Where Do You Get ideas?
The first place where you can look for ideas is yourself. Pretend you’re having an interview with yourself (then you can also practice for when you’re famous one day). Answer the following questions and jot down the answers:
What do you like?
Try to name more than five things.
For example: I like chocolates or I like playing with other people’s hair, or I like fixing things.
You have now written down all the things you like. When a person starts a business, it is very, very important that you do something that you like. Otherwise it will become BORING (and you definitely don’t want to be bored!).
How can you use what you like in a business?
- If you said that you like eating chocolates, then maybe you could create an interesting new chocolate. Melt together different types of chocolates, and who knows, you might have invented a brand new chocolate that you can sell. (Just be careful that you don’t eat everything yourself!)
- Or perhaps you enjoy playing with your friends’ hair … What about a stall that creates interesting hairdos?
- Maybe you’re one of those people who take apart things to see how they work. Well, maybe you can fix people’s broken radios and television sets?
Now, next to each thing that you like, write down how you could develop it into a business.
What irritates you? Name four things that irritate you.
For example: I hate tidying up and I hate it when people complain all day long.
It’s important not to start a business with something that irritates you! Who wants to spend the whole day doing things which irritate them?
Look at Question 2 again and write down four types of business that you don’t want to be involved in.
- I don’t want to start a business where I must tidy up constantly. (Then you shouldn’t try to make things, because that usually causes quite a mess!)
- I don’t like it when other people complain, so maybe I should not deliver a service to people, because there’ll always be those who are dissatisfied.
It may feel silly to do this exercise, but it’s also important to know what you don’t want to do. Now you know what to stay away from and maybe it will help you to choose the perfect business for yourself.
BUT on the other hand (everything always has two sides) this could provide you with a way of making money. If something irritates YOU, it might irritate other people too. Then maybe you can make money by thinking of a solution for the thing that irritates you and others!
Think of four things that irritate you or other people and how you can create a business that solves those irritations.
For example: Dogs often tear open garbage bags. Make a black bag holder on a pole.
What do you really want?
I want enough money to study further one day or I would like to make enough money to buy a computer one day.
You have now written down everything that you want. This question is very important, because it’s your MOTIVATION or it’s the goal which you hope to achieve, Remember, although it’s a lot of fun to start your own business, it’s also hard work. There’ll be times when you don’t feel like it anymore or you don’t have the energy to go on. It’s at such times that you must ask yourself: WHY did I start this business? What was my motivation?
Write down an internal motivation for yourself:
An internal motivation is about your feelings. (It’s not something you really want, like a bicycle or a computer.) How will you feel if you have a successful business?
I will be very proud of myself if I get it right. OR: I am going to prove to myself that I can start and finish something. OR: It has always been my dream to have my own business and now I can make it come true.
Write down an external motivation for yourself:
An external motivation is something that you really want, such as a computer or a television set. Choose one thing that is really important to you. It doesn’t help if you say that you want a computer, a bicycle and enough money to go to university one day. Choose the most important thing and write it down. This is your physical motivation.
What do you do well?
I can sort out things quickly, I can create beautiful hairstyles, and I make people laugh. Name at least five things (surely there are many!).
You must do something that you CAN do. We all received different talents and everyone is good at something. If you can’t really sing, it won’t help to decide that you enjoy singing and that you’ll give music concerts. If you can’t sing, perhaps you can read beautifully and then you can read passages from books to people. Therefore it’s important that you know yourself and know what you are able to do.
Now take another look at all your talents which you wrote down and next to each talent write down at least one way (try to think of more than one!) how you can use that talent to make money.