The Value of Great Small Business Ideas – or What are you willing to do?

istock_000005602163xsmallThere’s a harsh reality waiting for someone who is searching for great small business ideas and it is…

Great ideas are a dime a dozen – it’s implementation that is priceless.

For example, the dude in the photo may have had a great idea for an outfit for work – and he may have had the best of intentions – but because he didn’t follow through – his best intentions aren’t covering his proverbial bacon in the photo.

One of my FAVORITE people is Tom Volkar of Delightful Work– who specializes in helping people make the leap into launching their own small business.  One of the reasons I ADORE him is that it appears that one of his favorite phrases is: The Marketplace Rewards Completion.

Think about that for a moment.  Think for a moment about the  truth inherent in that statement. You can have the best business idea on the planet, but if you never complete it then you’ll never cash a check from your great idea.

I remember when I was a teen, my father had a brilliant business idea which he shared with a neighbor.  My father never acted upon the idea because, quite honestly, it wasn’t within his “sweet spot”.   My father was very busy running one of the largest new car dealerships in the area and in order to bring his brilliant idea to fruition, he was going to have to purchase land and hire a construction company just to get the project started.  It was too much and he never followed through.

Meanwhile, the neighbor with whom he shared his idea was the owner of a construction company.  Not only did he have all the resources at his disposal to complete the project, he also owned a piece of commercial property which was perfectly suited to the project.

Long story short- the neighbor took my father’s “brilliant” idea and made it reality.  He made a small fortune as a result and I remember hearing my father lament over the truth which Tom shares so freely…The Marketplace Rewards Completion.

My father really wanted some “reward” for coming up with the great idea – but I learned through observation that there’s not a lot of “cash value” in even the  greatest of ideas.

Great ideas are a dime a dozen- but those who implement those great ideas are priceless.

Meatloaf  wails in the chorus of one of his hits,   “I would do anything for love – but I won’t do that.”

(I refuse to believe what one YouTube user declares – that the song is about a sex act that rhymes with banal.)

Dr. Pepper took that song and used it to promote their soft drink.

In the commercial, the fellow endures all kinds of humiliation in the name of love.  He’ll purchase feminine hygiene products and endure a very public “price check” – he’ll sign up for yoga – he’ll hold an umbrella in the rain – but he draws the line at sharing his soft drink.

What are you willing to do to achieve success?

Peter Doskoch in into to the article “The Winning Edge” writes:

experts often speak of the “10-year rule”—that it takes at least a decade of hard work or practice to become highly successful in most endeavors, from managing a hardware store to writing sitcoms—and the ability to persist in the face of obstacles is almost always an essential ingredient in major achievements.

The good news: Perhaps even more than talent, grit can be cultivated and strengthened.

It appears the answer to the question, “What are you willing to do?” is just a way to measure the grit you bring to the project.

What are you willing to do?

Another way of asking this question may be,  “What are you willing to give up?”

  • Watching television?
    It also amazes me the people who claim they don’t have “time” to blog yet somehow they know exactly what’s happening on several different television shows.
  • Modern Conveniences?
    One of my son’s friends shared that she had made the final payment and paid off  the family’s summer vacation.  They are going on an Alaskan cruise.  It’s a dream vacation to be sure, but  all I could think of was a conversation I had with her a few months earlier.  The family’s well went bad and they lived without running water in the house for more than 3 weeks.   They lived without running water rather than miss a payment on upcoming the cruise.

All I can say is there isn’t a vacation package in the world worth living without running water for 3 days let alone more than 3 weeks!!!!  However, she and her family were THAT dedicated to going on this cruise.

While the memory of the cruise will no doubt be a lasting one, it could in no way eclipse the incessant whining, bitching and moaning which would be burned forever into my brood’s neural pathways during three weeks of no running water.

I will confess that I come up with at least 35 “great” business ideas each and every week.  There aren’t enough hours in the day or days in the week for me to pursue every great idea to completion – let alone endure even a few hours of no running water!

Fortunately, I recognize the true marketplace  VALUE of these “uncompleted ideas” is zero – zilch- nada. The “magic sauce” is not the idea – it’s the implementation of the idea.

