How to get clarity on your business idea
You’ve decided you are going to start your own business but your mind is racing with ideas and you are finding it impossible to decide which idea to focus on first. The result? You don't start, or you half start and dont finish any of your ideas, and constantly move from idea to idea, never really getting any of your ideas off of the ground. Sound familiar? Welcome to the world of entrepreneurship.
Before starting The Diary of a Manifestor I had SO many ideas. My mind was constantly spinning with them. Within a one hour period I could have moved between several different ideas. I would find something that felt right, tell everybody this was it, this was the right thing this was going to be my multi million business idea and reel off all of the reasons why this one would work….only to move onto something else rapidly, sometimes within the same day. I could not get clarity on what it was I wanted to do and how I was going to do it. All I knew is that I dreamed of working for myself, owning my own business and quitting my 9-5.
The truth is, starting a business is simple. That doesn’t mean it’s easy, but it IS simple. However, we have a tendency to make things so much harder than they need to be. We have so much technology available now to help us, we can literally start a business from our bedroom armed with nothing but a smartphone. Depending on your perception of technology though, you could also see it as something that makes things much harder and more complicated; its all about how you look at it.
The reality is starting a business is as simple as this. You create something you want to give to people, whether this be a product or service. You then market that product or service and you make money from it. It really is as simple as that. You repeat the process and constantly refine your business. The greatest and most successful people are constantly refining their business. It never started perfect from the beginning. Take any successful business owner, I challenge you to go back to their first ever posts on social media. Were they professional and produced by fancy graphic designers? NO, they were basic. What they did was uplevel constantly as their business grew. Refine, refine, refine! THAT is how they got to where they are today. Nobody starts from the top.
But what do you do when you are finding it impossible to decide what product or service it is that you want to pursue as your business idea? When you have ideas constantly flying around and you jump from one thing to the next never really giving anything a chance? Well the first thing I would recommend is making a mind map.
Grab some pens and paper and literally brain dump all of your business ideas onto paper. Don’t put any thought into it, literally write down all of your ideas. You can continuously add to your list of ideas and it’s important that you keep doing so. The reason that your ideas are taking up so much space in your mind and you feel overwhelmed is because you haven't written them down. You are scared of losing these ideas. So write all of them down as they come to you. I like to call this my ‘someday shelf’. My someday shelf is something I can come back to SOMEDAY to pursue if I want to but by writing it down I take away the pressure to pursue it TODAY. Because believe it or not you don’t need to start a podcast, a youtube channel and a blog all in one day. By writing it down and giving yourself permission to come back to it someday, you take away the fear of losing the idea and you get rid of the feelings of being overwhelmed and jumping from one idea to the next.
Now once you have got your list, here's what I want you to think about. Your perfect business idea needs to meet three criteria; it needs to be something you are passionate about, something you have expertise in and something that people want to buy. It’s really important that your business idea meets all three criteria, only having one or two just won’t work in the long run. You could be passionate about something, have expertise in it but nobody wants to buy it and theres no market for it. You could be passionate about something, theres a market for it but you have no expertise in it. That is going to be really hard to sustain when you don’t know what you are doing. Although I can tell you not to let this one put you off because you CAN develop expertise in anything if you really set your mind to it, it just might take a little longer.
And finally, you could have expertise in something, there could be a market for it but you don’t have passion for it. This last one is exactly what happened to me! I had over ten years experience in my expert field but I had literally lost all of my passion for it. This meant I was constantly battling with myself when I came to sit down and work on my business. I had no passion, no drive for the topic. I just didn’t want to do it. So what happened? It never got done! Passion is one of the most important things for your business, because news flash, you are going to be spending A LOT of time on this. You’re going to be writing about it and talking about it and posting about it. If you don’t have passion for your topic, it will never take off because you have negative feelings towards it that are holding you back.
If you don't want to do something then that might be why the website isn't getting build or the socialism aren't growing. You can't teach passion. You have to find something that is in alignment with you.
So here are some things to think about when working through each of the items on your mindmap;
- Passion - What do I love doing? What do I love to do so much that I would do it for free? Where is my heart? What is in total alignment with me? What do I love spending my free time doing? What can I talk about all day with someone?
- Expertise - What am I good at? What is my gift? What comes effortless to me? What do I know a lot about? What do people come to me for already?
- Market - Is there a market for this item? Do people want to buy this product or service? Who wants to buy this product or service? Are there people out there who would be willing to invest their money into this product or service?
Use these questions to work through your mind map and really narrow it down. If you still have a few ideas you are stuck between, take some time going through the process again with just those ideas. Make a pro’s and con’s list to the ideas. Ask friends, family, colleagues. You could even put a poll out on your socials to see what people think. Ask the universe for a sign!
I spent so much time being confused about which direction to take with my business. I literally spent years being confused. But seriously, all you need to do is decide that you are no longer available to be confused. You can decide today that you are only available for clarity in your business. You are not available for confusion, procrastination and lack of clarity. YOU get to choose what you are available for, and you get to choose today.