How Grand Designs Inspires Me as An Entrepreneur

October 9, 2013
grand designs

I could talk for hours about why I think that Grand Designs is the best home design show on the planet. I have been a long-time fan. The first time that I mentioned the magazine in a post was in 2005. I did it again in 2007 and 2010. Thanks to BBC Canada, I was able to watch the series for a few years.

This post is not about my passion for modern architecture. Instead, I want to talk about what you can learn, as an entrepreneur, from the structure of the TV show and from the homeowners featured in that show. When you consider what is involved emotionally and economically when you are building a uniquely designed house, you will see that these homeowners face the same challenges that startups have.

The structure of Grand Designs is not typical of home design shows, especially the ones produced in America. They don’t build. Instead, Grand Designs chronicles the stories of homeowners who are building an out-of-the-ordinary house. They are not cookie cutter houses. These are ambitious projects from homeowners who never done that before. Building their dream home often takes 3 years from concept to completion. Their projects are filled with unknowns. What they do is similar to creating a product from scratch.

Let’s review four elements that these homeowners share with entrepreneurs and startups.

1. They believe in their dreams

The show is about dreamers and people that are willing to take risks to build an awesome home, a house that will fit their lifestyle and that will be meaningful. They are pushing the envelope on so many levels. They are not afraid to make a statement and to realize an ambitious project. Their project has impacts on their entire family and even their livelihood. Every family member needs to be on board with the project. The same should be true at your business.

Companies, not just startups, need more than ever to innovate if they hope to be leaders. All the business publications that I read lately are talking about how to be creative and how to develop a culture of innovation within your business. What are you doing to fuel creativity at your workplace?

2. They exhibit determination

Any TV shows have their moments of drama. We see the ups and downs they experienced while building their dream house. The reveal from excellent home shows boasts my energy. I crave for the moment where seeing the fabulous house tells me that all their perseverance paid off at the end. They did it! They have accomplished something meaningful for them. Celebrating the small and the big victories of your business will keep your level of determination up.

3. They keep in mind what they want to accomplish

As you develop new products or services, discuss your concept with investors and friends, and validate your ideas with potential customers, you will receive contradictory messages. There is a fine line between failing to see the values of what others are suggesting and simply following what other people are telling you. You need to figure out when you should listen to others and when you should trust your guts.

Staying focus is a balancing act. I always find that it is easier to take the right decisions when I look at it from the viewpoint of my overall goal and my core values. As long as the move is aligned with the vision, I can be flexible on how to make it happen.

4. They surround themselves with skilled people

When things get though, having a good support system, contracting experts in specific fields and staying positive could make the difference between success and failure. Every episode mentioned that you can’t do it alone. People who followed that advice were usually better off than the others. The same is true for your business. Concentrate on your strengths and delegate the rest, whenever you can.

If you enjoy modern architecture, you can subscribe to the digital version. Grand Designs is on the Apple App store. This is what I read since the printed magazine is almost impossible to find where I live.

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