Blindly going forward

One of the most common questions I get asked by others is “how to do you go from having a great idea, to actually making it happen?”

No one knows beforehand how to do something that has never been done.

I began with an idea and knew very little about how to start a business, or how to go about developing a new product.  After my lightbulb moment, I called my brother who was living in Sydney at the time and told him my idea and that I was going to start a business to make it happen… I said, “do you want in on this?”, to which he replied, “yep, absolutely!”. And so the path was set for all that was to follow. Little did we know at the time the rollercoaster we’d just boarded.

Shortly after we incorporated our first Pty Ltd company and called it Vinnovate; a play on words with ‘vino’ (meaning wine) and ‘innovate’. The name for the business really personifies what it was all about for us when we started, although having said that we soon came to realise that wine innovation was only the tip of the iceberg.

One thing we found to be as true then as it is today, is that ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’. There has been many times looking back where this has applied, and it’s only through working hard, getting out and meeting people, developing relationships, and through blind perseverance that you find the way. Get out there, ask questions and get people to help you. Building your dream will become somewhat of an obsession and you’ll find that the lines between work and life become blurred. The 9-5 is no longer the way forward.

It’s not meant to be easy. Don’t for a second think that it will be easy! I have often said to people along the way that breaking out from the norm and creating your dream is the hardest thing you’ll do in your life; not physically, but mentally. Why? Because it challenges every insecurity you have in yourself. You will lose friends, you will sacrifice income and miss events, but you have to truly believe that somehow you are capable of doing the things that others can’t, don’t, or won’t. I love this quote that says, “live a few years of your life like others won’t, so you can live the rest of your life like others can’t”.

When you begin on a journey of your own, it’s essentially a process of making a list of things you need to do and ticking them off one by one until they’re done. But what’s really interesting is that as you tick things off the list, progress starts to happen, and you find yourself becoming a different person. I would absolutely say I’m not the same person today that I was before I started. You begin to attract the people, the resources and everything you need into your life to make your dream a reality.

For example, first you have your idea. You then need to think about where its value lies, and with (or for) whom. Once you know what the product/ service looks like and who needs it, then it’s easier to define how to do it. Then the real work starts – you need to register a business, create your business plan, educate yourself on your chosen topic and go to networking events etc. There is also an amazing amount of ‘how to’ information on the internet. (And I cannot stress enough this is all part of the journey you learn along the way).

Once you can define your idea and how it will work, people become interested and some will join you along the way. Some will bring support, some knowledge, some funding, and others encouragement, but it will be the fuel that you need at the time to keep moving forward.

So how do you go from having a great idea to making it happen? You start, put one foot in front of the other and you find the way. That’s why it’s called your journey!




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