This train is leaving the station. Are you on it?
People can tell the difference between:
you having an idea
you committing to make something happen with that idea
Talking and taking action are very different things.
Nothing wrong with telling your story, fleshing out and evolving your idea and getting feedback. However, for some (most?) people, that is the only step they take. They never take the ACTION, never make a commitment, take a risk or put a stake in the ground.
And people can tell.
It has been my experience that when you show you’re committed to giving birth to an idea, then people come out of the woodwork to help you.
Take Kindred Labs as an example. The idea for a collaborative coworking and community space focused on discourse and ideation was my original concept for the business. Only in telling my story, discussing ideas and getting feedback did I begin moving toward the model we have in place today.
When I started looking for a physical location for the coworking space I did my research, I walked neighborhoods, I talked to strangers, I looked into loan options, and I even visited several spaces “for lease” and chatted with brokers and building owners.
I was doing more than talking about my idea — I was taking the steps toward making my idea happen.
Now, obviously, my idea evolved.
This happened as a result of the conversations and experiences I had during my period of ACTION. For example, I found that many building owners wanted me to sign a terribly long lease term, pay an inordinate amount in the form of a deposit, sign over my first born child, and many other things in order to get a space.
Well, obviously that did not work out for Kindred Labs. Since I wasn’t focused on the idea of making the “coworking real estate play” that many others were doing, my idea had to evolve in order to remain viable.
Skipping over what happened between then and now, I came to the model we are currently running: a small team of problem solvers that bring clarity and a thing we call RUTHLESS SIMPLICITY to brands and businesses. We team up with creative independents to help companies clarify their purpose and then translate that into every facet of their organization.
Really, it’s a combination of business design + branding. What’s different about what we’re doing is the way we’re working with the independents and the companies — we are bringing them together to work in an extremely collaborative and mostly lean manner, all headquartered at the Kindred Labs office.
So, you see, it is still a coworking space of sorts. It’s just not open to the public.
OK, so what does this have to do with putting a stake in the ground? It seems like I’m all over the place here, right? Well, in my opinion I’m not.
The point is, I could have spent an eternity simply talking about my idea and sharing it with others.
I know, though, that ideas are worthless without amazing execution. I never stopped talking about my idea. In fact, I’m talking about it right here, right now.
What matters is that I chose a point to begin making my idea come to life. I put a stake in the ground when I signed a lease for a small office space in Ravenswood.
And then people began coming out of the woodwork to help me.
They made daylong trips to IKEA. They lugged boxes. They fed me! They helped build the furniture and arrange the office. They cleaned. They offered their expertise.
They even sent me work.
The Kindred Labs office opened in October 2014. During the first two weeks of having the space, my comrades and I set up the entire office and my client roster went from 1 to 5.
Even though I had been working as an independent since February, I did not receive this amount of support until I stated my intentions and took steps toward realizing them.
My lesson today? It’s not to quit talking about your ideas. Please, please KEEP talking about them.
The lesson is to also MOVE FORWARD on your ideas. TAKE ACTION.
Sometimes we don’t know if something is right or not. And the only way to know is to pursue it until it no longer makes sense.