02/13/2013 03:20 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Packaging -- Why Self-Obsession Condemns Entrepreneurs to Failure Before They Even Begin

We've already established that the world is devoid not of ideas, but rather of individuals who are willing to execute them. By engaging in this series you clearly want results. You want more, but to truly succeed you need to begin by understanding one hard truth: regardless of whether your dream is to start a small business or a social movement, you are always, ALWAYS selling. Every interaction involves some level of value exchange. You want someone else's time, energy, and money -- so what are you offering in return?

Everything has a market. If you have the idea, then the onus will always be on you to demonstrate its value and convince others to endorse it rather than all of the other offerings competing for their scarce resources. Even if you believe your idea to be unique, believe me when I say it still has competition. Buyers have limited time, limited energy, and limited money, and the challenge you face is to convince them to spend it with you instead of the thousands of others vying for their attention.

Once you accept that you are the seller, you then can accept the misconception that ruins so many entrepreneurs from the start -- that the success of your idea is not really about you at all. You are merely the vessel championing it, but to truly sell it you have to be able to demonstrate its ability to give others more of what they want. As they consider parting with the time, energy, and money, people concern themselves with what is valuable to them, not you.

The preliminary step in packaging thus entails shifting your gaze outwards towards the buyer. Stop thinking about you and start thinking about the marketplace and buyers in it. In this video we get to the heart of how the world really works, and how our knowledge of this can fast track our journey to making it happen. Perspective is crucial as we begin our journey together.

1. All interactions mimic a marketplace with value being exchanged
2. You are the Seller, and thus must appeal to others
3. The market is oversupplied, so it's on you to differentiate yourself from the noise
4. All markets have metrics, and your idea will have to work within their framework

Packaging - How the World Really Works from Peter Sheahan on Vimeo.

This post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post and Peter Sheahan on the topic of Making It Happen in Small Business, focused on turning those with the ideas into those with the influence. To see all of the posts in the series, click here.