For an Entrepreneur, It's Crucial to Reject New Ideas

by Jill Foster on September 10, 2009

Entrepreneurs and openness to new ideas (or not?)
I’ve heard more than a few entrepreneurs claim that they got to where they are today by being open to new ideas — but I’m not so sure that’s the truth. The thing about most business owners is that they always have new ideas, and they have to write them down and forget about them.

(Image, I Just Had a Great Idea, by Johnny Grim, Creative Commons)

For an entrepreneur, it’s crucial to be able to say no to new ideas.

The business owner and the cycle of great ideas
I’ve come up with some absolutely amazing ideas and I bet you have, too. A website that’s guaranteed to make millions, a small business that can’t help but grow into a big one, even an opportunity that would allow you to make a living at one of your favorite hobbies.

I have a whole notebook full of these [amazing] ideas, because I’ve said ‘no’ to all of them.

If you’re a successful entrepreneur, you’re probably in the same boat.

Nature of execution and time
The problem is that each of those great ideas take time to execute — time we don’t have. If you’ve already started a business, you don’t have the time to found another one (unless you’re Hermione Granger and you have a time turner…for the entrepreneur-Harry- Potter-fans out there). Maybe eventually your business will grow to the point that you can afford to hire someone to manage it while you move on to your next great idea, but that’s something of a rarity.

After a few months as an entrepreneur
-I realized that I had to be able to say no to ideas within my business too. Because I write about tech and business topics, I’m always finding new tools that would be perfect for my business: a new bookkeeping application here, a new CRM package there. But if I was to actually use all these great tools — if I were to add all these great ideas to my business — I’d spend all of my time on learning new applications and moving my data.

It’s tough for someone used to working with the newest gadgets to admit, but it’s rarely good to make major changes to the way a business operates, just because someone has come up with a cool idea.

Great ideas vs function of growth
Having a good idea is important for a business owner, but having lots of ideas can be a problem. They aren’t bad ideas, but it’s surprisingly important to focus on that first great idea — and grow it until it’s a fully functioning business.

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Guest post by Thursday Bram. Thursday offers content marketing through Hyper Modern Consulting, as well as more traditional writing services. She blogs about the shift between freelancing and business through her personal blog Thursday Bram and can be reached at www.twitter.com/thursdayb.

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