Sell your idea and beat the odds
When self-doubt happens, don't believe in it!
Whenever I start a new business to sell my idea, it seems to begin with the thought that I won’t succeed. I just can’t help it. The odds appear to be nearly 100% against me. Just like every other new entrepreneur, these thoughts try to hold me back. It’s a real downer, because they dominate my thoughts and place continual doubt in my mind. They try to derail my plans, and often they get close. It makes me want to quit before I even begin.
Sell your idea and end up winning
I found that by sticking with a plan, acknowledging these self-defeating thoughts, and taking consistent action you can win in the end. You can learn to sell your idea and succeed.
Take for example my last business. It was an online advertising platform. It took one full year of development before that first sale of $19 arrived. However, four years later I sold the business to a larger company. Whereby I took the proceeds, moved to new state, bought a house, and started a new life.
But it took a lot of corrective action and thought to get there, as I will demonstrate below.
What to do when you believe the odds are against you. A guide for anyone with an idea.
I am an entrepreneur by nature. I love to create solutions for bigger problems. Naturally, life presents many challenges. So there are endless areas to improve upon. But what do you do when you have a solution to help people, but doubt your own ideas and abilities?
If you want to sell your idea to help people, please continue reading. I will outline a process to help you succeed.
Success process for new entrepreneurs (how to sell your ideas for a profit)
As mentioned above, I am an entrepreneur at heart. But what about you. Have you ever wanted to sell your idea, and turn it into a money-making product?
There are 5 stages sell and idea and take it from a vision all the way to sales. Plus you need a mental game to keep you motivated.
This is how to do it.
Stage I: (developing the idea)
Would you be willing to you use your product right now? This is critical. If your idea was developed would you use it? How would it help you? Don’t create a product that you can’t use, or won’t use. If you do, then you're wasting time and money.
This is the best place to start. If it can solve a problem for you, then it probably can solve a problem for others. If it can’t help you, then continually tweak your idea until it is something you really want, and can use right now.
My incubation period was over 2 years. It started when I wrote an e-book. It was for sale on my website. But people came and went without buying. There was no way to focus their attention on that e-book. At that time, advertising pop-ups were barely in use.
So I thought to myself:
“wouldn’t it be great if there was an online popup service where you could instantly change the sales message”. That was the birth of the idea, and as they say - the rest is history!
Stage II: (creating the prototype)
How can you make your prototype as real as possible today? Create a usable prototype for immediate use right now. The goal is to prove that the product is as good as you think it is. If you develop it, and then find it is not worthy of your time, go back to the drawing board. Go back and re-evaluate your idea until it is that good.
However, if it is as good as you believe, start sharing it with others. Get their feedback and improvement ideas. Make sure other people like it as much as you do
The prototype I created was 100% software based. It was to be completely online. I was able to get a working prototype completed in a few months. But it took about another 10 months of improvements before it was good enough for others.
Stage III: (discover your market)
When you decide to sell your idea, who is the ideal buyer that you will sell to? Since your prototype is good enough for you and others, it’s time to define who these people are. You will need to learn how to find them.
This is where you develop what is called an avatar. It’s a model of your ideal client. First, make up a name for this avatar. Pick any name that will typify this group of people (like Sally The Student, or Harry The Home Mechanic).
Next, you want to figure out all of the details of this ideal person. You do that by asking questions, and answering them the best you can. If you don’t have an answer, just make it up for now. At this stage you have to assume some things about you ideal client (avatar).
- what is the age range for this person
- why do they need this product
- how does it help them
- how much would they be willing to pay
- where can you find this group of people
- are they only males, females, or both
- what are their hobbies
- why do they really need this product
For me, the group of people (my avatar) were website owners who were selling a product. Just like me, they may have written an e-book. But they were having trouble selling it on their website. I assumed that my ideal client was employed full time jobs, but worked part-time on their website. They were selling products online to supplement their income. Most importantly I knew that they didn’t have programming experience, and had little marketing experience. So the product had to address both of those needs.
