, while preventive strategies show promise. In light of your findings you decide on a strategy of prevention and wellness.
The options slowly narrow as you approach the more detailed level of planning, that of developing your tactical approach to implementing your strategy. In the fields of wellness and prevention, what modalities will you emphasize? Will you focus on a particular technique, such as exercise or nutritional counseling, or will you look to develop a product or even a new delivery system or even a new distribution channel for a product that would benefit many? What systems will you use, who will do what and when does it need to be done will all be determined int this phase, and typically not a second too soon!
As you begin to implement your plans you find that that capital you’ve devoted to the project starts to come in handy. The financial capital is important, yes, but more important is the capital represented by the quality and depth of the relationships you’ve forged with your associates in the venture. When the rubber hits the road there tends to be friction. Good relationships with others, built through the previous phases of development, are the oil that prevents the mechanism from overheating and potentially exploding.
While there is much more to say on this topic, I hope that these general starting points provide you with food for thought in the ventures you are presently or that you plan to undertake!