Search Marketing

Great Ideas Don’t Matter

broken-bulb.jpg Working with successful entrepreneurs the last few years has been an eye-opener for me. I’ve always been an idea guy, but watched as others executed on those ideas and became much more successful than I am.

Compendium is one of those amazing ideas – and now it’s a company that’s doubling in size year over year. It’s not doubling because of the idea, though. It’s doubling because Chris Baggott and Ali Sales executed on the idea.

The last year, I’ve been working harder, with the help of Chris and Ali, to hone my execution skills. I’ve always been successful at bringing ideas into a working solution – but have struggled from time to time with prioritizing. Often, I’ve been distracted by the loudest rather than the most important.

In business, you get distracted a lot. Distracted by clients that don’t pay but always expect more. Distracted by features that cost you valuable development time, but don’t grow your business. Distracted by financial issues, that blur the path to completion. Distracted by businesses who are only looking out for their welfare rather than that of your business. Distracted by employees who don’t measure up. All of these things distract from your ability to execute.

Chris and Ali bought me a terrific book upon my launch of Highbridge, How to Get Rich: One of the World’s Greatest Entrepreneurs Shares His Secrets, by Felix Dennis. It’s not the type of book you’re thinking of – it’s truly a great look into how Felix got wealthy and his observations on others. Here’s a fantastic little poem that he opens the book with:

How to Get Rich

Good fortune? The fact is
The more that you practice,
The harder you sweat,
The luckier you get.

Ideas? We’ve had ’em
Since Eve deceived Adam,
But take it from me
Execution’s the key.

The money? Just pester
a likely investor.
To get what you need
You toady to greed.

The talent? Go sign it.
But first, wine and dine it.
It’s tedious work
With a talented jerk.

Good timing? To win it
You gotta be in it.
Just never be late
To quit or cut bait.

Expansion? It’s vanity!
Profit is sanity.
Overhead begs
To walk on two legs.

The first step? Just do it
And bluff your way through it.
Remember to duck!

and Good Luck!

Great ideas don’t matter unless you’re able to execute on them. Here in Indianapolis, I can point to quite a few businesses that were (or are) bad ideas – but the company received the grants or funding based on the executives ability to execute. Hmmm… executive = execute? There’s no irony there!

In upcoming months, I will be working hard to prioritize my calendar and my work to ensure that I can maximize the growth of Highbridge. Sure – I can take dozens of $500 contracts in the next few weeks and make a good living. However, I can work harder to get $25k contracts under my belt, ensure my long-term success, and make the strategic partners I’m working with much happier.

It’s all in the execution. Great ideas don’t matter.

Douglas Karr

Douglas Karr is the founder of the Martech Zone and recognized expert on digital transformation. Doug is a Keynote and Marketing Public Speaker. He's the VP and cofounder of Highbridge, a firm specializing in assisting enterprise companies to digitally transform and maximize their technology investment utilizing Salesforce technologies. He's developed digital marketing and product strategies for Dell Technologies, GoDaddy, Salesforce, Webtrends, and SmartFOCUS. Douglas is also the author of Corporate Blogging for Dummies and co-author of The Better Business Book.

One Comment

  1. I know your pain about being the idea guy. I am very open and always willing to help, which leave me giving away valuable information/ideas that I am sure one day I will figure out how to shut up and profit from it. I have looked at this from two points.

    1. I give the ideas and like you stated they have to act on it to make it work. Most do not follow through, seems to be a struggle for a lot of people.
    2. I give an idea and dam if they do not take it and run with it only to double their sales. I have not profited formally from this but have received some nice thank you gifts and letters.

    Good post and good luck!

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