by Bhawna Agarwal
Over the years, I have come to believe that what truly differentiates successful businesses from unsuccessful ones is the way in which the idea behind the business has been executed. It is execution that determines the success of most of the ideas and the people behind it. While this is not to discount the value of creative and intelligent thought, it is merely to shift the focus from pressuring ourselves to experience our “eureka moment” to kick-start our business and at the right time.
It is important to accept that there is a difference between ‘having the right idea’ and ‘doing it right’. Once an idea is conceived, it is paramount to dispassionately evaluate the idea to understand if it would work. An idea, however groundbreaking or ordinary needs to be worked upon to be translated into a good business model. An idea and its execution are therefore two inseparable factors; like cause and effect. It is not possible for one to solely bank upon the conception of an idea to achieve success. It is in fact the execution of the idea that also puts the feasibility of an excellent idea to test.
Very often while I am speaking at conferences where young, aspiring entrepreneurs sometimes speak out about their wait to conceive a “unique” idea to stand out in today’s extremely crowded start-up landscape. This is something I have heard time and again, during various interactions across the country and it has always got me thinking. I always tell them the same thing: one may pick up an existing idea, which has been attempted before, however if the approach and execution of the idea is fresh and unique, one could still create an award-winning business. If you really want to attain success in your business, then you must use both—idea and execution. You can’t prioritize one and disregard the other.
An entrepreneur is not a creative genius, an entrepreneur, to me, is a passionate, pragmatic dreamer with strong business acumen. His or her skill set does not come to be tested by the idea that seeds the venture, but how he/she shows the venture the light of day. When one comes down to the exciting and challenging playing field of today’s start-up sector, one’s ideas, beliefs, aspirations and dreams will inevitably be put to test. An idea which seemed flawless on paper, may collapse with the slightest of winds of opposition and logistical mismatch. While an idea which seemed flimsy on paper, may suddenly be strengthened and blossom despite all odds. Success will ultimately boil down to how the entrepreneur turns the situation in his/ her favour with agility and confidence. And how one unfailingly manages the ambiguities of the start-up environment.
The ability to execute an idea at the right time, leveraging the right resources and turning the odds in your favour is what truly differentiates an entrepreneur. Therefore, I am a staunch believer that success does not necessarily come from a breakthrough idea but from impeccable execution. A great idea alone won’t help win a battle; It is important to also know the difference in creating a strategy and implementing it in a cutthroat environment. The strategy could be easy but, execution is hard, and often, worth it.
As Steve Jobs famously said “Ideas are worth nothing unless executed. They are just a multiplier. Execution is worth millions.”
It’s not how you start the race, it is how you finish it.