Last weekâ€™s article ended with the term, intellectual capital, which is an individual’s greatest asset. In order to utilize this great gift(s) it will call for the acquisition of the lost art of thinking, and a unique way of handling talent.
The Truth about Raising Capital
â€œHow to turn your ideas into goldâ€?
Part 2 of 7
In the previous issue we explored the basics of why you donâ€™t need money to make money. This week we will examine how anyone can turn their ideas into gold or their financial equivalent. However, before we begin letâ€™s establish some ground rules:
A. If you are expecting a get rich formula, forget it!
B. There is a difference between an idea and a thought.
C. Every idea will not translate into money.
Last weekâ€™s article ended with the term, intellectual capital, which is an individual’s greatest asset. In order to utilize this great gift(s) it will call for the acquisition of the lost art of thinking, and a unique way of handling talent. With regard to thinking, I am reminded of a statement by the late George Bernard Shaw; â€œI have become rich and famous by thinking a couple of hours a week, most people never think at allâ€?. What did he mean and how does this connect to the concept of turning our ideas into gold? Well, if you recall we defined assets as items which hold commercial or exchange value. An asset can be maximized by utilizing what I refer to as the 3 Dâ€™s of Talent.
1. Discover the talent
2. Develop the talent
3. Deliver the talent
In order to turn your ideas into gold, you must constantly think about your talent based on the above listed strategies. Thinking is far simpler than most of us would ever imagine, but it is not easy. Our thinking is hampered or challenged by our paradigms, or the way we see reality. The word paradigm was coined by Dr. Thomas Kuhn in his classic book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Dr. Kuhn was seeking to understand why scientists challenge new ideas so vehemently. What he realized is something that all of us face every day of our lives. The manner in which we dress, comb our hair, teach our children or practice our faith are called paradigms. The paradigm necessary to translate ideas into gold requires a way of looking at our ideas as something of value or assets for which someone would grant us money. Are you following this? If not, you will in a couple of minutes.
We will now go through a brief exercise. Take out a pen and a sheet of paper. I mean it! Get something to write down what thought flashes in your mind. Do not worry as to whether you have the finances to carry out this thought. I want you to now close your eyes for a brief second and think about a particular thing that you love to do. Next, I would like for you to write down a problem that can be solved by what you love. It doesnâ€™t matter what that problem may be. When I have conducted this exercise in seminars regionally, most people have a difficult time initially because no one has ever taught us how to think. Donâ€™t be offended, because if you will reason with me, school taught us all how to memorize and accumulate facts, but not how to use facts. This is why the statement, “Knowledge is power”, is an absolute illusion. The use of knowledge behind a definite chief aim and purpose is power. So letâ€™s revisit the exercise. My client Sharon wrote down the following:
â€œI absolutely love to work with hair and I can use this talent to fix hair care issues.”
With this example, I helped her to see that regardless to whether her pocket was bare or not, she possesses an asset or talent. As you may recall at the beginning of this article, I indicated that we would have some ground rules about the conversion process. Rule number two was, â€œThere is a difference between an idea and a thought.” What many people have are thoughts and not ideas. What separates the two is the word, “ACTION.” This the reason why I had you close your eyes, think about what you love to do, write it down and then think again about a way to help solve a problem with what you love. Anyone who actually completed this simple exercise has now accomplished more than 99% of the people on earth who only had a thought but did nothing with it. The only way a thought graduates to an idea is by actively writing it down and beginning to seek a way of delivering this value or asset to the world.
At this moment there is someone who is saying to themselves okay that was good, but I have done that, Greg, and I still have not received anything for it. Great. I want to deal with that next.
The third ground rule is, â€œNot all ideas will translate into goldâ€™. In his book, The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki, he mentions that, â€œIf all youâ€™ve done is come up with a great idea, but you canâ€™t implement it, then you have nothing. But assuming that you can implement, there are two kinds of people you can recruit. First would be a mentor, and second is a partnerâ€?. The fundamental reason why some ideas donâ€™t translate into gold is simply that while the person has developed their thought into an idea there is no one else who agrees with them that the idea is of any value. When I had the opportunity to meet Jim Cramer, host of Mad Money, he said the following when it comes to business or ideas: â€œStop holding on to a losing idea or business after you have done your due diligence and uncovered the facts that it is a loserâ€?. This doesnâ€™t mean that because no one else believes or can see your vision that you should stop. But what you must accept is that any paradigm pioneer has to have a thick skin. If you possess that special combination of persistence, faith and determination you have become an entrepreneur. However, what I share with audiences is that sometimes, if there is no market for a service or product, it is quite possible that there may not be a need for that service or product. This is why you must do your homework, and that does not require money, only the discipline to read.
As far as establishing a partner, this may be with anyone — including yourself. This is where I will depart from conventional wisdom. Most of the so-called experts and text books on this subject begin to placate the public with pipe dreams about venture capitalists, angel investors or the SBA. It is simply not necessary. When a person is â€œfine tunedâ€? as my real estate mentor, Tyrone Coull says, they are able to make a difference. As a former banker and capital acquisition coach, I have had the opportunity to literally read hundreds, if not thousands of business plans and/or investment proposals. It was during this time of my life that I created this concept of how to partner with yourself. What it includes is this: Say you are not only broke, but you are so broke that you resemble a Chris Rock joke about; â€œbeing so broke that nobody would take your cashâ€?. I hope some of you laughed. You would simply go through the process we just did together.
1. Identify the talent respecting it as an asset
2. Point out a problem or challenge that you believe it can solve
3. Without worry for money or failure write out the smallest aspect of what it can do.
This is what Sharon did:
1. She identified that she loves to work with hair.
2. She established that she can fix hair care issues (more specifically hair coloring errors).
3. She found a part time position working for a hair salon.
4. Then she wrote a simple five page booklet on it.
5. She used the computer in the library to research the names of people to fax it to.
6. She faxed a press release about her booklet.
7. She ran free ads in a local penny pincher newspaper.
8. Her ideas have been converted into gold.
You see folks; the secret to turning an idea into gold is shrinking it to fit your current circumstances, taking massive action whether you have the cash or not, and focusing on what you envision the idea to become.
Sharon partnered with herself. Initially she believed that I was her mentor. But her actual mentor was a retired salon owner who gave her advice for free. I only served as her coach.
Join us next time and learn: “How to legally print your own money”.
Greg Jones is CEO of the GJ Presents, Inc, Business Development Adviser and author of the book, The Art of Raising Capital. He can be reached at [email protected]
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