Entrepreneurship is hard, and coming up with a good idea can seem even harder when you don’t have much experience. I am big believer that there is money in just about everything and that the reason that some make it while others don’t is the simple fact that they focus on how well they execute, rather than focus on coming up with the perfect ideas.
Its not about what you choose to do, but rather how much you commit to becoming the best at it. There are however many instances when ideas just shouldn’t be acted upon, either because there is no real market or you just are the right person to bring it life. In order to understand this concept, I urge you to divide your ideas into two distinct categories:
1. Ideas that fulfill needs
2. Complex ideas that fix problems.
Ideas that fulfill needs are simply ideas focused on an existing solution out there that can simply be executed better. Most people have a need, and business owners and entrepreneurs fill such needs. It can be as simple as identifying the need for a coffee shop locally in your town where one is not present to providing an online service that already exists out there but could always be executed better.
The key here is to identify that the idea already has been proven to be needed, and therefore the need for market validation is almost not needed instead a clear plan of execution must be put together and elements of competitors or others who are in this market can be used as experience to help speed up the growth of the business from zero to profitable. These types of ideas are more aligned with starting a business where the goal is to be profitable.
On the other hand there are ideas that solve problems, problems which previously never had a solution. Meaning that you have identified either a problem you or someone else has and haven’t yet seen a solution out there or should I say a solution that has been accepted by the masses and adapted by all.
Such ideas require often more work, and longer commitments from the founders as not only does the solution must be created, but validated, marketed in numerous ways until the right one is found and finally accepted by the masses in order to be considered a huge success.
The time it takes, and the funding needs are often more with these ideas as there is really no existing path to base what progress should or shouldn’t look like on. These types of ideas are more entrepreneurial in nature which mean the core goal is to innovate and then sustain by being profitable.
The best way to get started is to be honest with yourself and actually categorize your idea by understanding if you are in the right position to undertake it. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and Space X didn’t start his entrepreneurial escapades of changing the world and its energy needs as his first project, he evolved into the person he needed to become before undertaking such world changing projects, giving him not only more funding but also a better chance to actually see such large ambitions come to life.
Here are a few ways to identify if your idea is indeed aligned to your ability to bring it to life, and perhaps as a result uncover even better ideas more suited to your expertise at this very moment. Keep in mind that while many ideas could be good, they might not necessarily be good for you and therefore, you will suffer greatly should you attempt to bring them to life, and could cause you massive money and time loss.
When thinking of ideas, think of a triangle with 3 equal sides and each peak represents 1 key criteria that is needed to identify if you are aligned with this new idea that just popped in your head.
Do I have enough self belief to see this idea to the end? Do I believe in my ability and believe in the need for such an idea to come to life, even if it is at the cost of personal loss?
Do I love the topic or any parts of the process, industry or people related to my idea? Meaning “Is my idea focused on a subject that I want to further research or enjoy working on?” This is very important because when money doesn’t come fast enough or the effort requires countless sacrifices, will you at least still enjoy the journey.
You have to ask yourself: Do I have the skills needed to bring this idea to life, or Do I lack all of them? While it is true that we can supplement our lack of capacity by bringing on partners or workers early on, we must understand what our skills are that will allow us to carve out a role for ourselves on this project.
We must be able to answer the question: Why are we important to this particular idea or project? And as a result define our role within it before starting. When skills, love and confidence find a point where they meet then whatever idea is at that intersection is the idea you need to further investigate and follow up on as it is an idea that is indeed yours to execute on.