Why It Is Difficult To Find Good Business Ideas
My first attempt to start an online business was building a website about personal development. I am very much into personal growth and extremely passionate about it. So, I thought it was a good idea to start with something I like. I was inspired by other personal development coaches and gurus you can find on YouTube for example. This stuff helped me a lot in my personal life, so I wanted to share it others too.
I remember the name of this website clearly. The project was called “Moving with Vison”. Anyway, it never took off because I had no clear idea of how to build this website and structure its content. Basically, I had no real clue of what I wanted to offer to other people. I did not know my target market and ideal customer. And to be honest, was I so passionate about a personal development website? Probably not, otherwise I would have pursued this project further.
It is not so easy to figure out what you want to do for business. I read all these books form Steve Jobs and other entrepreneurs. In hindsight everything looks so easy and clear.
I bought a book named “Side Hustle” written by Chris Guillebeau. This book was the first real value provider because it is written for the normal, little man. It is not packed with too much theory or advanced boring stuff you learn at business school. No, this book is a step-be-step guide and leads you through the process of getting started. This is what I needed to do because I simply had no bloody clue of where to start.
“Side Hustle” teaches you how to brainstorm business ideas, transform these ideas into an offer and eventually launch your new side hustle. According to his book, Chris’ process takes 27 days.
Of course, please do not take this for granted because it is not that easy. The 27day step-by-step guide is merely a guide to where to start and what important points you must pay attention to. One key element is action. If you don’t act, then nothing will happen.
I can tell you that after 27 days I had no business up and running let alone any viable business idea. How come? I did not take enough action, that’s for sure. I took it too easy. These business books are great but if you do not follow up on their advice then nothing will happen.
But why didn’t I have a viable business idea? I think that’s the hardest part for me, to come up with ideas.
To do that we need to dig much deeper into your personality. I learned that your business idea needs to consist of three components: you must be skilled at it, you must be passionate about it and others need to care about it, in short there needs to be a market for it. Now go and try to figure that out.
What I eventually did was to sit down and look at my strengths and weaknesses first. This alone can take time because we don’t know ourselves well enough. We think we do but we don’t.
So, I took a pen and a piece of paper and racked my brain. It took days. I wrote down what I think my strengths and weaknesses are. Then I continued to figure out what my values are. This is a very important process that you figure that out for yourself because your values are your compass. They will guide you for the rest of your life.
Next, I tried to figure out what am I good at, what am I skilled at, what experience do I have. Then I wrote down what my interests are and what am I passionate about.
Again, do not expect to figure all this out in 10 minutes. It can take a few weeks if you seriously brainstorm and contemplate. You might not hit the jackpot and experience the “AHA” moment, but you will dig your way through the jungle of your undiscovered personality. You will find out certain things about yourself.
You need that knowledge to decide what kind of side hustle or business you want to start. It comes all back to this convergence:
Your knowledge/skills + what are you passionate about + what does the market want.
Here is an example of how I went through this process of finding out what my skills and passions are:
I simply jotted down what ever came to my mind.
My skills or what I think I am skilled at:
· Speaking German and English
· Time management
I believe there is more, but this is what I came up after the first round.
My passions or what I think I am passionate about:
· Public speaking
· Reading books
· Marketing & Selling
When I looked at my list I thought, is that it? Is that all I am skilled at? This is a tricky thing because I learned that we humans tend to not being able to see the forest for the trees. What do I mean by that? I mean that your skills, whatever they are, are so obvious to you that you might not even be aware of them at all. You take them for granted or you are playing them down.
That’s a big mistake. Believe it or not, we all have skills other people will pay for with a lot of money. I know this is hard to believe and I struggled to understand this myself.
But it does make perfect sense, doesn’t it? And there is another problem, namely our low self-confidence. The way we think of ourselves plays into that wrong perception of having nothing valuable to offer to other people. Wrong!
Talking about value. This is another mantra I have been hammering into my mind since I first read about it in Chris Guillebeau’s books. YOU MUST PROVIDE VALUE TO OTHE PEOPLE, otherwise there is no point. Ideally, we are talking about massive value.
So now I know to a certain extent what my strengths, values, skills, experience and passions are. I also know that I must provide massive value to other people plus they need to care about that thing I have to offer.
What’s the next step then? Great question. I believe it is to continue to come up with ideas. I must keep practicing this. Chris believes that the highest skill of any side hustler and entrepreneur is the ability to think creatively and to generate ideas. He has convinced me.
Generating ideas can be hard work. You need to test them, perhaps sort them out and then start all over again. I am in that process right now to generate ideas. It is an ongoing process.
One of these ideas was to document my struggle, or to use a better word, to report my creative thinking process to people who are also interested to escape the corporate rat race.
Therefore, I started this website. You are experiencing live how I work through the process of generating ideas, testing them, sorting them out, learning everything I can about how to build a successful online business.
Since I have been passionate about this for a few years now I figured that I might as well share my development with the world of ambitious self-starters.
So here we go. Now you know where I am currently standing. I am thinking everyday about my values, strengths, skills and passions. You never know, maybe something new is coming up which I have not discovered yet about myself. I think hard about how to monetize my skills and passions. And I think extremely hard about how I can provide value to other people.
I understand that I need to provide a solution to a burning problem for a starving audience, this is what I have learned. It is absolutely important that I keep this in the back of my mind.
Right, yeah, that sounds all good on paper, but what idea to pursue? Should I go into the personal development business? That would be a great idea because I am so passionate about personal growth.
Or should I focus more on my online teachings or continue to polish up my writing skills? I have released a book after all, experimented with writing blog posts and it seems that I am somehow passionate about writing as well. Which field, area or niche should I pick?
In my next post I will share with you how I started the process of finding a niche. To find a profitable niche is another great counterintuitive concept in the world of business. Much to learn and understand there.
Till then, keep learning, creating and improving every single day a bit!