Like many ambitious, forward thinking leaders, you have an idea and want to make it happen. It could be getting a project, a big contract or even a company off the ground. So I asked a group of business leaders who have a track record of success this question:

 What lessons can you share with us about strategies when trying to turn your ideas into a reality?

It was a lively discussion. What I distilled were these common elements-  The 5 P’s of Success – with quotes that highlight the essence of their wisdom.


“The more solidified intent one has, the more realistic the idea becomes. I would say this is my biggest lesson. You have to be obsessed about the intent. You have to be enthusiastic about the intent behind your goal and ideas.”

“First you must identify what it is that you really wish to accomplish and it should have meaning for you. Ideas are a dime a dozen but if you are not passionately invested in your big idea nothing will ever happen. Most people are lazy or just give lip service to their ideas.”

 2. PLAN

“Don’t over think it. Do your research, make a simple plan and just go with it. Your plan will change as you work your plan and see how the market reacts to your idea. What I often see is analysis paralysis in which nothing really happens.”

“The beginning of a plan for a film is often just telling a story in your head or to someone else. Write it down as a script. Then, storyboard it. Make a trailer, do a budget, etc. It’s the same for anything else. Have a plan with specific steps and work that plan…without it you will get lost in a maze of setbacks, tangents, and confusion.”


“You can’t do things alone, and you will never accomplish things alone. Look at the iPhone for example. It wasn’t made my Steve Jobs. It was the creativity of several people. Hire the right people – quality over quantity – they will make your business prosper.”

“Find people who are interested in helping you along the way. They have advice – they have experience – they will help you if you ask.. And give help when you can to others who are also looking for a way to reach their dreams.”


“Take Action Now!! So many people constantly think about what they want to do and have good ideas but if you don’t set them in motion they never become a reality. Whatever ideas you have, test them out and if they fail, they fail, but you have to take action!”

“Make it happen. Ideas come and go. Execution and follow through will make them a reality. Even small steps will open the way for larger gain and more clarity, direction and how-to. What could you do today, right now, that would lead you closer to what you want to create?”


“If you want your idea to happen, you need to stick with it. Doesn’t mean if things don’t go the way you expect at first, you’ll abandon them. Be patient. Usually it will take you more time building a castle than an ordinary building. So persist. Don’t easily give up.”

“Believe in it! Belief is even more important than strategy. Strategy is a set of tools and behaviors, belief is what motivates you to find the right strategy and put it into practice. Belief isn’t the same as enthusiasm though. It’s easy to be enthusiastic about a new idea but will you still feel the same in a year’s time

Smart Moves Tip:

Keep at it. It’s as simple as that. Learn what works and what doesn’t, but more importantly learn to adapt. Recognize that you aren’t going to always get it right, but have enough determination to stay the course in the midst of change, challenge and at times chaos.

Marcia Zidle, the smart moves executive coach and speaker, is host of The Business Edge on the VoiceAmerica Business Network. The show features the Smart Growth System providing small to medium sized businesses the proper foundation for expansion: a Growth Agenda that becomes their roadmap, a Growth Engine that attracts and engages the best talent and Growth Leaders that make it happen. Marcia, the CEO of Leaders At All Levels, brings street smarts to help businesses get on the right track and not get sidetracked on their path to higher performance and profitability.