Are you excited by the idea of starting a business that will allow you to work from and be your own boss, but you have no idea what business to start?
I struggled with this for many years. I knew I wanted to have my own business working for myself, but I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do. I have dabbled in lots of things, but it takes true commitment to grow a successful business, so you want to focus on a business you’ll love.
Easy enough, right? No! It’s hard if you really have no idea what you want to do. On the flip side, it can an be especially hard if you get excited by LOTS of ideas (like me!). How do you choose?
If you are feeling stuck because you’re not sure what kind of business to start, don’t fear.
You’ll find your idea if you keep an open mind, expose yourself to other entrepreneurs (not literally!) and keep learning new things.
Here are some tips to help you find your ideal business idea:
1. Leverage your experience
Sometimes the best ideas are right under your nose.
I worked as a staff accountant for years, but always loathed the 9-to-5 desk routine. I thought it was the accounting that I despised, but over time I realized it was the boredom of sitting in an office all day that I didn’t like.
I shifted my thinking and started using my accounting skills to work with small business clients on the side as a bookkeeper. That has turned into a thriving freelance bookkeeping business for me, allowing me to work from home.
Take an inventory of your skills. Could you leverage any of those skills into a business? This could be your shortest path to a successful home-based business.
2. Listen to podcasts
I spend ALOT of time listening to podcasts. I listen to them in the car, when I’m on the treadmill and when I’m walking my dog. Podcasts can provide so much inspiration and really get the creative juices flowing (and they are free!).
I have quite a few podcasts I’m loving right now. Here are a few of them:
- Side Hustle Nation – this is one of my favorites! Nick Loper has really good interviews with entrepreneurs doing all kinds of cool things from dog walking businesses, to selling lemonade at music festivals. I like that he interviews regular people and not just “internet famous” people.
- Side Hustle School – what’s great about this podcast is host Chris Guillebeau has a new episode everyday and each one is a quick listen. Most episodes are less than 10 minutes and focuses on different side hustles people are doing to make money. Tons of inspiration!
- Shopify Masters – if you love the idea of selling a product online, then check out this podcast which includes interviews with all kinds of e-commerce Shopify sellers.
- Online Marketing with Amy Porterfield – Amy interviews interesting entrepreneurs from course creators to billion-dollar business owners. She also has episodes are just packed with great tips for building a business.
There are tons of great podcasts out there. Find a few that resonate with you and listen to them while commuting or working out!
3. Join a networking group
If you are someone who likes collaboration, then joining a group of like-minded women to bounce ideas off of could be a great move for you.
I belonged to the Polka-Dot Powerhouse networking group for a year and found that the monthly meetings really got my creative juices flowing. Plus you meet so many different women doing really interesting things. You might make a key contact (or two or three) that could help you come up with a great business idea.
If attending in-person meetings isn’t ideal for you, try finding groups online, such as Facebook groups, that can help you connect and brainstorm with others.
4. Spend quiet time thinking
This one might sound weird, but honestly, this has helped me tremendously. And while it sounds super easy, I have found that it’s hard to carve out enough time in my busy day to do this consistently.
I have so much noise in my head and in my life. We all do. I’m sure you do too!
When I do carve out the time, I take my notepad and favorite pen and I sit in a room by myself – no TV or music – and I think. I think about what I enjoy, what I’m good at, what’s working for me right now and what’s not.
You may find that meditation, long walks or journaling help you best connect with your inner thoughts.
Whatever it is, prioritize the time and activity that will help you clear the clutter in your mind and get to your root desires.
5. Now stop thinking and start taking action
One of the biggest things that can prevent you from success is analysis paralysis.
It’s very easy to over-think and over-analyze your ideas. While I recommend quiet time for thinking, you do have to progress past the thinking and move into action.
The only way you’ll know if you like something, or if it will work, is to try it. I am the queen of trying different things. I get a rush from it.
That’s not to stay I don’t get stuck in analysis paralysis from time-to-time, but taking action is where the rubber meets the road. Nothing happens without action.
And action leads to new things.
So don’t wait. If you have a couple business ideas floating around in your idea, take a few minutes to think them through, then start acting on one of them. See where it leads you!
You Got This!
Don’t let a lack of focus on a particular idea kill your entrepreneurial dreams. Take a first step doing something, even if it’s volunteering at a local event, and see where that first step takes you!