Learn to Fall In and Out of Love with Ideas
Entrepreneurship demands creativity and open-mindedness. When you are creative, you have the gift of many new ideas that you can fall in love with. Not everyone has a creative personality trait.
The gift of creativity also comes with its costs. You will have too many ideas and you can’t execute everything. You have to choose the stronger ideas and weed out the bad ideas.
There is also a huge challenge in weeding out bad ideas because as entrepreneurs we fall in love with ideas. We get attached to it. But on the other hand without loving an idea, it can become insanely boring to execute it.
Entrepreneurship is hard in many ways, but one of the biggest pain points is the emotional ups and downs of having attachment with ideas. When you get a new idea, don’t get carried away with it. Don’t get emotionally attached in an unhealthy way.
Many amateur entrepreneurs fall in love with ideas overnight. Ideas are plenty and you might not be the first one in this world to think of that specific idea. The challenge is in the execution. When a new idea crosses your mind, think through the idea deeply and let the love grow over time.
Why You Should Love Your Ideas
To persevere with a strategy for years if not decades, you need to fall deeply in love with your idea. Being in love with an idea enables you do things that others wouldn’t normally do. It helps you go the extra mile that others would refuse to go and that’s a huge competitive advantage.
For example, Elon Musk has fallen in love with the idea of making every automobile in the world electric and reducing greenhouse gas emissions to a sustainable level. His love for the idea is what drives him and his team at Tesla forward. He has made his team, customers and investors fall in love with the idea as well.
What Elon Musk is doing with Tesla is difficult but not impossible. There are many well established automobile companies in the world that are far more capable than Elon Musk to build an electric car company but no one did it.
No one fell in love with an idea of building an electric car that is better than a gasoline car. Automobile companies just want to do business and make money.
Love makes humans do things that defy common sense and logic. Working 80-100 hours a week, pushing the boundaries of what’s practical and taking insane risks might look crazy to the outside world, but for an entrepreneur they are trivial things in front a grand vision.
Business for the sake of revenues and profits will always fail in front of startups that are driven by entrepreneurs madly in love with an idea.
There are exceptions, but impact and positive change cannot be created without love. There is no other way to make an impact. Love is the only way.
Break-up with Bad Ideas
Loving an idea is good, but sometimes you might fall in love with the wrong ideas. If you don’t learn to fall out of love with a bad idea, it can kill your startup and the entrepreneur in you.
Many entrepreneurs get emotionally attached to an idea and have a hard time shutting down a project even when it clearly doesn’t work anymore. Sometimes it is ok to break-up for the sake of a better future, whether it is relationships or ideas.
Startups fail because of many reasons. Market conditions change, government policies will be updated, some new technology comes that makes old technologies obsolete, and above all people might not want what you are selling. It is ok to accept failure.
Even if you are deeply in love with the idea, it is good to shut it down when logic and data tells you that you can’t make it work. Fall out of love.
Only take the risks you can afford to. Don’t end up believing that the idea will work just because you are in love with it. Do not invest money that you cannot afford to lose.
When Elon Musk started SpaceX with an investment of a $100 million dollars, he was in a capacity to lose that money and still be ok with it. He clearly knew that there was a 10% chance for SpaceX to succeed. He did not invest money that he couldn’t afford to lose.
When you grow as an entrepreneur, you develop the capability to fall in love deeply with an idea and also have the maturity to break-up with the idea when the time comes. When you do it, do it with full intensity and when you have to walk away, have no regrets.
Pain and Pleasure
It might be very tempting to be emotionally detached and just carry on business activities. Many people do business just for the sake of revenue and profits. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.
If you choose not to love your ideas, it’s your call. It’s ok just to be in business to make money for personal gain.
Think deeply about what do you want out of your work. If the goal is to support yourself financially, you need not go through the pain of an entrepreneur.
I choose to experience the pain and pleasure of falling in and out of love with ideas. I just don’t know any other way to drive myself. And the reason why I am an entrepreneur is not just for pure financial gain.
Entrepreneurship is emotionally taxing, intellectually challenging, spiritually draining and physically demanding. But without pain, there can be no pleasure. Most mature entrepreneurs understand these challenges on a sub-conscious level and they choose to go ahead with it anyway.
New entrepreneurs who get excited about an idea and think that they can become rich overnight, often have a harsh surprise waiting for them within a few months of their startup.
So make a choice. Choose based on your priorities. What are you going to do? Be an entrepreneur, business man, or choose to work for someone else?
What’s your choice?
Leave your thoughts in the comments below.