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An idea is only worth the paper its written on, unless you are able to find the team, funding and enthusiastic buyers to make it a reality.

Taking an idea to a fully fledged sustainable company to be reckoned with is no easy feat – but it can be done with the right amount of luck, undying determination and the ability to continuous reinvent your “business” [not just the idea] based on feedback.

Lets use a famous quote by Lao Tzu which says “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. Sometimes I think we become focused on the end goal and all those steps needed to get there and it can feel confusing and daunting and ultimately complicated to the point that you start to doubt the “next” step needed.

Honouring that, here are the first 3 steps you could take:

1. Write down your idea.

Draw pictures. A few mind maps. Explain a few things – what need are you fulfilling, why would someone want to buy it. The more the merrier but don’t only focus on the technical side of it. Don’t worry about neatening the content up but rather focus on “downloading” your thoughts.

Only once you feel you have nothing more to download at the moment, take a step back (excuse the pun!) and try to distill what your idea is in a paragraph and use that paragraph in step 2.

2. Discuss with stakeholders.

Before you think I am outright mad, pause and hear me out. What I mean here is identify people in the industry that would benefit from your idea and go and chat to them. And most importantly don’t offer them a solution but rather find out if there is a challenge they are experiencing and what solutions have they tried or willing to try. Spend time understanding their world so that you can map it back to yours and try out that paragraph of yours to see if they get it.

3. Collate and move forward.

Take a breather and see what you have learnt and compare this to your idea. Do you think this is still worth pursuing? How would the idea need to evolve to be able to take it to the next step? What is needed to do this? Any idea on whom you need to help you? How much would it cost? Build a very short time frame plan that will get you to the fourth step – as things are so volatile at this stage, that spending considerable amount of time on long term plans will be all for naught as you will have to redo and redo and redo.