Ideas are the New ‘Capital’ for Today’s Entrepreneurs

Today, in the You Economy, capital looks different. No longer is it money in the bank or your name on a deed of land; ideas are capital.

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Instead, when I see this form of capital paying the highest returns it comes from obsession, a learning mindset, and a willingness to take big risks. It manifests through social media, guerrilla networking, and clandestine projects. It springs forth through clever marketing campaigns, targeted email updates, and why-hasn’t-someone-thought-of-that-before products.

Have you ever noticed that the people who are truly succeeding in microbusiness aren’t the people who have followed some preordained system? Set their websites up to meet norms? Or conducting business by the book?

The people who truly succeed are investing idea capital.

They’re taking big risks; doing things against the grain. They’re obsessed with exploring new angles and charting new territory.


Igniting Your Creative Engine

Let’s consider a real-life case study — Erin Giles an entrepreneur dedicated to helping businesses find their cause and create a movement. Giles recently launched the End Sex Trafficking project. And it’s one monstrous idea.

Last year she published a book by raising $10,000, this year she’s working directly with organizations who are creating change on this front. And she’s recruited top talent in the idea industry and produced creative products to support her vision.

This example proves that your idea doesn’t have to “world changing” in the traditional sense, however …

In 2012 I interviewed Stephanie Alford, the founder of Space Cadet Creations, about her first 5-figure month earnings as a yarn-dyer. Over the last few months, Stephanie has messaged me to let me know–multiple times–when she’s cracked 5-figure days.

I would attribute her financial success to an unceasing ability to turn very simple ideas, like her mini-skein club, into capital. Once Stephanie has an idea, she turns on her creative engine to continue to produce ideas that fuel her initial investment.

Had Stephanie done everything she could to “optimize her Etsy shop” or had Erin ventured down the typical solopreneur service path, neither would be featured in top publications, bringing more revenue than they had dreamed, or earning the praise of their colleagues and customers.

There is a fine line between learning the how-to of something and defaulting to someone else’s best practices. In the end, your ideas are the capital that makes your business work.

Don’t be frustrated when ideas come as fast and furious as you had hoped. Use them. Take risks. Experiment. Obsess. Learn what turns you on. Learn what turns your customers on. Venture into new territory. Dare to be disagreeable.

And, by all means, don’t worry about doing things the right way.

Find people who will support your crazy ideas–your obsession, your learning, your risk-taking–and help you turn that capital into a strong investment in your future.

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