Stage IV: (create the product)
It's time to create the product. You have a working prototype, and a group of people who can use it. Now it's time to develop the product for sale. For the 1st version it may be possible to create on your own. If it is over your head, it's best to get some help. If it is software related, you can find freelancers online. If it is a physical product then you will need to find contract manufactures.
I was also a programmer and I decided to build it myself. After one year of development the product went live. But it took thousands of hours of programming before it was ready to be sold.
Stage V: (create your marketing plan)
It's time to create your marketing plan. If you have a finished product that no one can find, then you won’t make any sales. Marketing is developing mass exposure of your product. This helps likely buyers (your avatar) to find it. Creating a marketing plan is laying out the steps to reach that first group of people (your avatar), and then subsequently reaching more and more of them.
The web is a wonderful place to advertise. All the big social media sites will give you relatively inexpensive exposure. But that is only half of the challenge. Because once they hear about you, you still have to be able to interest them enough to stay in contact with you. This all about creating leads (interested people), and eventually turning them into buyers. Use email lists, and regular updates and mailings about your product to help.
I started with google advertisements. Originally I set the budget to $100 a month. After I had a few sales, I raised the budget to $300 a month. My advertisement was as simple as this: “Products not selling? New service puts marketing messages on your site without any tech knowledge. Free 14 Day Trial”
How I beat those crazy odds
Now you understand the process to sell your idea. Next I want to touch upon the title of this post.
“sell your idea and beat the odds.”
In my story, it took me 1 year to make that first $19 sale. During that year I was a one man show. I did everything. I developed the idea, programmed the prototype, wrote the marketing messages, created the graphics, and improved upon the product. I had to learn at least 2 dozen new skills to make it all happen.
So how did I stay in the game even though the odds were against me? I decided from the start that this idea was important and could really help people. That was the message I practiced and kept in the forefront of mind. I practiced the thoughts I wanted to have until they became dominant in my head. I had to, because I was living off my savings account, had moved out of my apartment to cut costs, and was developing a new product that didn’t really exist before.
I had to carry this new belief in my head all the time. Without it, I would not have made it.
How it worked out
What can happen if you stay focused on your idea of helping people? You can win! It took me four years. The service delivered millions upon millions of pop-up advertisements, helping people around the world sell their products.
My story ended with a bigger success. I was able to move on and enjoy a different type of lifestyle. One that was very different than the time before I sold the business.
I mentioned I bought a new home, moved to a new state, and started a new life. I made those choices because that is what I really, really wanted. I am happy in my new place, and my future looks even brighter because of acting upon even the bigger dreams of helping people.
So it boils down to remembering this about your idea:
“my idea is important, and it really can help a lot of people, so I must get it out there”
That is what you must have in your head at all times. Because if you don’t the self-doubt will creep up. The endless delays will occur, and problems will seem bigger then then are. All of which will derail your greatest of plans, and keep you stuck!
Don't be like the millions who never even tried
The last thing that you want is for your idea to stall. You don’t want it to get stuck at the gate. If you really want to sell your idea you have to take yourself seriously. There have been millions of people before you who never developed their ideas. They have grown old, and there isn't a day they don't kick themselves for wishing that they had at least tried.
Don’t become one of them.
You can do it differently. Choose to believe in your idea right now.
Remember this and practice this thought:
“my idea is important, and it really can help a lot of people, so I must get it out there”
Choose to make a positive addition to the world. Choose to improve peoples lives with your product.
We need your product. We are waiting for you to do it.
So start today!
Mr. Self-Care Says
I used to cut the lawn for my family when I was 13. Once I got the hang of it, I wondered if the neighbors could also benefit from my service. Initially I was a bit hesitant, but I eventually approach a neighbor up the street.
I rang the bell on the front door and waited nervously. When the door opened I said "Would you like me to cut your lawn for $5". She said, "hold on". She then went inside and came back out about 3 minutes later. That was the longest 3 minutes of my life. The next thing she said shocked me, "when can you start". I couldn't believe, I had my first job
By the end of the summer I had 4 other lawn jobs, plus my own. I was rolling in $20 bucks every week.
Once I got over the fear of asking for the job, I realized that if you try, eventually you will succeed. What a great lesson for a kid of 13.