Business Ideas are not Random
Inspired business ideas
It was a rainy morning and my waking thoughts were about how to reach more people with my business training. During face to face trainings I saw a handful of people ‘get it’ and take their ideas forward in a planned and deliberate manner. I wondered ‘How could I reach more people especially Africans who couldn’t find this information so easily?’ My mind was already ticking over with new ideas and courses I could design…and I hadn’t even had my morning coffee!
New ideas are everywhere
People think that coming up with a new business idea is the most difficult thing in the world. In fact it’s not. New ideas are all around us.
There are lots of ideas around, in the most ordinary things. Some business ideas are a bit wild or different and they could be risky ventures. Other ideas may be comparatively tame because things have been done the same average way far too long.
Business ideas often solve problems
Good ideas often succeed by solving a problem and you can find ideas everywhere if you look at things with ‘problem focused vision’. There are problems all around us – everything from the challenges to get clean water and congested traffic, to finding nail polish that doesn’t evaporate and how to keep food fresh in the fridge. Think about the problems creatively and you might start to find business ideas comes to mind.
For example, I always struggle to get an ‘Uber’ driver to collect me from certain areas in Cape Town. How could I solve that problem? Would a taxi company be able to provide extra passengers as additional security to make it safer to access areas, and pass the charge to the client? I honestly haven’t done the numbers on that, but it’s a problem I have faced too often.
Business ideas often match our skills and experience
My starting point is a belief that nothing happens by accident. Ideas are inspired and they usually perfectly match your skills, experience and personality. Ideas are often divinely inspired. If you think that is an extreme thought, think about that idea that keeps coming back to you. Yes, the idea that catches you in your waking moments as you start your day. You have been tossing that idea around in different shapes for a long time.
I believe the fact that the same idea keeps inspiring and urging you forward is a big hint and one you shouldn’t ignore!
Ideas are not accidental
Ideas usually come to you for a reason. Imagine that you have been chosen to be the one to put your idea into action. Probably you have the skills (technical capacity, natural ability and aptitude), experience (training, work experience or hobby interests) and personality (creativity, tenacity, patience and resilience) needed to make your business idea happen.
Is there an idea in your mind that you just can’t forget or walk away from? Is there a business idea that makes you too excited to sleep, or is the first thing on your mind every morning? How would your world look if you put it into action?
Ideas test our commitment
I don’t think a radical and amazing idea will come to you while you’re sitting in your comfort zone, but it might, and if it does, the danger is that you will be tempted to push it aside and keep watching DSTV. In contrast, it might not be smart to invest money in a new idea just because you suddenly thought of it. Having a good business idea will test our commitment because if we believe in the idea we need to take action to clarify the idea further.
The challenge for us as creative and courageous entrepreneurs is to understand the mix between staying comfortable and being daring. On one hand you might put energy, effort and money into a business idea that is doomed to fail, or on the other hand, you might miss out if you don’t put energy, effort or money into an idea that has potential.
Test and clarify the good ideas
How can you know if your business idea is worth pursuing, or not? The most difficult thing is to figure out if your idea is any good, if it has real possibility? Does it have potential to become a viable business? Could you pay the bills and make a profit if you took action on your business idea? There are no easy answers to this question, but there is a process.
You need to think like a scientist who is testing his or her theory. You wouldn’t want to sink all your resources into creating the newest cure for malaria and be told by your friends that “it works” when they were really just being nice to you because they couldn’t tell you that your medicine didn’t cure anything. No. You would want to see tests, factual responses and results before you invested too much.
Good ideas should be tested – clarified – with real people. Yes, that means conversations with real people. You need to find people who might be similar to those who would be interested in the product or service you would be offering – people who are more likely to tell you what they really think than your mama or papa, if you get what I mean. Real people will ask questions and have queries that help you to clarify whether the idea is feasible, or not.
Don’t ignore inspired ideas
In conclusion, some ideas are not random. There are some ideas that keep you awake in the evening, or catch you while you daydream. If I hadn’t acted upon my waking thoughts that and several other rainy mornings, I wouldn’t be writing these words today.
Not all ideas must be put into action immediately today and you are not obliged to act on every idea that crosses your mind. However, ideas that provide solutions to real problems and match your skills, experience and personality are the ideas that you should pay attention to. Those are the ideas you should test so that you get clarity on the full business concept. Those are the business ideas that you should consider taking from idea to action.
Business ideas are not random – they are given to you for a reason!
I wrote more about how to figure out what matters to you in this post. I believe that there is something important that you should be doing with your life and with time and effort you can discover it for yourself.
I love to hear from you so please let me know how I can help more.