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How to come up with a business idea you'll enjoy

momomaurice

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Ask yourself these 5 questions.

1) What did you do the last 10 years?
2) What did you grow up around?
3) What do strangers compliment you on?
4) What could you talk about effortlessly with friends when you're not at work?
5) What did you want to be when you were 14 to 16?

Come up with one sentence with all these answers.
Pick an industry this leads to like technology, agriculture , construction etc

Take your time answering the questions.

Then that should lead you down the path of something you may enjoy.

My answers were:
1) Travelled a lot and worked in construction
2) Not sure about this but I said music
3) My work ethic
4) Business, making money and sports (soccer)
5) soccer player

This led to my one sentence answer: A sports or construction business where I could work while travelling, so an online sports or construction business.

This leads me to the technology industry.

I'm actually in the process of starting an online business anyway but it's not a sports or construction business.

I got this from a course from a very popular "guru" and just wanted to see what other people came up with and if it worked for them.
 

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momomaurice

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The MARKET doesn't care what you enjoy. I happen to like what I'm doing but my customers wouldn't care if I despised it. Check out MJ's "Cancer Corollary".
I know this but you can check (if you're struggling to come up with an idea) that your business could be a money maker before you start it!
 

Get Right

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I know this but you can check (if you're struggling to come up with an idea) that your business could be a money maker before you start it!
It's just a lot faster/easier/accurate to find the market first. I've done it both ways many times. Maybe my tenth checkbox is enjoyment.
 

El Príncipe

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I don't know @Get Right

I've been giving this some thought. Saying following your passions doesn't always lead to success isn't the same as saying you should always follow something that your dispassionate about.

Even on Shark Tank investors tend to go with what they're familiar with and tend to back out of things that they admit having no feel or liking for.
 

El Príncipe

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1) Optimizing my nutrition and health. Building a social life in a new city. Developing leadership. Traveling.
2) The street. Hiphop. Basketball. Video games. The internet. Music. Travel.
3) Really don't know.
4) Hiphop music, artists, festivals. Cultural differences and travel. Business, money, hustle, mentality.
5) A successful, famous rapper.

Currently working in events and marketing for a hospitality business. Definitely can see that progressing to events geared towards the urban culture space. Or something else in that space. Something that will eventually give me the freedom to travel when and where I want to, especially seeing my family abroad and taking my mom to her home country and spending time there together.

Also thought about teaching exchange students how to build a social life in a new city, and about teaching others how to cure eczema (something I'm in the progress of). But not really interested in becoming "the face" of a business. I prefer to be the one in the background running the show, pulling all the strings.
 

Get Right

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I've been giving this some thought. Saying following your passions doesn't always lead to success isn't the same as saying you should always follow something that your dispassionate about.
Unscripted covers this in detail (chapter 29) so I won't argue with you. My life experience backs up MJ's philosophy on this issue.
 

TheOrchestrator

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The problem with this approach is:

1. We really don't know ourselves as well as we'd like to think that we do. We tend to overestimate how much we understand about what will make us happy, when in reality, we just don't want to leave our comfort zones. There's probably hundreds of different varieties of paths that we would surprisingly find happiness in, especially if the world responds to our work with admiration and appreciation (money!). It's pointless to spend too much time focusing on "what you'd enjoy", because you really don't understand your particular mind enough to be completely certain anyways. There's a lot of things I've done on the side as hustles that I never imagined enjoying, and was just doing it out of necessity, but there were a few pleasant surprises that demonstrated to me that I didn't know myself as well as I thought I did.

2. Intrinsic vs extrinsic motivation: As was already discussed in MJ's books, and what has pretty well-known in the field of positive psychology for long before that, extrinsic motivating factors can often conflict with intrinsic motivating factors, potentially endangering your love of that activity. To give an example, you may love doing a particular thing very much, but it also may be that you love doing that thing your own way and on your own terms, whenever you feel like it. But yeah, you love it. You'd do it even if you weren't being paid. However, when you start to introduce money, value, and the external opinions of other people (customers) into the equation, things start to get a little sticky. You now have to constantly fight to maintain your love for that activity, because you can't just "do it your way" anymore. You'll have to make constant compromises to please other people. You'll probably have to change some things, because people "don't like it that way", or you'll have to implement new features that you personally don't like or are not comfortable with, simply because "that's what the market wants". And on top of all of that, you'll have to perform this activity even during times when you really don't feel like doing it. Eventually, you'll start hating the activity itself, and just see it as something to "tolerate" to get to what you want. Oh, and if you're business venture still fails after all of this? Let's see how much you still "love" that thing after that. For example, I tried to get into freelancing and/or full-time employment as a developer simply because I loved coding. I could go on and on about how much I love to code, and give a laundry list of reasons why. However, I ended up failing so many times (Mainly due to my horrible market and business sense. I had no idea what the market wanted. I just knew what I wanted to do and what I didn't want to do.) that it got to the point where I cringed a little bit when my wife sent me a web developer job posting one afternoon, because, at that point, I just couldn't bear the thought of writing another Javascript program for someone.

Of course, none of this is to say that you won't get lucky and find an opportunity that you love from the beginning, and continue to love every day forever. Just be careful of making that the primary reason that you choose the venture. I'd prefer to just be surprised by how much I learn to enjoy something. Mike Rowe's TED talk, his book, and all of the interviews he's done about what he's learned from his show "Dirty Jobs" does a great job at illustrating this. A good portion of the people that he interviewed throughout his episodes are filthy rich, and yet, some of them didn't even like their job at the beginning. They just learned to love it along the way.
 
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csalvato

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Enjoying something is transient. Just because you enjoy it now doesn’t buy mean you will forever. In fact, going 110% on something for 5-10 years will almost guarantee you hate it at least somewhere along the line.And even if you don’t, as you build a business here will be tons of shit you hate doing that you will need to do (like figuring out how to pay taxes properly)

You have to find other reasons to do this rather than enjoying the specific product/service/work you provide/do. If you can’t, you’re F*cked.
 

momomaurice

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Enjoying something is transient. Just because you enjoy it now doesn’t buy mean you will forever. In fact, going 110% on something for 5-10 years will almost guarantee you hate it at least somewhere along the line.And even if you don’t, as you build a business here will be tons of sh*t you hate doing that you will need to do (like figuring out how to pay taxes properly)

You have to find other reasons to do this rather than enjoying the specific product/service/work you provide/do. If you can’t, you’re F*cked.
Honestly, you can't write anything on this forum anymore without people looking to much into it. It was aimed at people coming up with an idea for a business to start. You're looking way down the line.
 

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ZF Lee

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And even if you don’t, as you build a business here will be tons of sh*t you hate doing that you will need to do (like figuring out how to pay taxes properly)
I might just find a local fintech software to do it.

My country just abolished GST, so the shitshow that it had caused in the past year is thankfully gone and done with.
 

csalvato

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Honestly, you can't write anything on this forum anymore without people looking to much into it. It was aimed at people coming up with an idea for a business to start. You're looking way down the line.
If you're in it to make millions, the only way to look at it is way down the line, imo.

If you enjoy what you're doing this week, chances are you won't next week.

I enjoyed starting my most recent business. 2 weeks in, I was slammed in the face with something that was really not fun, and really irritating. If it was all about enjoyment, I would have stopped right there.

Focusing on enjoyment is the wrong frame, imo. Enjoy the meta level, the big empire building level, the world changing or industry changing level. That's what you should enjoy. If you can't enjoy that, it doesn't matter if you enjoy the product/service/day to day of being a provider, imo.
 

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