7 tips to execute your startup idea, from 3 entrepreneurs who did it

Here's how three successful entrepreneurs went from concept to execution
Here's how three successful entrepreneurs went from concept to execution

So, you have your own startup idea you can't get it out of your mind. How do you bring it to life?

During InnovFest unbound, an event in Singapore that connects startups with corporates, CNBC asked three entrepreneurs who built their own businesses how they got started. The roster included Malcolm Rodrigues, CEO of MyRepublic, an internet services provider; Shaul Olmert, CEO of online publishing platform Playbuzz; and Steve Melhuish, co-founder of PropertyGuru, a real estate listings platform.

1. It's always the right time to launch your startup.

Despite global venture funding going down last year, the market is still ripe for startups, those who have done it say. "There's always excuses that it's not the right time, but it always is," said Playbuzz's Olmert, who spent most of his career climbing the corporate ladder before taking the leap into his own venture.

"I think everybody should do a startup," Rodrigues added. "It changes how you view life. Whether you do it when you're out of school or when you're 40 years old, you're never too late. However, he warned that if you don't have your own idea that excites you, then it's best to go into a corporate job.

Ideally, however, entrepreneurs get started on failing early, he joked. "You're going to fail three times before you're successful, so do it early, get it out of the way."

2. When you reach your breaking point, jump the corporate ship.

Melhuish spent more than a decade working for a corporation in the telecom space, before starting his real-estate platform. After leaving a corporate job, he took 6 months off to travel throughout Southeast Asia. "There's a big world out here and it was a big change."

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"I like to have more control over my destiny and being an entrepreneur allows you to control things a bit better."

3. Avoid the naysayers. Better yet, ignore them.

Entrepreneurship isn't built into everyone's DNA. "I was a very happy corporate soldier for a while, and then things started going wrong for me," Olmert recalled. "I realized not everything I touch turns to gold. I was suffering maybe an early mid-life crisis."

That's when he came up with the idea to start Playbuzz.

"Not a single person I shared my idea with told me I should go for it," he said. "At a certain person I realized, even though nobody encouraged me, I'm still obsessed with this idea and I said 'I'm doing it anyway.'"

4. Millennials are here, so embrace them.

PropertyGuru has adapted for a more millennial-centric work environment, adding flexible work schedules, hot desks instead of permanent work stations, and even created a different performance structure that recognizes employees more often.

"The reality is millennials are here, you cant avoid them," co-founder Melhuish said. "They're probably the most creative and disruptive, in a positive way. We can't sit here and complain about how they're a pain to manage."

Rodrigues added that millennial culture exists because of technology. "You can sit in your mother's basement, have a one gig connection, code an app, launch it without every leaving home and you don't spend a lot of money doing it."

He added: "I love millennials because its a dawn of a new age. It's about self-expression and individuality."

5. Empower your team to try every department.

"The world is moving so fast and startups are inherently more risk-taking," Melhuish said. He cited an employee who joined the customer service team and later went to work in sales. That person then moved countries several times, all while working for the same company.

"Startups enable that, but corporate are more about managing risk," he added.

6. The morning routine is overrated.

Some execs swear by their morning routine, which often includes an early morning email inbox cleaning or meditation session. Those things are just not for everyone.

Melhuish said he wished he'd spend ten minutes doing meditation and an hour workout every morning, but his reality is different. "I don't really have a solid routine. I keep it flexible."

Rodrigues said his routine depended largely on geography. "It depends on what country you're in. Mornings are my busiest time. "You're bombarded with so much information." Instead, he takes evenings to calm down and relax.

In general, Olmert is against any kind of rigid routine. "Structuring a routine is like trying to impose your idea on a world, rather than respond to it," he said.

7. Stay focused on the big picture.

Despite growing fast and having offices around the world, Olmert occasionally gets nervous about his business.

"Sometimes you doubt yourself, but you need to ask the questions to reach the point where you're confident in what you're doing," Olmert said.