Idea vs Opportunity

You know that feeling you get when you hit upon the most blindingly brilliant idea?

The tingling, the little bursts of fizzing excitement, the feeling you can hardly contain in your body so you must let it out and share it with someone…There’s no better feeling for an entrepreneur, is there?

But then your brain kicks into action and the cogs of doubt start turning. Is it really that good? How come no-one else has done it before? Could I really do it? Should I really do it?

There are a lot of questions you can ask yourself to find the answers…in fact, I have a whole framework of questions I use to decide whether to bring an idea to life these days. The very first one however is the most crucial one and it’s this:

Is this just an idea or is it also an opportunity?

And for commercial ventures, there lies the crucial distinction – and the reason why some ideas fly high and others sink to the depths of nothing-ness.

Of course most peoples’ initial instinct is to define an opportunity as something purely commercial or financial: Is there a market for this? Can this make money?

The truth is that you can define the “opportunity” as you want to; it doesn’t have to be a purely financial or commercial opportunity.

Perhaps the opportunity is more emotional – an opportunity to express or share something you’ve been wanting to or needing to. Maybe it’s an opportunity to do just what you want, for a change, instead of what you should.

In determining this, you not only re-define your criteria for success, you also get to define the currency.

The important thing is that YOU define what that opportunity means to you and whether the benefit of taking it is going to be greater than the cost of it – in whatever currency you’re using.

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