Was there a recipe? Could I hire a scientist? I was happy to try to work with people who would promise that they would somehow “magically” clarify my ideas for me.
For a long time, this question was a mystery to me. And I still get it very often as I help business creators like CEOs and founders. How do I clarify my business idea?
Clarifying your ideas is not something you can delegate.
You must do it yourself.
Getting clear on a business idea is, before all, an articulation process. You clarify an opinion because you articulate it, and you say it over and over and over. You do it so many times that you ultimately eliminate all unnecessary details.
Your idea is like a rock. To turn it into a piece of jewelry, you have to cut it, sand it and polish it.
As you work on honing the critical facets of this idea, you also own it. Your idea becomes yours. You commit to it. This is essential because the love you put into shaping an idea makes it stand out in a sea of many other ideas.
How much time does this process take?
Well, it depends. There is no guarantee that your idea will be clear at a specific date. Nobody knows.
But I’ve noticed that your mindset makes a difference:
- Adopt the posture of the curious explorer to find new ways to express yourself.
- Use your intuition to sense what can stay and what needs to go.
Let go of perfectionism; the process matters first, not the result.
The frequency with which you articulate your ideas plays a significant role.
- It can take a pitch of 100 dry runs before it crystallizes.
- You could need to show up on 50 podcasts before your story makes people want to connect with you.
So, the sooner you get on this “journey”, the better.
Also, use every opportunity you have, through email, video, audio recording, and podcast-guesting, to explain what matters, what may be new, unknown, or misunderstood. Every moment of your day is a chance to continue to get clear.
Don’t just write. Publish.
Clarification happens if you articulate your ideas in public.
Many people tell me: “Well, I clarify my ideas every day. I take a notebook, write on my laptop, and write a lot on my phone.”
That’s a good start, but only half of the process.
Here is the thing.
In doing so, they don’t pressure-test their thoughts. They don’t apply enough force on the rock they want to shape, if I may reuse my earlier metaphor.
There is nothing like putting yourself in a position where you’re forced to think about who will listen. Again, in public.
Creating impact is a social reaction. It can’t happen in private.
Stage fright will make you care about your choices when explaining your idea.
Not to mention, you will get feedback and comments.
Take it seriously
Yes, idea clarification takes time, effort, courage, discipline, and creativity. But it also brings enormous rewards.
I want to encourage you to consider this process an essential aspect of building your strategic narrative.
If you’re in business, clarifying your ideas should be one of your core processes, a practice that you build for yourself, as you probably understand that there is no one-size-fits-all way to go about this, but there are principles instead.
It changes careers.
It grows your business.
It attracts more clients, better team members, and investors.
It changes the trajectory of entire organizations.
It provides opportunities for people to shift the way they think.
It mobilizes them.
And it makes you a more conscious business creator.