So, you’re ready to break free of your workerbot thinking and start working for yourself. You’re motivated to launch your venture from scratch and start seeing quick results. You’ve got dozens of ideas buzzing around your head (if not, read this). There’s just one thing you need now: to choose the best idea to launch.
Making this choice is the starting point for any project, and while there’ll be plenty of time later to modify and tweak your idea, here are 3 questions to answer to help you choose the perfect idea for you.
1. Does this idea excite you?
No one said that every step of your venture would be easy and fun, but it’s far more likely to succeed if you glean enjoyment from it. That’s why when choosing your idea you should imagine how it would feel to actually be doing it. If the venture feels like something that would be more chore than fun, then it’s probably not for you. However, if the idea of your venture excites you (even if it scares you a little too!) then it’s definitely worth following through.
Beware in particular choosing the ‘sensible option’ because it is supposed to be lucrative right now. If you don’t have any real interest in the topic, you won’t be able to compete with someone who is genuinely passionate about it and thinks about the topic in every waking moment!
2. What do you bring to this idea?
One of the best things about launching your own venture is that you get to tailor it around you – the skills that you’re great at and love using – whether it’s people skills, tech skills, detail-focus, big-picture view or some specific industry knowledge or expertise. If your idea doesn’t make the most of your talents, then it may need a bit of tweaking to better leverage the things that make you unique. If the only thing you bring to this idea is the idea itself, it may not be the best one for you.
However, this doesn’t mean that you should drop an idea just because you’re not great at everything involved with it; you can always bring someone else in to help with the parts that don’t play to your strengths so that you can focus on those that excite you the most.
3. Does this idea have value to others?
It’s always difficult to imagine how much value your idea might have to others, but when choosing your idea it’s something that’s important to bear in mind. Ask what your idea might provide to a client / audience and whether it might be interesting, useful, entertaining, or educational to them.
Even if you’re passionate about a subject you need to channel it into an idea that others might appreciate. For example, a blog about something you’re excited to be learning right now is not that interesting to other people unless you make it a blog that teaches others too, brings them into the conversation, or curates the latest news stories around your topic in one place.
This is about thinking not just from your perspective but from other people’s and it’s actually the heart of marketing.
If you’re stuck on this question, it’s OK to turn your idea into a 30-day Play Project and throw yourself into playing it out. By the end you will have plenty more ideas how the thing you’ve been creating could be interesting or useful to others – even if you have to change the focus of what you’re doing to match.
What about money and market-testing?
At this point you might be shocked I’m not talking about competitive analysis, marketing testing and pricing. These are all things to consider as time goes on but if you have a genuine excitement about a topic and some real abilities to bring to it, there will pretty much always be a way to create something of value to people if you’re flexible about how you do that (and if you create something of value then you can bet there will be a way to make money out of it).
Sometimes that will mean executing a ‘pivot’ to change the focus of your fledgling business early on but plenty of successful businesses have been through that including Nintendo, YouTube, Instagram, Groupon, and Pixar.
As long as you follow the principles I teach on getting started quickly with near-zero expenditure you’re not taking any risks.
Try to avoid getting lost in online research – particularly if what you’re really doing is finding a reason why your idea won’t work (see my post on Researchitis).
What if there is a potential problem with this idea?
Whatever idea you choose there will be drawbacks and challenges. If you discard every idea that has any kind of problem with it you will end up with no ideas at all. Accept that there will be problems along the way and you’ll have to find creative solutions to them – perhaps drawing on the help of others who are more experienced than you. That’s part of the adventure of any creative or entrepreneurial project. Rest assured that others will have faced similar problems and solved them and you will find a way too if you’re determined.
So, what will you launch? If you want to share your idea, post it in the comments for me to read.
In my new book Screw Work Break Free you can discover…
- Tips on how to generate ideas for your venture
- A complete in-depth strategy for finding the very best idea out of all your options that you’ll love doing and will also make money
- How to take your venture from idea to launch in just 30 days
Download a free chapter here.