Over the Thanksgiving holiday I had a brief discussion with one of my good friends regarding a business idea he started to develop earlier this year. His idea revolved around helping recent college and business school graduates quickly find a good job.
My friend decided to put his idea on the back burner over the summer. During our discussion I asked him why he hadn't returned to pursuing his idea, his ironic explanation,"I don't think I know enough about the subject area." I personally believe that he knows a great deal about the subject area and he comes off as being knowledgeable and helpful with his target market. I couldn't give him grief about not moving forward with his idea because I was guilty of doing the same thing with my own ideas.
Over the years I've learned two important lessons when it comes to implementing your ideas. First, don't wait to become an expert. Second, better to launch first and figure out improvements later.
Ask five different people for their definition of an expert and you're likely to get five different answers. Being an expert has more to do with how others perceive you as opposed to how much you know about a particular subject area. It isn't about having a fancy title or your degree. You can become an expert in almost any area by virtue of positioning.
Positioning is analogous with a popularity contest or brand marketing. It is rarely the smartest and most experienced person who is credited as the expert. Have you every heard of Sir Humphry Davy? He created the light bulb. Most people falsely assume that Thomas Edison created the light bulb. In fact, Edison didn't invent the light bulb, he made it practical to bring to market.
Think of ways that you can position yourself within your market and become the perceived expert. One place to start is by giving away high value information to your target market.
Does the name Clarence Duncan Chamberlin ring a bell? He was the second person after Charles Lindbergh to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. Everyone remembers Charles Lindbergh. If you are first to market, especially if it is a niche market, you are far more likely to succeed. Being first to market also allows you significant control of market share. It costs significantly more money for a company or person to usurp a market leader. If you have an opportunity to create a niche market with a unique idea or process don't wait to refine your ideas, start immediately.
"Ready, Fire, Aim!"
There is no perfect time to implement you ideas. During my own business adventure I made the classic entrepreneurial mistake of investing too much time in planning the perfect product or service but waiting too long to launch. Successful entrepreneurs embrace the concept of "Ready, Fire, Aim!" Move ahead quickly with your ideas. This isn't to suggest you move forward without any planning or thought. There are plenty of people who pursue excellent ideas in the wrong place at the wrong time. Don't be a perfecting procrastinator! If you have a good idea don't sit on it.