Start With The End When You Have An Idea

January 15, 2016By
New Idea Start With The End

When you have a business idea, start with the end and work backward.

There’s no set way to live your life. People do it all kinds of different ways. And different ways can lead to success.

However, if you have been struggling with setting goals and figuring out what you want to do as far as your life and business there might be something you can do.

It’s something that many successful people are able to figure out. I’m not sure how they figure it out. Maybe they were born with the ability. Maybe they observed others that went about life in a certain way and emulated it, but it seems to happen all the time.

Does it always work?

Not all the time, but you only need one success in life to accomplish something special. And your odds are pretty good if you do this one thing that successful people do…

Start With The End

A few years ago the popular TV program, How I Met Your Mother, ended a very successful run. The ending had been building for years. Hell, the entire premise of the show started with the present and flashed back to tell the story of how a guy met the mother of his children.

One of the secrets to the show was that the end came first.

It’s not that the end started the story and was revealed to the audience, but the writers and those that created the show seemed to have the end in mind when they began the story. From there they just worked backward and filled in the blanks on how to get there.

There was a bit of a surprise ending to the show as well. And it seemed that this surprise had been around for quite some time; possibly even from the very beginning.

Knowing what the end of the program would be likely helped the writers the entire time they were creating stories and episodes. When you know the end you have more purpose and clearer picture of what you’re tasked with. Decisions become easier, not entirely easy, but easier than if you don’t have an end in sight.

Starting With The End In Business

Business is different. You’re not keeping the end away from people. In fact, you share it with people so they can see what the goal is and if they buy-in they can help achieve that goal.

Recently, the NFL voted to move the St. Louis Rams to Los Angeles. This had been a discussion point for the NFL leaders for 20 years since the Raiders and Rams moved from LA after the 1994 season.

Many plans were pitched over the years until the one that Rams owner Stan Kroenke pitched was accepted. The NFL had made the process of getting back to LA a difficult one. A few owners had wanted to do it, but the right plan hadn’t been pitched.

Kroenke was finally able to see a vision, an end that would make the owners get on board. He pitched a plan for a new stadium and much more. Then he worked backward to fill in the details, the many details, on how the end would be reached.

The owners bought in with a 30-2 vote.

Here is what Kroenke said in a recent interview about talking with fellow owner, Paul Allen:

When I started working on this two years ago, I took Paul through the whole thing. I said, ‘This is what I think we can do here. I’m not sure we can do it all, but here’s what we’re working on.’ He was always interested. Then once we got to a certain point, he definitely got it. He got how good it was.

Here is an earlier part about filling in the details:

One of the most important things that nailed it [Tuesday] is that we just kept showing them pictures. People love pictures. And what those pictures showed was the thought and the development and the plan, and the depth of the thought.

It started with an end and took work to fill in the details. Now the work to execute begins.

Filtering Your Ideas

As an entrepreneur, you likely have ideas all the time. The key to them is to figure out what ideas are worth pursuing. From there you have to figure out where in time the idea is.

Is the idea you have the end you want? Or is it more of something in the middle.

The idea that you can start a new type of carwash service in the city where you live is an idea. But is it the real end you want? You can jump in with the idea of a carwash, but maybe that’s only a midway point.

You need to have the right end to get people to buy-in. When the NFL finally saw the right end they jumped in. They could see the vision and they loved it. They likely left the meeting asking, “What can we do to help make this reality?”

That’s where the details come in and everybody can begin to make decisions based on achieving the end.

Now, the reality of business is that not everyone can be happy. You have to weigh the pros and cons. A big con for the NFL move is that St. Louis loses out on a team they’ve come to love the last 20 years. You gotta feel for those fans. Who knows how that will affect things.