Tip for entrepreneurs and idea people: how to get out of first gear | CanYouHandlebar Moustache and Beard Co.
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Tip for entrepreneurs and idea people: how to get out of first gear

Long Version:

I have had a variation on this conversation with a few people recently and so I figured it might be helpful for some of you. Here is the scenario:

  1. You have lots of good ideas
  2. You tell your friends about your good ideas
  3. They say "yep, sounds like a good idea"
  4. You feel a sense of satisfaction that you have a confirmed good idea
  5. You get stalled and never ship that idea
  6. You beat yourself because you have a habit of quitting as soon as you have solved it in your head

Deja Vu

Does this sound familiar? Perhaps a year or two later you see "your" idea in the marketplace and you poke your wife, husband or friend in the ribs and say , "remember when I thought of that?!" When I thought about starting CanYouHandlebar I felt like there was a gap in the market for a brand that was:

  1. Upfront with ingredients. So many brands have proprietary mixes and I wanted to know what was in the wax that would invariably get in my mouth from time to time
  2. Awesome at customer service. This was never meant to be a get rich quick business. It was meant to be built one relationship at a time and I give my customers the benefit of the doubt more than maybe I should. I tell the truth about when I have screwed up even when I could get away with bending the truth a little
  3. Designed for people that appreciate a simpler time. If you don't have any sense of nostalgia then my brand probably doesn't appeal to you. I miss the idea of living in a neighborhood where neighbors knew each other and smoking was healthy. I wish we all could meet up every night at Cheers and grab a drink and catch up
  4. Really high quality. I don't cut corners I could cut that you'd never know the difference. I make stuff I am proud to wear and I am not the cheapest guy in town because of that. I think making something the right way is worth it for everyone.

So. That was my idea. I mulled it over for a year and filled pads of paper with notes and took lots of screen shots that inspired me. I also stalled. I found ways to put off important next steps and I got discouraged. Then I had the idea that got me out of first gear and eventually launch on November of 2012: I leveraged my own pride. I don't know if I read this from somewhere or made it up myself. I just knew that if I could force myself into a situation where my pride was threatened enough I would follow through. First, I paid for a logo before I even had my recipe down for my first two waxes. That got me going for a couple weeks. When I felt myself stalling again, I bought 10 pounds of lanolin that I sat on my desk as a reminder that I was "all-in" as far as my ego was concerned. What was I going to do with that much lanolin if I didn't follow through? I know that lanolin would haunt me unless I sold enough wax to get rid of it. That did the trick for me.

Short Version:

If you have doubt, laziness or anxiety keeping you from following your dream, put your pride on the line and you'll be amazed how your mind goes from noisy to focused. I hope this Wisdom helps you take Initiative!


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