036: How to Turn Your Idea Into a Business with Courtney DeFeo



The Executive Minds is a community of entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs who want to turn their big ideas into reality. Courtney DeFeo is an expert on doing just that.

As an intrapreneur, Courtney refined her process for bringing ideas to life for a company. As an entrepreneur, Courtney dreams of new ways to grow her business each day.

On today’s episode, Courtney is sharing her experience and advice on growing an idea, presenting it to others and turning it into a thriving business.

Welcome to episode 36 of the Executive Minds Podcast.

Links + Resources:


Pathway to Launch: Imagine

Pathway to Launch: Validate

ABC Scripture Cards

Three Takeaways:

1. Not every idea is a good idea. And that’s okay.
Courtney has come up with some incredible ideas, both for her business and for companies she’s worked for. But for every great idea, there were a bunch that didn’t work.

As launchers (and really… just humans), our ideas feel like our babies. We want everyone to love every idea and for it to be wildly successful. But that’s not realistic. You will have ideas that never get off the ground, but it’s okay and normal. It doesn’t mean you’re a failure. And it certainly doesn’t mean you should stop dreaming of ideas. Keep pressing forward, the right idea will come at the right moment.

2. Collaboration over competition.
Courtney had to actively seek (and be open to) collaboration over competition in when she was an intrapreneur. When Courtney worked in a corporate setting, she often had to pitch her ideas. If you’ve done this, you know how vulnerable of a position this is to be in. You’re not only sharing your idea, but you’re giving other people the power to change it. But, nine times out of ten, when people speak into your idea, their feedback will elevate it. So don’t shy away from the “That won’t work, but this will…” or “That’s great, what if we add…” conversations. The collaboration might be exactly what your idea needs to be successful.

This applies to entrepreneurs as well. You might not be competing for a boss’ attention, but you’re competing with other forces in the marketplace. When Courtney created her ABC Scripture cards, she noticed that Pinterest was driving a ton of traffic to her site… but not converting to sales. After a little investigation, she realized that her cards were wildly popular on Pinterest, but every post was about how to make the cards yourself.

Instead of trying to shut down bloggers who were giving DIY tutorials on her product–or pretending they didn’t exist–Courtney leaned into the marketplace desire and released her own DIY tutorial. By serving her potential customers well, her web traffic jumped and she was able to get more eyeballs on the other resources and tools she had available on her site.

3. Waiting now will pay off later.
When you’re passionate about your idea, you want to shout its success from the rooftop. That happened to Courtney when she landed her first celebrity client.

When the order came through, she wanted to post it everywhere. But Courtney’s husband reminded her to wait and that the celebrity didn’t ask for that. So she waited. And because she waited, the celebrity later talked about how much she loved the product on massive, national platform. Had Courtney bragged to the marketplace about having this celebrity client, she might have missed the better opportunity.