Brainstorming Business Ideas

You might not know exactly what it looks like yet, but you do know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you want to start a business. For whatever reason, or maybe for a thousand reasons, you have always had the desire to go into business for yourself. Whether it is that you don’t fit into the corporate mold or that you want the flexibility to design your own days, you have your sites set on being a business owner. 

Let me make this clear from the very beginning:  Getting started is the absolute hardest part. It’s no wonder you haven’t done it yet. It is daunting, overwhelming, and just plain scary to start a business. 

What if you choose the wrong thing?

What if you fail?

What if your idea sucks?

What if...fill in the blank. I know you’ve got a million more.

 

The truth is, you will never know the answer to any of those what ifs. 

There is no answer.

It doesn’t exist. 

“What if” is something that may or may not happen in the future.

It’s not real, so stop wasting your time on it.

Stop wasting what is real - NOW - on something that isn’t real.

 

What IS real is your desire to be a business owner.

Your dream is real.

Now is the time to transform your dream into a reality.

What you need is a plan.

Take action and execute that plan.

It’s hard to start from nothing. You might not have a clue what you want to do specifically. You might have 1,000 possible ideas; they are constantly changing and evolving. One week starting a dropship business sounds like the answer to all of your prayers, and the next week you are inspired to open a community center or have a food truck or a specialty gift shop. 

You feel all over the place and can’t commit to one thing.

After all, what if you choose the wrong thing? (There it is again - this will keep happening. Just move on.)

Here are some tips on how to begin brainstorming business ideas.

Ask yourself thoughtful questions and write the answers down. Here is a list of questions to help get you started:

  1. What do you like to do? Sure, you’d like to take long walks on the beach, but unless you want to be a dog walker (and maybe you do!) you might have to come up with some other ideas. What parts of past jobs did you enjoy? What hobbies do you have that you can monetize? Maybe you take beautiful photos on those long beach walks? 
  2. What conversations do you like having? Do you love talking about health and fitness? Does real estate excite you? Do you want to talk about travel all day? Or the latest and greatest technology? 
  3. What skills do you want to bring to your business? What were you recognized for in your past positions? What did other people come to you for help about?
  4. What problem do you want to solve? Is there a product or service that you think can fill a gap in any given industry? An app that you think can help people? 
  5. What are your talents? List them and decide how you can use these talents in your business.

Gather all of the answers. You might already find yourself being pointed in a certain direction based on your answers. 

You might already have a specific idea. Or twenty.

Now that you have gotten some self exploration out of the way, let’s get more focused on the business itself.

Here are some questions about the business model that you can ask yourself:

  1. What is the basic business structure? Is it service or product related? Is it an online business or does it require physical space? Is this a full time venture for you or a side hustle?
  2. What type of hours do you want to work? 
  3. What is your budget for opening a business?
  4. What is your time frame? Do you want to open in 6 months? In 1 year?
  5. What are your goals for this business?
  6. Do you have any resources that you can contact for help? Maybe people you know who have a similar business?

Don’t forget these basic brainstorming tips:

  1. Write the answers down.
  2. Try brainstorming in groups - ask friends or family to have a session with you. Sometimes other people are better at telling you what you are good at because you have trouble recognizing it!
  3. Be open to different ideas and let them sit for a bit before crossing them off the list.
  4. Don’t judge. Sometimes it’s the ideas that sound crazy at first that we end up running with. 
  5. Think big! Think creative. Think outside the box. 

You have some ideas. Now what?!

Here are some tips for flushing out some of your ideas a bit further:

  1. If you haven’t already brainstormed in groups, run the ideas by some other people. Getting your ideas out of your head and out of your fantasy world is always a good step. 
  2. Say it out loud. Start talking about your ideas with friends, family, or a coach. Not only will it start to make the dream feel real, but you will also talk through some important things which can help you get clarity.
  3. Journal about your business ideas. Again, bringing your ideas and thoughts out of your head will bring clarity, AND now you have thoughts on paper so you won’t forget that brilliant idea that came to you last week.
  4. Make a list and prioritize them. If you have a few ideas that you like, can you put them in order from favorite to least favorite? 

Make a Decision

I highly recommend committing to one idea and going for it. Even though you might have a handful of things that you want to try, choosing one and giving it all your focus and energy is the best way to ensure success.

So how do you choose?

  1. Write out a pros and cons list for each business. Include things like start-up time and costs, income potential, schedule, possible roadblocks, licensing requirements or certifications needed, or anything else you can think of.
  2. Which business feels best aligned with you and your values? What is important to you in life? Which business idea stays true to your core values? If you aren’t sure what your values are, ask me for my values worksheet to discover yours. Knowing your core values can be used as a compass for this and other important decisions that you will be making throughout your life.
  3. Visualize yourself, down the line, working on your business. What will your day to day activities be? Ideally talk to some people who have a similar business and see what they do each day and what their journey has been like. Sometimes we romanticize things, but the reality of what they do each day doesn’t look so great. Picture yourself in that role and decide if it is something that feels right.

There you have it! 

Truthfully I believe a lot of people have the idea in there. 

There is just a fear of saying it out loud.

Fear of failure.

Fear of disappointment.

Fear of not being good enough to see it through.

Fear of what other people might say when it fails.

Fear of spending time and money on something that fails.

 

For many, myself included, the idea was in there for so long that for a while you lost sight of the fact that it could be your reality, and not just a daydream.

All of that is your ego talking.

Our egos are designed to keep us safe.

Anything unknown is considered by our egos to be unsafe, so it tries to stop us.

It tries to keep us safely in our comfort zone.

It will do and say anything (that voice in your head) to talk you out of it.

Don’t listen.

 

As a matter of fact, don’t just not listen, but get in the habit of shutting that voice up.

Start to recognize when you hear it, and replace those negative thoughts, or limiting beliefs, with something positive and motivating.

Empower yourself with positive thoughts.

 

In closing, don’t be selfish.

Don’t keep yourself and your gifts from the rest of the world.

Live your purpose.

Live your passion.

Live your dream.

The universe needs you.

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