3 Steps to deciding on a startup idea
Have you ever considered the defintion of “entrepreneur”?
Dictionary.com defines it as “ a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk”.
The key term in this definition is the word risk. Running your own business or being involved in a startup is a risky situation: your money is limited, sleep is non existent, and stress is piling up. But it is also very rewarding, challenging and a fun experience overall.
Let’s assume that you agree with everything above, and you are ready to still take your chances and pursue this field. What now?
Typically, we (humans), get really excited about a topic and completely submerge ourselves by studying the ins and outs of it. In our case you are listening to a ton of podcasts about startups, you religiously watch Gary Vaynerchuk, and you consume every entrepreneurship related article on Medium. You are breathing, dreaming, speaking this startup world and you get more and more excited every minute. I know how it works, because I have done it.
I stopped listening to music in the car and switched to podcasts (startup related of course). I did watch and read everything from Gary Vaynerchuk. Entrepreneur magazine and Medium became my source of information. Yet, I couldn’t quite figure out the key part: what’s my idea? What kind of business could I start? What is my niche?
To be completely honest and blunt, I still do not have an idea, or a business model, or a niche. But here are the steps that I am taking to find the answers to those questions.
Step 1 : Do. Not. Think. About. It.
Stop it. Like, right now. Just stop daydreaming about your great company. It is not going to happen. You will fail, it won’t work out, the ship will sink..
Seriously, do not think about what your business venture should be. Especially if you are pursuing your first entrepreneurship experience. Instead, shift your focus to be more aware about your surroundings and the sturggles that you and/or people around encounter on regular basis. It can be a problem that has already been “solved”, but you have an even better solution.
Or it can be something totally new, that you are not even sure has a potential to become something. This should also be exciting. Now you can start the process of validating your idea before you begin building the product.
STEP 2: Do. Not. Think. About. It.
The headline of this paragraph sounds repetitive, doesn’t it? Awesome, if you noticed, that means that you are paying attention.
So, you found a problem that you think you should pursue, and you have a perfect solution. Relax, do not rush. If you make the mistake and “marry” the first idea that comes to mind, you will make your life much harder going forward.
There are many problems that could arise along the way. You need to be ready to pivot and change directions. The more emotionally attached you are to your first idea, the more difficult it will be to let it go.
Instead, time your time and sleep on it. Keep asking people about them encountering the same problem, but do not rush with building a product around it. Continue being aware of your every day struggles, and let this one sit out for a little while.
STEP 3: THINK ABOUT IT ALL THE TIME.
I know, my headline creation talents are pretty weak. You did notice that this one is different, and you should be excited.
Now, you should (absolutely should) go after it.
Quite some time has passed since your initial idea. You tried not to think about it, but it keeps coming back. Everyone around you is surprised about how great your idea is.
The last check is to decide if you’re willing to sacrifice to make this happen. It will take time, sleepless nights, resources and more. It will be the best time of your life, but it will also be full of challenges. Are you passionate about it enough to put everything on the line in order to succeed? If the answer is YES, then this is the one.
Go for it. Don’t just stand there.