Tools of the trade to build something great.

Ideas: You can. You should. But will you?

Ideas are a dime a dozen. The execution of them, however, is like finding a diamond in the rough.

There is no shortage of ideas in the marketplace today. Some are good, most are bad. I’ve had 10 times as many bad ideas as I’ve had good ideas. That’s not the point is it? Using basic economics, the more bad ideas I have the more likely I am to have really good idea. The point is not running out of ideas, but failing to execute on the good ones.

Today’s startup ecosystem has exploded. Since the 21st century began in 2000, despite the internet bubble busting for many companies, there has been a renewed hope in becoming an entrepreneur. The barriers to entry have significantly decreased and our ability to scale the walls has greatly improved.

Despite the hopeful outlook over these last 16 years, the same age-old problems exist for entrepreneurs and aspiring startup founders: failure to execute!

“the same age-old problems exist for entrepreneurs and aspiring startup founders: failure to execute!”

The challenge goes beyond being able to convince an investor, find a CTO, or nail your product’s MVP. It goes much deeper. It comes from deep within the soul of the entrepreneur: want to.

It’s not can you execute; of course you can. You have the ability and more than enough resources today.

It’s not should you execute; of course you should. You were picked for this moment and time and this idea. Don’t question the philosophy of you and this idea. You should.

It’s will you. To which no one can say “of course you will”. This is the one factor that honestly brings an “I don’t know” response. You can. You should. But will you execute?

I’ve been watching the 2016 Rio Olympics with my family these last few days. My favorite events are men’s 100 M races. Of course the world seems to have an addiction to Usain Bolt because he’s the top pick to win. And, he did win. Again. But what I found interesting was the American runner Justin Gatlin. He actually led the first half of the 100 M race against Usain Bolt. Usain quickly took the lead and the win. I wanted Justin Gatlin to win because I’m a sucker for the underdog. In my losing attitude, I was a little upset at Usain Bolt and his obsession for posing for cameras and gloating in his success. But in reality, Usain is the fair winner. However, from the stand point of being an entrepreneur, all the runners are winners. Know why? They showed up. They ran. They finished.

“from the stand point of being an entrepreneur, all the runners are winners. Know why? They showed up. They ran. They finished.”

Even the slowest runner finished. Showing up is half the fight. But finishing is the toughest part. Finishing while knowing you may not win. Taking a chance and running anyway. If these runners would have said, “I know Usain Bolt is going to win so what’s the point?” then they’ve already lost. Truth is no one knew who would win. And if no one shows up but Usain Bolt, not even he wins. Usain Bolt needs other runners in order to beat them and be #1.

As cliche as it sounds, winning isn’t everything; but trying is. A lot of startups today have their eyes focused only on winning. That’s great. You want to be the next Uber? Go ahead. You want to outpace Facebook? Do it. You want to smash Apple? Go for it. How about simply focus on launching? Simply start. Try. And then keep trying. Learn to execute and do something with your idea.

You’ll never outsmart or outpace anyone if you don’t first learn to get past your biggest barrier ever: YOU. You are why you don’t try. You are why you’re afraid. You are why you’re discouraged. You are why you can’t. You are why you don’t. You are why you won’t. Every Olympic athlete will tell you the biggest test they’ve had is not competition, or beating records or learning to win. Rather their biggest opponent is themselves.

Conquer you. Everyone else is pie.

Take your ideas and pick just one. Then do it. You can. You should. But will you? I don’t know. But you do.

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