Many would-be entrepreneurs have a similar problem:
“I don’t have a business idea.”
So, naturally, they turn to everyone’s best friend / sometimes worst enemy ––
Now, as anyone who has searched mysterious medical symptoms or an unfortunate combination of accidentally sexual words, Google (and the internet as a whole), spits out a lot more information than you may have bargained for.
A lot more.
Of course, unwitting business idea hunters suddenly come across hundreds of blog posts claiming to have “the way” to find a great business ideas, replete with business plan templates, market research, and Facebook data mining.
You would think that coming up with a great business idea is rocket science, and you are not a rocket scientist. (Or are you?)
Good news for you –– it’s not.
It is actually much, much simpler than that if you apply the right strategy.
It’s just 3 lil’ steps. Really.
I’ll give you the rundown here, but if you really wanna dig in, you should download the free Idea Finder Workbook I made. You’ll get all this info plus activities to use and immediately put into practice.
Step 1: Find your heart skip.
Whaaa? What’s that?
You know, like when your heart skips a beat?
It’s basically another way of saying, figure out what you love.
Not what you like.
Not what you list in your online dating profile.
Not what your horoscope says.
What you actually get excited about doing.
What you wish you could be doing all the time.
What you daydream about.
What you’re obsessed with, but no one else really seems to get it.
That’s the ticket.
Got it (or a couple of ideas)? Write it (them) down.
2. Make Google Your Friend
Ok, I know I kind of hated on Google up there a little bit, but if you have a better game plan, it doesn’t have to be so overwhelming.
The name of the game here is Find the Money.
Basically, you wanna surmise if other people out there are doing things with your heart skip (see Step 1) that make them the sweet, sweet cheddar.
So, let’s say you are obsessed with drinking coffee. It’s the sweet nectar of life that gets you out of bed each morning, it’s the succulent flavor that you dream of, it’s….
Whoa, got a little of course for a sec.
So you’re a coffee junkie. Obviously, if you Google “drink coffee”, you’re not going to find much that’s helpful to you, other than a lot of great cafés where you could pick up a cup of Joe on the way home…
You want to tack on some other words to your search to see if people are doing things other than your typical making and selling of coffee.
Are people writing about coffee?
Teaching people how to make coffee in crazy ways?
Mentors for coffee addicts?
Coffee enthusiast bloggers?
Fair trade coffee activists?
If you’ve found people who are making their coffee obsession into a business, that’s good news for you.
You can, too.
3. Define Your Badassery
At this point, a lot of people get discouraged.
“Other people already found all the good business ideas.”
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
They did indeed find and form a viable business for them, but you are not them.
You are you.
Mind blown yet?
Before you close your laptop in a fit of frustration, think about the following question:
What are you really good at?
Not necessarily what your college degree says, or your resume, or your Twitter bio.
But your real, true, tangible skills.
They could be inherent, or ones you’ve trained or learned.
They could be ones you’re honing every day.
They could be the things everyone in your family asks you to help them with.
Having trouble thinking of things?
Imagine you are your best friend in the whole world, who is introducing you to a would-be employer.
What would your BFF say about you when talking you up to Mrs. Bigwig Important Lady?
Take off your self-criticism hat for a minute. Good vibes only.
Once you’ve got a good little list of your skills, you can take a step back and look at what you’ve got.
4. Bonus Step –– Brainstorm!
So, you thought about your interests, found the money, and ID’d your top skills.
The fun part: brainstorming.
Get out a piece of paper, and jot down your heart skips (interests) and your skills. Randomly pair them, and think about what job could possibly be created from the combination of those things.
Coffee lover + communication skills = Marketer for local coffee shops
Avid snowboarder + patience = private instructor
Bookworm + tech savvy = used book flipper
Use your imagination, let no “stupid” idea escape the page, and before you know it, you will have scads of business ideas, right in front of you.
You might be wondering, “How do I know if any of these are actually viable ideas?”
That part comes next.
Let's change the world.
Who wrote this?
Gina Edwards, Impact Explorer founder and lover of all pun jokes, making a positive change in the world, Stephen Colbert, Jif Peanut Butter, and staying inside on rainy days. Order may vary.