All it takes to turn an idea into a business

At the BCS talk that I recently did on growing a business with profit and purpose, I asked the audience what it takes to turn an idea into a business.

“Grit”. “Determination”. “Hard work”. “Action”. I suspect that came from the entrepreneurs in the room.

“Passion”. “A why” (eugh). “Purpose”. “Courage”. I suspect that was the coaches.

“Structure”. “Long-term vision”. I guess that was the consultants chiming in.

“Luck”. Probably the only realist in the room.

Not saying any of them is (necessarily) wrong. But for me, it’s much simpler.

It’s a paying customer.

Until then it’s an idea. A hobby. Maybe a worthy one, but certainly not yet a business.

So absolutely start with purpose, with values. With a “why” if you must. But recognise that your “thing” only becomes a business when someone pays for what you’re making. Stick to your purpose and values when you have a paying customer, and *only then* do you have a purpose-led business.

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