Each week, Her.ie will be bringing you the personal thoughts and tips from Irish entrepreneur Sonya Lennon – fashion stylist and co-founder of frockadvisor.
Week 6 – Need for speed…
Speed is everything. Basically, there’s no such thing as an original idea, if you’ve thought of it, then so has someone else. And that’s ok, no point getting all indignant and litigious, it’s called the zeitgeist and in a flat world, there’s nothing you can do about it.
What matters is speed – or is it? Well, speed is massively important to the growth of your business, particularly if you have a grand vision, but that speed needs to be supported by a solid foundation. So the real ‘everything’ is the ability to execute. This will separate you from the idea generator who is still talking about it three years later, driven with regret at the millions he could have made. Execution is the perfect balance of speed and solidity. In theory, this will allow you take that brilliant idea and make it a reality, preferably before somebody else does a territorial swoop and wipes you out.
I met an amazing woman some time ago. She is CEO of a Fortune 500 company, a very impressive and obviously supremely talented business women. She was speaking at a global conference held in Dublin on the subject of ‘Managing the Unforeseen – tackling external factors in business.’ I found the idea compelling, simply because it is so pertinent. The best laid plans, and all of that.
In start-up, every time you tick a box that you know needs ticking, another box, that you didn’t expect, throws its hand in the air, screaming for attention. ‘Managing the Unforeseen’ – it’s one thing in an established company, when protocols and procedures are tried, tested and written for all to see. It’s quite another when you’re writing the rules as you go, finding your path and building your company culture. It’s so easy to be reactive and change your direction based on feedback from stakeholders and loudmouths (Oh Yeah? And how’s your Start- Up going?)
So yet another balancing act – responding to the market while staying true to your vision. It’s tiring work. As a very good friend of mine once said ‘Jesus Christ, does every day have to be a learning day?’
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