“There is a difference between having an idea and...actually building on that idea,” Leah Busque, founder of TaskRabbit, told the audience at 99U Conference in New York City on Friday.
Here are five lessons she has learned trying to make her idea a reality:
1. Tell everyone you meet about your idea.
“This might seem inter-intuitive,” admitted Busque, but by sharing her idea, she was able to find an advisor in CEO of Zipcar Scott Griffith, who helped raise money to fund TaskRabbit and allowed her to work out of Zipcar’s office.
“The amount of risk involved in sharing your idea is so marginal compared to the reward of collaboration,” insisted Busque.
2. Cultivate an atmosphere of mentorship and collaboration.
“Surround yourself with a community that’s supportive and passionate about what you are building,” said Busque, who finds her employees’ and team members’ passion motivating.
3. Have Big Hairy Ambitious Goals [BHAGs] and take baby steps.
“I don’t wake up every morning and think how I am going to revolutionize the way people work every day. That’s just too big of a goal. But, I do have small actionable steps every single day that I can focus on," she said.
4. Ship it.
“It’s easy to get caught up in perfection,” said Busque. However, rather than spending time and money trying to get product to a perfect state, entrepreneurs should “ship” their product in the smallest possible test run -- get it out there and get customers using it.
“The customers will be the ones to tell you if it’s really working or not,” explained Busque.
5. Love what you do.
“Start-ups are hard. They become part of your life. There is no: Work. Life. The lines become blurred and if you don’t really love what you do and aren’t compassionate about what you are doing, it’s going to be even harder.”