In our previous blog post I wrote about how to do something that has never been done before. In our case, that has been launching SA’s very first podcast production studio. I think this ‘doing some-thing new’ thing is something that anyone who has ever started something from scratch, be that a business or something personal, can relate to.

I grew up with a rather fixed idea of how my life would be (it hasn’t been what I imagined… it’s been better and harder than I could ever have believed) and have always been a bit of a dreamer. I guess nothing can really fully prepare you for life and nothing can ever really prepare you for the journey of taking an idea/ dream/ concept to early stage business.

I kept thinking (and often still find myself thinking) that I’d start to feel sure about things. That I’d feel like I know what I’m doing and although this is true in some senses, the thing with pioneering new things is that you are constantly learning and you never really reach ‘that point’ where it be-comes a breeze and you know just what you’re doing.

Ideas are beautiful, and turning an idea into a reality is one of the most wonderful things about creativity; our ability as humans to innovate and our experiences in pursuing the things that we know we were created to do.

Imagine 5 year old Carol. She is a drama queen of note and loves stories and dressing up more than anything. She spends hours making up plays (which her poor cousins have to bring to life), playing “concert concert” and recording herself telling stories with her portable tape recorder (with a xylophone signal when it is time to turn the page…all done manually for that extra bit of authenticity). Here the seeds of ideas and expression are forming already. The very natural, innocent games of a child who has no reason to criticise these creations and is merely creating like this because it comes naturally and because it’s fun! Fast forward a few (an unspecified number of) years and these seeds that were planted so many years ago are still there and looking for the right kind of soil to be planted and grow in.

Taking these ideas and working with friend and business partner, Jason, and a few others along the way to turn these ideas into a reality has been nothing short of thrilling and terrifying. The thing with ideas that matter to you is that it feels personal. The investment is real because you really care about the outcome. People often say that you shouldn’t get too attached to your business ideas and while I agree with this at some level, I also think that there is something profound about taking your ideas and making them financially viable opportunities (side note: I don’t think one should do this with every single thing you’re passionate about - I think you know which ones need to stay in the realm of passion projects).

Some things I’ve learned about moving from concept to early stage with a brand new idea:

- You’ve got to be crazy enough to believe that your dreams are possible. This sounds like a sweet, fluffy thing to say… but in reality, this is the kind of street-fighting-in-the-mind kind of space that you simply have to learn how to master or else you will second guess yourself all the way to no-where in particular.

- Stay focused and be accountable to others. Get a mentor. Get a coach. Get someone who knows things you don’t. Do not get offended when they ask you tough questions. You need people who will help you see what you’re not seeing.

- Make sure your internal voice is kind. If you wouldn’t say what’s in your head to other people, then you shouldn’t be saying it to yourself.

- It’s going to be a rollercoaster. Get over it. (*takes out pen and takes notes from self).

- It’s okay to be scared. You will feel scared a lot. Don’t react every time. Learn the difference between fear and wisdom.

- Not every idea is a good idea (refer to point 2 on what to do about this). Fail fast, get up and keep going.

- Trade exchanges are an amazing way to grow your network and get the things you need when you don’t have loads of cash lying around.

- Persevere. It’s this old-fashioned thing that many of us younger ones don’t really understand. If you don’t know what it is or how it truly looks in real life, talk to someone inspiring who is older than 50 and ask them how they got to where they are. Take notes. I bet you they will say something about perseverance.

If you’re further along the road than us, please share how you’ve taken your ideas from concept to early stage - we’d love to hear from you! If you’re at the same place in your journey - talk to us, we’re here for you and if you’re sitting on the edge about to take a leap towards something new… go for it! You can do more than you think.

Thanks for stopping by and chat soon,


Image taken by Teagan Smith, during Chef Who podcast production.