“An idea can change your life”
That’s the slogan of an Indian Telecom giant (Idea Cellular).
Some ideas can even change the entire world. Think of Apple, Google, Walmart.
What made these companies so special? Great Ideas. Why are they so successful? Great Ideas.
There are people who believe great entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates have supernatural powers (that make great ideas bubble into their minds!)
But, you and I are not supers, right? So what will it take you (or me for that matter) to find ideas?
Relax!Finding an awesome business idea is just an easy exercise! Click To Tweet
After reading this blog post, you’d be able to discover all your talents and learn how to turn them into life-changing business ideas.
Shall we begin?
5 areas of your life where great fortunes are hidden!
Before jumping into business ideas, you need to find your talents and your potentials. In other words, finding what you’re passionate about, and what you’re good at, great at.Everybody has talents (even when they don’t know that they have it). Click To Tweet
If you base your business on your talents, you significantly increase your chance of becoming successful. And when you are able making a living by doing something you love, you become truly happy in life.
As the headline of this paragraph reads, there are areas of your life where great fortunes are hidden. And all you need to do is focus on yourself to be able to identify each one of them. This is a simple exercise that involves you, and some time alone.
We are going to create an Idea Engine that will help you develop more than one great business ideas (In future, you could become a serial entrepreneur!).
Please download the excel template called “Idea Engine” now or after reading this blog post.
1) Your Passions:
Steve Jobs was crazy about electronics and gadgets. During his school days, he boldly called Co-Founder of Hewlett-Packard and asked for parts for a school project!
Impressed by the young talent, Hewlett Packard not only provided him with the necessary parts but also offered him an internship.
So when Steve thought of starting a business, he turned his passion for electronics into his computer business.
Ask yourself now, what are you passionate about. What work do you love doing so much that the work itself feels like having fun?
Some are passionate about programming language; some are at poetry; while some others passionately build bridges!
Just take a deep breath and note down your passions under the heading called “Passions”
2) Your Hobbies:
At age 13, Bill Gates took programming as a hobby. And it was at this age when he started hacking! He was even banned from school for computer hacking.
Just to be fair to him, I must tell you that he also wrote scheduling programs for his school before moving to Harvard to study Law!
Everyone knows about Microsoft. But perhaps many forget to notice the fact that this gigantic and multi-billion dollar enterprise is based on one man’s hobby.
Hobbies are things that you love doing at your free time. These are your favorite time passing activities.
I am almost certain that you never looked at the strengths that you have may have developed by doing your time passing activities. But my friend, these strengths could unlock a fortune you never have imagined.
I hope you have downloaded the Idea Engine. Now it is time to note down your favorite hobbies.
3) Your Experience:The only source of knowledge is Experience - Albert Einstein Click To Tweet
While I can’t fully agree with Einstein, experiencing something is the best way to learn from it.
If you’ve valuable job experience which are of demand, you can surely turn them into business ideas.
You must have seen people working at the restaurants to open their own restaurants. This is just one easy peasy example, you can find plenty more examples in law firms, creative agencies, boutiques, etc.
And let us not forget those who become consultants after retiring timely or early (Examples – Manufacturing Consultants, HR Consultants, Marketing Consultants, etc.)
Turning your job experience into a business idea brings many great benefits.
a) You already have made mistakes (and have learned from it),
b) You understand the need gaps of the target customers (because you’ve dealt with them for long enough)
c) You have developed a network (of customers, suppliers, other stakeholders, etc.)
d) And many more…
While talking about experiences, let us not only narrow ourselves into Work Experience. How about life experience? If someone mastered stress management, self-control, Goal-setting, can’t he/she do something valuable?
Marie Forleo is a life coach (plus a business coach). She built a multi-million dollar enterprise purely from scratch.
But make no mistake my friend, she too suffered from indecisions, lack of directions and setbacks. And the best part is, she shares her valuable experience (her failures, lessons she learnt, and her success stories) with the world.
Back to you again, what are your work and life experiences? Do you think you can turn them into life-changing businesses? List them under the heading “My Experience”.
4) Personal Skills/Traits:Did you know that your behavior actually reveals some of your valuable skills!!? Click To Tweet
Why not? Some people always get angry, while some have learned to master their temper. So is it not a valuable talent? Of course it is.
Examples of other personal skills are patience, perseverance, devotion, obedience, diplomacy, ambition, positive, confidence, etc.
Some of these you already have from your childhood, some of these you may have developed through life experience.
Having one or more of these skills could make you a fortune in coaching/counseling. So don’t neglect your gifts. Write these down under the heading “Personal Skills”.
5) Your Education:
These are the skills that you have mastered by learning. Doesn’t matter whether you learned it from the classroom or from the internet. Examples knowledge-based skills are accounting, engineering, law, pharmacy, etc.
Is there any law of your land that forces you to find a job after graduation? No, there’s none! So before you jump into a “Job” disguised as “Career” or you decide to stay put there (in your job) forever, please do some soul searching.Jobs are for those who want to follow schedules, methods, and styles created by others. Click To Tweet
If you are hungry to achieve things which others haven’t, you’re not fit for a job.
If you believe that there are alternatives to established methods, you’re not fit for a job.
If you want freedom over your own work life, you’re not fit for a job.