Do you have a great idea?  What are you willing to do to bring your great idea to completion?


  1. Hi Kathy. Tis true that an unrealized idea goes nowhere. I don’t believe that completion is enough to reap rewards. It is a good start, but adding authenticity and good sales and marketing to the equation will “complete the completion.”

    Davinas last blog post..Happy Yet?

  2. Ah, never mind Kathy. I’m an idiot! It is a given that sales and marketing and authenticity are part of the equation. I was being too literal.

    Davinas last blog post..Happy Yet?

  3. Kathy, enjoyed this post. Of course you know that I have a “great idea” that I want to implement. One of the things I would have added to the post is to be careful who you share your great ideas with. Some people will try to discourage you and some (like your neighbor) will take your idea and run with it.

    Valeries last blog post..Granny Cam Helps the Caregiver Gets a Good Restful Sleep

  4. Hi Kathy, Thanks for recognizing this essential component of the entrepreneurial process. Knowing that the marketplace rewards completion, my first two questions to new clients are always the same. 1). What do you want to create? 2). What are you willing to do to create it?

    I very much agree with what Doskoch has to say about developing and strengthening grit. Even as kids we understood that something as simple as practice increased our competence. Yet often as business owners we act as though we are too good for practice and seek the quick fix. We attain mastery by dogged determination and repetition and that will never go out of style.

    Tom Volkar / Delightful Works last blog post..Stand Up For Individuality

  5. Davina,

    I’m so thrilled to learn that you haven’t run into the “big dreamer” client yet… the one who has this magnificent “idea” but isn’t willing to take it all the way to completion. So often, these people will put up a blog or a website and then it stops there. Sales and marketing are an ongoing process- one that a lot of budding entrepreneurs seem to overlook!


    You also must be careful with whom who you share your dream because not everyone has the “vision” to see the end product. Many will try to discourage you… “for your own good”. They don’t want to see you try and fail – but that’s an essential ingredient for success!!!

    Tom – STOP IT!!! I’m about ready to buy a plane ticket to Pittsburg in order to throw my arms around you and then buy you a drink – and a pony!!! 🙂

    Grit is so much more valuable than talent – that’s one thing I’ve learned in my time on the planet!!

  6. Hi Kathy. No, I haven’t come across a “big dreamer” client yet. I almost wish I had though. The toughest part is having them move past the fear in order to “see” the freakin idea in the first place! It’s like trying to make a sculpture with no clay.

    I do believe though that when folk do have a great idea it doesn’t necessarily stop because they aren’t willing to take it all the way. That’s where the coach comes in because these people just need a nudge, or in some cases, a hefty push to stop doubting their ability TO take it all the way.

    Davinas last blog post..Morning Muse — Flock of Thoughts

  7. I love the “sculpture with no clay” word picture.

    My past week is showing in this post. I’ve got a couple of clients who have GREAT ideas and aren’t willing to do what they need to do to take them even to completion.

    Often, people show up on my door with a great idea and they think that a web presence is going to “do” all the work for them. They think that they’re going to launch a blog, sign up for Twitter and then their bank account is going to fill effortlessly.

    There’s a lot of effort that goes into building a successful business. A great idea is just the start – which is why I love the “sculpture” word picture. The beauty is in the FINISHED product – not the lump of clay!

  8. Hmm – you may have just described my problem – I have a short attention span – once I know how to fix a problem I don’t want to keep on doing it – I want to learn something new. I found consulting boring for this very reason – you’re hired because of your expertise – different client/different industry – same problem.

    You’ve got me wondering whether its even a good idea to try and start selling my SEO skills to “real world” business – or whether I will get bored doing that too – its just the market seems so wide open – particularly for someone with ethics!

    Lissies last blog post..A Perfect Passive Income Opportunity?

  9. Kathy says:


    A short attention span is definitely a “symptom” of an entrepreneur!!!

    Trust me, you will get “bored” but as you’re getting bored, you’ll discover new ways to help your current clients get what they want from the web!!! And as you say, there is ALWAYS a demand for honest, ethical, competent web professionals!!!