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Stop talking about your brilliant ideas!

If you are stuck in the phase of finding the right idea, researching the market, or just sit on your desk everyday complaining about your job and contemplating how you will run your own thing one day, this post is for you.

We’ve all been or seen this guy. This guy wants to run marathons, he wants to do it because he needs a change of routine, he wants to get fit, change his life for the better… whatever his reason or purpose might be, he wants to run marathons. Not just one marathon, this guy wants this to be his new persona, the new identity that will help him escape being the couch guy. He wants pictures of him running marathons all over facebook, he wants people to look at him and refer to him as that guy who runs marathons and wander how hard it might have been, he wants to run marathons for charity, marathons to inspire other people who were just like him one day to believe in themselves.. but until he gets up off his couch and starts doing some jogging, pushups, eating well, just anything really.. He is still that guy. You are that guy too until you decide to stop talking about your brilliant ideas and start moving.

Do any kind of motion, work at a startup, talk to some clients, talk to people you potentially want to hire, simply stop bullshitting yourself. Just start moving.

I’m writing this post because I meet people everyday due to the nature of my work. I get calls from old friends and acquaintances asking for validation on their ideas. This is the phase I believe a lot of people get stuck at. They want to get fit and say they have the motivation but at the end of the day, they won’t do the necessary motion. The new identity they were meant to create, shifts into a meta-identity, they know who they want to be deep down, but they wrap this persona with layers of excuses, “logical” explanations for why they didn’t get that part and get addicted to the drugs of denial.

Make sure you are not trying to imagine an escape route. Don’t let the idea of starting something be the desktop wallpaper of the island you will visit when you retire “one day”. This is not an escape from your corporate life. This is not something to help you feel better about your mundane day or your mental retreat to whatever you think is going wrong with your life. This is an experience that you should be interested in pursuing only for the excitement of it and the curiosity to discover more about yourself and the world around you just like any other experience. Treat it as an escape plan and your escape plan might need another escape plan in the future.

I’ve seen this happen all too often, the excitement of leaving corporate to pursue something noble that ends with the downward spiral of realising how difficult things are.

On the other hand, don’t take my word for it, you could be the exception, you might be a Shawshank redemption story in the making, carving your way out into your dream one dig in the wall at a time.

From the perspective of someone who has already started pursuing building his “idea” (, it has become apparent to me that this is the least important phase of the whole process. Between talking about your motivation for running marathons and how good this will bring to your life and actually running full 42 Km marathons not to mention becoming a top runner, there are more lessons, stories, regularly occurring epiphanies that you will learn about yourself, marathons, the best shoes to run with, the people you would like to have along in this journey than you can ever imagine.

As cliche as it sounds, it really is the journey and not the destination. During this journey, you will find things about yourself that will matter more than anything else. You might find that marathons are boring, or that you are the kind of person that likes to organise marathons more than running them or make shoes because those running shoes are so not comfortable. It’s all about the journey, it’s all about discovering more, forming a stronger opinion about the world and yourself.

Translating this into startup terms, dwelling on the right brilliant idea… should be the least of your worries, find an area of interest to you, start getting involved and it will pop right up when you least expect it. By then, you will have learned more about yourself and the things around you to be ready for that moment.

Happy running!

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