Don’t break your heart if the job is not for you. Because you were created to create jobs. And you can only succeed when you do what you were created for.
Back to you again, what have you mastered through formal or informal education? Are you good at one or more fields? Please write these down under the heading “My Education”
Finding Your Best Talent(s)
How many of your talents have you listed? 5, 10, or 30? Now it is time to focus on your best talents and filter out the rest (not from your life, but from your list of business ideas)
To simplify the next steps, you need to shortlist up to 5 of your best talents. To do this take one of your talents at a time and answer 3 simple questions about it.
(i)Do I enjoy this work?
You don’t need to ask this question when you’re evaluating your passions or your hobbies. But for the three other areas of your talents, this question is must. Wonder why is this important? Because success is the prize of working hard. And you can work really hard when you’re enjoying your work.
(ii)Do I have enough knowledge and skills to succeed?
If you have management skills and enough money, you may be able to hire people who have necessary knowledge and skills to run your business.
But assuming that you’re planning to start all on your own (which startup entrepreneurs do), you need to have adequate knowledge and skills in the field to be able to succeed.
If the business requires formal certifications and training? Does it require prior experience? Do you have them? Find the answers to these questions before shortlisting this talent as one of your best ones.
(iii)Do I have access to money and other resources
Most of the giant businesses (Ford, Google, P&G) today had a humble beginning. That being said, you’ll still need to check if you’ve enough money and other resources (time, infrastructure, people) to start the business.
In case you do not have the minimum required money or resources, consider partnering with people. For example, Bill Gates partnered with Paul Allen (another programmer) to start Microsoft.
What kind of partner you need depends on what contribution you want. Is it money? Is it time? Is it a license? Or simply experience? Find a partner who can bring in what you lack.
There are many other considerations for a perfect partnership. I found that the entrepreneur magazine’s article on ‘13 tips to create the perfect partnership‘ is really useful.
How to turn your talents into business ideas
Finally, you started seeing some light, right?
Now that you’ve shortlisted your best talents; we will move on to how you can brainstorm business ideas around these.
For each of your talents, the opportunity of business can be found in various areas such as
- Education and or Consulting Business
- Direct Service or Products
- Support Service, tools & accessories
Let’s check these with some examples.
- Accounting Course/Tutorial
- Accounting Firm
- Accounting Software (Partner with a programmer to do so)
- Photography Instructor
- Photographer(Offering Service), Photographer(Offering Products, which means selling photos from portfolio)
- Photography Accessories Shop/Affiliate Marketing
So back to your very own Idea Engine, move to the “Possibe_Ideas” tab. Take one of your talents at a time and think of potential businesses that you could start.
I know you’re developing multiple ideas for business now, but you can’t start all of them together. So focus on top three business ideas which you’re comfortable about, knowledgeable about, and last but never least, a business idea which you’re passionate about.
4 Smart Ways to Engineer Your Idea for Success
Solve a Problem:
Think of yourself as a business owner trying to promote your products and services in the online media. You want tens of thousands of people to visit your website every day (to get sales, to get your marketing message delivered).
But wait a minute. How are you going to get such high number of people to visit your website? Houston, we have a problem!
No worries, Neil Patel comes into rescue. He is the go-to-guy for people who want to get more traffic at their websites. You can read his blog Quick Sprout and use the free tool at Neil Patel to analyze your website.
Now think for a minute, for a day, even a week; what are the major problems faced by people (in your area of expertise)? Can you solve one of them? More than one of them? Would people pay you for these solutions?
Fill a Gap:
Henry Ford thought of building cars that could meet the transport needs of the mass people. Because in the late 19th century, mass people could not afford a car.
A decade later (1908), Ford’s Model T was introduced. A car which was simple, affordable, and durable.
According to Ford Motors, more than 15 million Model Ts were sold until 1927. Arguably among the most famous cars of all time.
Thank you, Henry Ford, without you cars would remain as a display of luxury and novelty.
Make Something Better:
Google beat all other search engines because they were able to offer better user experience, search relevancy, less irritating ads.
Facebook offered better user experience, privacy control. This is how they beat MySpace and everyone else to become the number 1 social network.
In your own business, you’d be having a hard time if you offer the same thing to the same audience. So try to improve your product/service features and benefits before jumping into a full-fledged business.
Make Something Cheaper:
Follow this route only when you’ve (or can build) significant control over raw materials, or you have got a very efficient process of manufacturing/giving service. If you cut prices meaninglessly, the competitors will catch up with you and beat you down.
Walmart, with its large scale procurement (from the source) and no frills store operations, is able to offer quality products at low prices.
Dollar Shave Club is another example of a company offering low price. They removed unnecessary features from fancy razors and started selling them via subscription model (as low as One Dollar a month!). What an idea!
Finding ideas are not difficult at all. Today you’ve seen (or have revisited) how some of the great businesses started as someone’s passion, hobby, or life experiences. Using this post as a guide, you too can identify your talents (Gift from God), think of multiple business ideas around it, and finally engineer your favorite business idea so it can really change the world.
Don’t forget to download the Idea Engine to complete the exercise. It is a framework which will produce rich results for you.
So, tell me, are you an entrepreneur? How did you get the idea for your business? And if you’re among the wanna-be-entrepreneurs, how are you going to use this blog post to generate a life (and world) changing business idea?