This post was first published in December, 2012, and is being republished as part of my 2017 writing goal.
“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” - Steven King
I can’t tell you how many times somebody has come to me with their first “great” idea. They’re excited. They have a sudden burst of pure joy as they express their vision, and they look at me with an unquenchable thirst for something new. They see all the fame, glory, and excitement that carrying out this idea could bring them, and have no reservations about the possibility of failure.
Most of them won’t follow through
Even as I look at their enigmatic faces, I know that 90% of these new idealists won’t ever take the first step in making something happen. Most of them will obtain solid, predictable jobs that give them a certain level of security, and while their idea may hold a valid and potentially profitable business, I know that starting a business is 99% perspiration and only 1% inspiration.
But, there’s good news!
I tend to get a little grim when I talk about idea-men, and how few of them become real creators. But, there are signs that action may be taking hold again. Entrepreneurship in the US is up by 60% this year.
The most recent recession sent many smart entrepreneurs running to hide, but as the economic climate has improved, future business owners are coming out in droves to take advantage of the change in outlook. Plenty of industries that once flourished are struggling - housing, advertising, journalism, and manufacturing to name a few - and those of us with ideas for revolutionizing those markets are finally seeing promising signs that our efforts are worthwhile.
Meanwhile, the availability to education and technical talent is rising. Another good sign for American entrepreneurs is greater access to people and ideas that can actually create new things, even if those people are spread across the world in China, India, Eastern Europe, or Japan.
Go out and embrace the unknown
My final encouragement to those with ideas is this: Make something happen. One of the few ways that the United States might regain its place in the world economy is to encourage and reestablish its place as an entrepreneurial mecca. We have intelligent people with incredible access to a huge market of consumers. We are a land of enterprising individuals. We know our strengths. We can make big things happen. Now it’s just a matter of when. Are you ready to take the plunge?