Money, money, money.
‘Money makes the world go round’. It is probably the sole motivation of many entrepreneurs.
A lot of people go into business for one reason – to make money. However, according to British business magnate, Richard Branson, it isn’t actually a good idea. If this is your main reason, your business is likely to fail.
On the other hand, if you are dedicated and passionate about a particular field, that energy can be highly influential. Not only does it inspire the people who work for you, your audience catches on to it as well.
“When you believe in something the force of your convictions will spark other people’s interest and motivate them to help you achieve your goals.” -Richard Branson
So… are you still interested in establishing your own startup?
If you are, you’ll have to figure out what makes you tick. You’re going to travel through time. Revisit your past, reflect on the present, and zoom in to the future.
Here are some brainstorming ideas:
Reconnect with your Inner Child
Kids are always running around with tons of energy and I feel a little envious when I see how excited and hyper they can get. But I remind myself that I was once a kid, too.
Try to embrace that inner child within you. And release it. The objective here is to rediscover your passion and feel super psyched again. Reminisce to your childhood days.
What were your childhood aspirations?
When you were 10 years old, what did you tell everyone you were going to be?
What were your favorite activities and hobbies?
What did you spend most of your time doing?
Remind yourself about who you were as a child. And that you are actually the same person now. You are still curious, playful, and spontaneous. Grab a pen and paper. Write down all these memories from your childhood. It will give you plenty of ideas.
For example, when I was young, my aspirations changed every month. In January, I wanted to be a doctor. In February, I wanted to be an engineer. In March, I wanted to be an interior designer.
When I look back at these memories, I sort of understand why I didn’t only have one aspiration. Because I liked so many things. And to this day, I still like all these things.
I regularly read about health and technical stuff. My friends like to tease me and call me the Google Doctor. Or in my spare time, you’ll see me pinning nice interiors on Pinterest. I have an entire collection of bedrooms, living rooms, and kitchens that I simply love to drool over.
And although I didn’t end up becoming a doctor or designer, I’m still very much interested in these subjects. Who knows I’ll start a business in that industry one day.
The first step is to brainstorm all these areas of interest. Brainstorm all the things you’ve liked since you were young up until now. And then slowly dig deeper.
Focus on your skills
Everyone is equipped with skills. You may have picked them up over the years from school or your job or even from hobbies. These skills can be divided into two categories – professional skills and personal skills.
These are some examples of professional skills:
- Leadership and Management
- Project Management
- Team Building
- Critical Thinking
And some examples of personal skills:
- Car Maintenance
- First Aid and CPR
Look into the skills that you have honed. Something that you have good knowledge about. You wouldn’t want to step into unknown territories.
Choosing an industry where your skills lie will be beneficial. If you are skillful in certain areas, it will be easier and more enjoyable to carry out tasks. Keep in mind that you will be using these skills to be productive.
Think about what you’re good at and see if you can apply it to a certain expertise. This will give you a rough picture of what you’ll be doing on a daily basis. It also shows you which skills are lacking and the type of team you will need to put together.
Along the way, you can also pick up new skills that you think will be helpful. There are loads of books and video tutorials available. Set aside some time for learning and growth.
What brings out your emotions?
In order to be passionate about something, you need to care about it. There must be particular issues that bring out your emotions.
Whether that emotion is happiness, sadness, or anger, you need to figure out why you feel a certain way about certain topics. For instance, when you watch TV or read the news, consider the times when you felt all of these emotions.
Perhaps digesting the latest gadgets or football match recaps brings a smile to your face. Or hearing about refugees hits a sensitive spot in you.
Look back at all those times when these emotions converted into actions. Or almost did.
Did you tell your friends and family about it?
Did you start a Facebook group for it?
It would be a good idea to make a collection of these feelings and scale-up. Be innovative and have a wild imagination.
Maybe you’ve figured out a quicker way to get the latest updates on sports. Or it could be that you want to support a cause.
Whatever it is, it has to be something that ignites your fire. That fire will give you direction and purpose.
Envision the future
You’re not the only one. There are a lot of people out there that don’t know where to begin. Where to draw inspiration from.
Let’s take advice from Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX. He is an incredibly brilliant individual. Some call him a genius.
According to Musk, you don’t have to change the world. It’s good to dream big, but keep it simple. Think about something that will be useful to society. That itself is already good enough.
Your idea could be a simple game or improvement in photo-sharing. Whatever it is, it must be good for the people. It could either have a high impact on a small number of people or low impact, but on a large group of the population.
Fast forward 5, 10, 20 years and imagine what life will be like. What problems would need solving? Focus on how you could solve these problems.
For example, when Musk was 22 years old, he thought about problems in these 5 areas. And he felt the urge to solve them.
- Multi-planetary life
- Sustainable energy
- Artificial Intelligence
While studying in Stanford, he did not expect to run a company like Tesla or SpaceX. He simply wanted to be useful to civilization.
Today, his main objective is to continuously improve technology to make sure that it gets better year after year. And he acknowledges the fact that it might take a really long time to materialize. But what matters to him is that he is able to make developments and pass it on to the next generation to continue.
Be useful. Try to repeat these two words in your head when going through ideas and problems that need to be solved.
You can also check out the interview carried out by Y Combinator: Elon Musk – How to Build the Future:
You’re closing in on your passion. What’s next?
You’ve gone through a ton of ideas and now you’re feeling super optimistic about it. The next step is to take some precautions. Do your homework first. You need to study the market before jumping into it. Try to minimize risks and potential issues.
Here are several factors to consider before embarking on your entrepreneurial career:
The Internet offers a wide range of tools and services. You could also hire professionals for the launching phase. You will need to think of the channels you are interested in using to gain recognition. Find good opportunities to introduce your product to the market.
A good place to start is by browsing events that are relevant to your industry. You can mark your calendar. At these events, you’ll be able to meet the right people.
Identify a group of people who will benefit from using your product. Knowing your audience will also help you to communicate at a higher level with them.
‘Keep your friends close and your enemies closer’. You can learn a lot from your competition. If you are new in the field, you can pick up a few tricks from those that have been there and done it.
Try to figure out their successes and failures. If you notice the things they’ve done well, you can also run things in a similar way.
Risks appear in various forms. It could be financial, legal, or even pandemics. Draw up several scenarios that may likely occur. If it is a risky business, you might want to stop here and think twice.
Once you’ve figured out your business idea and done your research, you’re ready to proceed to the next phase. It’s time to pour everything into a business plan.
Congratulations on reaching the end!
Do you need more tips or support? Or do you have any tips to share with us?
Join our Facebook Group Community with over 4,700 entrepreneurs, innovators, and creators by Startup Funding Event, where you get access to free live training, daily Q&As, design templates to get your business started, and support from the SFE team. Join here!