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June 1, 2017

How to Find Your Business Idea

Regardless of why you want to start a side or small business, there’s never been a better time to do it.

3 Steps to Find Your Business Idea

So, you want to do something, but you’re not sure what. Maybe you’ve always had the urge to do your own thing, or maybe you’ve recently become fed up with a job you hate. Maybe you’ve got friends doing it and wonder if you could, too. Or maybe you just want more flexibility to be with your family. Regardless of why you want to start a side or small business, there’s never been a better time to do it. We live in a side-gig generation and a You-economy—so why not you?

Business Boutique launched just over a month ago and became a #1 best-selling book, which is awesome, because that means a lot of people now have the plan they need to start or grow their business idea. But what if you don’t know what business you want to start? As Jack London said, “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” So let’s get going! Here is a quick way to come up with your business idea.

This strategy is simple. I want you to start with what you have: your skills, your strengths, and your stuff. This is important because when you start with what you have, you save yourself a lot of time and start-up costs! You make it easy on yourself to win because you already have what you need to get started!

  • Your SKILLS
    What education, experience, certifications, or credentials do you have? Do you have a degree in public relations or accounting? Have you worked in a particular business or industry? Do you have graphic design or project management experience? Think through any skills that you have and brainstorm a list of business ideas that you could start based on those skills.
  • Your STRENGTHS
    What are your natural gifts and talents? Are you a gifted singer or artist? Is organizing or home decorating effortless for you? Do you enjoy teaching or coaching others? If you need help identifying your strengths, you can take a personality assessment such as the DISC, or you can check out my podcast about the Five E Questions. After you identify your strengths, I want you to add to your business idea list with more ideas based on your strengths.
  • Your STUFF
    What stuff do you have? Do you have a swimming pool or sewing machine? Do you have a computer or piano? After you brainstorm business ideas based on your skills and strengths, I want you to add to your list with more ideas based on your stuff. Even obvious stuff—like your house and car—can be used! After all, that’s what successful companies like Airbnb and Uber are based on!

By this point you should have a pretty good list of business idea options based on your skills, your strengths and your stuff. From there, you can narrow down your list to your top ideas. A great way to narrow down your list is by thinking about the future.

Think about your life in five years. What ideas would you actually still want to be doing five years from now? Which ideas sound the most exciting and fun? Which ones make the most sense for your life and your resources long-term? Narrow your long list down to your best ideas.

Finally, it’s time to pick your idea! By this point, there should be one that stands out among the others. Maybe it’s the easiest to pull off or the most exciting to work on or the most valuable for the market—or all of those reasons! It’s that simple: just start with what you have.

However, before you go for it, there’s one thing you must have if you’re going to succeed in business. Once you have that, you’ll have all of the most important information you need about your business idea. I’ll cover that in my next post, so check back to make sure that you’re set up to succeed!

(P.S. I have a secret to tell you, my blog readers: I’m working on something that I am so excited about, specifically for the Dreamers. If you are a Dreamer and you’re interested in helping me out with my special secret project, you can fill out a survey for me here and I’ll be in touch!)

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  1. Camille says:

    I simply love how you are empowering women! You could have kept the best-kept secrets to success to yourself, but your selflessness to share your wealth of knowledge is awe-inspiring…. thanks for all you do, &, please, keep the wisdom coming!