One of my work colleagues recently asked me to suggest three business ideas that could potentially provide a nice opportunity for someone who wants to create a side hustle. I accepted the challenge and started to think about the best three ideas that I could share.
I had written a piece previously that shared a list of product and service based ventures that could be suitable in the South African context, but this time around I was looking to find three ideas that would take things to the next level. I was looking to tie down the “sure thing”, the “no brainer”.
To cut a long story short – I didn’t put a list together for her. Instead I tried to sell her a chicken salad. A chicken salad story. Believe it or not, but your understanding of the humble chicken salad is about to change. Forever.
Let me explain.
I spend a considerable amount of time on my daily commute and one of the ways that I keep my mind in a relatively sane state is to listen to music, talk radio or podcasts. As I was driving to work one special summers day, I thought to myself that I don’t want to listen to another podcast on the success of Uber, Airbnb or some other billion-dollar unicorn. I find those stories incredibly interesting but, on this day, they felt too blah blah blah for me.
Ideas are not the problem. Execution is
I needed something more attainable, something that anyone could achieve. As I scrolled through my podcast list, which is largely about entrepreneurship and other inspirational stories, I came across a podcast episode called “Chicken Salad Chick”. I had to do a double take.
Chicken Salad Chick? Really? Someone actually made a podcast about chicken salad that was worth putting on the internet for the world to listen to? This was enough to pique my interest. All I can say is, WOW. Chicken salad will never be the same again.
The podcast was from a show that I thoroughly enjoy called “How I built it” by Guy Raz. In this episode he was interviewing Stacy Brown, the owner of a business called Chicken Salad Chick. I’ve listened to many podcasts in my time but this one, about a chicken salad really felt close to home as it really is a story that makes sense – it shows that anyone of us can be an entrepreneurial success. I mean if a chicken salad business can employ over 1,200 people and generate over R1bn revenue every year through 150 locations then we can do anything right? A chicken salad business!
It’s better to have a poor idea with excellent execution than it is to have an excellent idea with poor or no execution
So, let’s get back to my colleague. I setup a meeting to let her know that I didn’t have any new ideas to share. She seemed disappointed. I told her that there are enough ideas out there. Ideas are not the problem. Execution is. She raised an eyebrow.
I then served up a dish of cold chicken salad (sorry I had to). I told my colleague the story about Stacy and the chicken salad and we agreed that it’s not about the idea but what the entrepreneur did in building the business.
Today, we share with you some of what she did. Let’s call it a recipe (excuse the pun). A recipe that will serve you no matter what idea you pursue. I strongly suggest you listen to the podcast, find the link here.
It’s not about the idea but what the entrepreneur did in building the business
Using the wonderful story of Stacy Brown and the Chicken Salad Chick business let’s unpack the entrepreneurial recipe that any budding entrepreneur should look to follow. We highlight eight ingredients that you should look to use in turning your ideas into reality. The key ingredients are:
SEE ALSO: Unique South African Business Ideas
There you have it. The key message that I’d like to share with you is that building a successful venture or side hustle is not so much about the idea. It’s not about trying to find the next big thing. It’s about what you do as an entrepreneur to develop the business idea and take it to market.
If the Chicken Salad Chick business could grow to achieve such amazing results by doing something that most people would think is a ridiculous business idea then you too can build a successful venture by pursuing your dreams. You can do it. Get out there and just start. Remember, it’s better to have a poor idea with excellent execution than it is to have an excellent idea with poor or no execution.
About The Allan Gray Orbis Foundation: The foundation targets matric and university students. The foundation provides its fellows with funding for university, in addition to access to support and development to cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset.