More Than a Good Idea

Posted By Brie Austin In Category: Business , Insights

Business Failures over ten years Credit: Excerp from Illusions of Entrepreneurship: The Costly Myths that Entrepreneurs, Investors, and Policy Makers Live By

So you have a great idea for a new business? It’s innovative, new and has unlimited potential?  Great! Join the club.  Virtually everyone at some point in their life comes up with an idea for what they believe would make a great business.

Of those, only a handful actually transcend the dreaming stage and are actively pursued.  And of those, sadly, only a small percentage are successful.

Taking an idea in theory and converting it to an actual ongoing day-to-day business operation is a mighty task. Then again, if it wasn’t, everyone would do it.

Data from a special tabulation by the Bureau of the Census produced for the Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration (as shown in the book Illusions of Entrepreneurship: The Costly Myths that Entrepreneurs, Investors, and Policy Makers Live By), shows that of all the small businesses that were launched in 1992, only about twenty-nine percent (29%) were still active in 2002.

Can you be one of the 29%? If you think so, then this column is for you: the start-up entrepreneur.

But keep in mind that overnight success is a myth: even those that go from obscurity to stardom seemingly overnight, more than likely spent many years building the momentum that propelled their “overnight” success, and/or developing their insight that they eventually capitalized on.

Therefore, you not only need to have a good idea, but you need to be passionate about it — even when others don’t believe — and be prepared to invest the time and energy to lift you beyond that point where others fail: I’ve witnessed great ideas fail due to lack of conviction, while other lesser ideas were pushed over the top by pure passion to succeed.

So if you think you’ve got a great idea and all you need to do is to find someone with money to recognize its value, think again. You’re going to need to work … hard.

During the weeks to come I will present ideas, strategies — and pitfalls to avoid — as you try to build a path to success. This will include identifying the money you need, indentifying the type of investor most likely to invest, how to pitch that investor, what to offer that investor (s), and most importantly, how to assess whether your business should be for the short or long term: you have to have an exit strategy.

Stay tuned, subscribe to my column at, and in my next column we begin by identifying how to raise money for a start-up.

Originally published in and (for business info, services, and resources)


About Brie Austin

Co-author of I'd Do It Again, he is a columnist/reporter for a variety of magazines in the areas of music, lifestyle, nightlife, travel and business. He also writes business documents and creates copy for websites.

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