Edited by Alison Carminke
“I want to start a business but have no ideas. What can I offer that people really want?”
Do you know that question as well as I do? In the early stages of my business, I was desperate to find the right business idea. I knew I wanted to run my own business, but without a proper and profitable business idea – how could I do that?
Creating a sustainable business to grow with and to carry me through the years has always been important to me; much more important than having instant success. However, finding the right idea for my sustainable business seemed impossible.
As soon as you know you want to become an online business owner, you need to start looking for ideas. Unfortunately, at this point many people set aside their entrepreneurial dream, because finding the right business idea seems like a mysterious process only a handful of people can solve. But that’s not true. No matter where you come from or what you have been through, you can find the right business idea to make your dream come true.
For me, running my own business means being fulfilled. And creating something that is sustainable for many, many years is awesome.
That’s why I want to show you 3 simple steps to help you to find the right business idea, so you can also make a meaningful change in your life.
1. Find your “WHY”!
Often we limit ourselves to one idea because we start by asking ourselves “HOW” instead “WHY”. Start by answering these two crucial questions:
- What change do you want to make for yourself (e.g. flexible time management; more time to spend in nature; never having to cook again)?
- What change do you want to make in the world (e.g. free the oceans from garbage; enable more children to become educated; bring more beauty to the world)?
Before asking “HOW”, always ask “WHY”.
Take some time to sit and write down whatever comes to mind. Then make it bigger and create a vision for yourself. The combination of these two answers become your personal vision and therefore, your personal goal!
2. Find your “WHAT”!
Take a closer look at your personal vision, and turn your “WHY” into a “WHAT”. So for example, if you want to bring more beauty into the world, you could start doing something with graphic design or fashion coaching. Collect everything that comes to your mind, and start asking supportive friends and family to find even more ideas.
Make a list of the top 5 things and have a closer look into each of them. What’s realistic and promising? Which idea makes your heart leap? The idea that makes your heart tingle is probably your “WHAT”.
3. Decide “HOW”!
Now you know your “WHY” and you’ve narrowed that down to a “WHAT”, it’s time to look seriously at “HOW”.
You may not know already whether you want to start out as a solopreneur, freelancer or socialpreneur (i.e. starting a business in a team). Think about those different scenarios.
Do you want to collaborate with someone, or start your own business that you run by yourself? Which idea fits most with your personality? Which can you implement more easily in your life?
Stay true to yourself!
Now you’ve taken the first steps! But it might take another 6 months until you can quit your current job, so you can save enough to make this huge change. In that case, it’s important to stay true to yourself and keep your dream alive.
Your inner attitude determines your external success. Look for people who will help you to develop the right mindset. And always remember your vision: are your actions taking you closer to your goal, or further away?
This expedition into the unknown always requires courage. Courage to take the next step, and a different step than the one that people are telling you to take. If you want to change the world, you will have to take paths no one has taken before. Let your intuition guide you, put your gut feeling above your business plan and apply empathy as a tool for making decisions.
I dare you to trust in the process – doesn’t matter what other people might say. It is your business and you decide. And above all: have fun with it!