At the BCS talk that I recently did on growing a business with profit and purpose, I asked the audience what it takes to turn an idea into a business.
“Grit”. “Determination”. “Hard work”. “Action”. I suspect that came from the entrepreneurs in the room.
“Passion”. “A why” (eugh). “Purpose”. “Courage”. I suspect that was the coaches.
“Structure”. “Long-term vision”. I guess that was the consultants chiming in.
“Luck”. Probably the only realist in the room.
Not saying any of them is (necessarily) wrong. But for me, it’s much simpler.
It’s a paying customer.
Until then it’s an idea. A hobby. Maybe a worthy one, but certainly not yet a business.
So absolutely start with purpose, with values. With a “why” if you must. But recognise that your “thing” only becomes a business when someone pays for what you’re making. Stick to your purpose and values when you have a paying customer, and *only then* do you have a purpose-led business.