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Still Struggling to Get Started? See Nothing but Bare Walls? Don't have a Single Idea?

RazorCut

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I started this thread as a response to someone struggling to find a business idea and thought it might help a few more people if it was in its own space.

So this is for you if you are finding it difficult to get started. If all around you you just see blank walls. If you have no draw to a specific niche. Basically if you feel total frustration and haven't a clue. Take heart though, you are not alone, we all started from point zero.

From personal experience I would suggest you go where the flow takes you. By that I mean the direction best suited to your skill set and/or the environment you find yourself. Now we all have skills and we all live in an environment so you already have those boxes ticked, right?

So what are you looking for? You are looking for an unfulfilled need, or a poorly supplied chain. The weak link. Looking at ways to add value, maybe taking something from one niche and applying it to another. Start on your doorstep. As Andy Black would say start with helping those closest to you.

You don't have to act on these 'discoveries'. What you are initially doing is training your mind. You see part of the mindset of an entrepreneur is seeing opportunities everywhere then selectively capitalising on them. In many ways it is the difference between the entrepreneur and the businessman:

27550

I've been at this a long time and see potential everywhere but it is a skill learnt like anything else. As you develop it, it becomes like muscle memory. Once built it's always there, and always churning away in the background.

This can in fact become a hindrance to many as we see so many opportunities it is difficult to choose and stick with just one.

I know that can sound frustrating when you are struggling just to find a single worthy project but know they are there, you just have to develop your 'muscle memory' to see them. And the only way to do that is to exercise it.

Know that you have to seek out opportunities, for it is rare (but not unheard of) for them to find you in the early days. To do that you HAVE to get out and about, talk to friends, family and people you meet on a day to day basis. When you are walking the aisles in a supermarket or DIY store look at everything they sell and the ways they sell them. What could be improved? What stands out from the crowd? What could be used for a different purpose? What's missing that should be there? Troll Reddit and other forums looking for pain points. Consider it part of your daily exercise.

Just remember you are looking for that first stepping stone. That first small business idea you can use to learn from and hopefully make a good return on investment. Once you break that duck it will get much easier I promise you. Don't worry about CENTS. Those criteria will come later. Just look at this as your first draft. Just a confidence builder to break some barriers.

It doesn't have to be a long term thing (nor should it be), as you will grow quickly, and want to challenge yourself as you begin to see greater opportunities.

Still struggling? Find a local business that needs more customers (don't they all?) Find some friends or students who want to earn a few extra dollars (don't they all?) Research a good offer with the owner, get a cheap leaflet printer online and print and distribute that offer house to house. Can't design a leaflet? No problem, use a friend or Fiverr.

Visit Takeaways, Restaurants, Bars, Farm stores, Butchers. Real Estate agents. Whoever you have in your neck of the woods. It's not high tech, it's not hard and it's not sexy but you can make money and learn about supplying a need. Just the experience of talking to local business owners is invaluable.
  • It will get you out of your comfort zone
  • You will be talking about needs and pain points
  • You will be taking action

See what offers they come up with, see how you can improve on them:

Takeaways - Free fries with every order over x.
Restaurants - 2 for 1 offer Monday Nights
Farm Stores - 15% discount with this Leaflet
Butchers - 10lb of Prime Rib Eye Steaks now just €x.xx
Real Estate Agents - Thinking of Selling your Home? Free Home Valuation and Selling package to get you the best possible price

Loads of different angles. It could even be fun to sit down with a pad and pencil and just coming up with as many angles as possible. And even if you just did that as an academic exercise it starts to develop your thinking as to what businesses could offer that customers would be attracted to. It starts to get those grey cells activated. And once you start to activate those little grey cells you start to see opportunities everywhere and you are off...
 
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OP
RazorCut

RazorCut

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Just created my own topic about needing ideas, then this shows up.
Thank you.
Your post was the inspiration. I just thought part way through it might help others if it had its own thread. So thank you as I learned something while writing it too. :smile2:
 

Timmy C

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I have noticed i am seeing problems everywhere now.

I have discovered a major problem in my industry and now i am just getting everything up on the whiteboard about the potential ways to execute or solve this problem.

There is many ways i can see this potentially being solved, for both the employer and employee side. Dont know whether i should help the business side, employee side or both?


Finding problems/ideas is fine.

Figuring out how to make that problem go away is not coming so easy to me though.

This could be B2G
B2B
BTC

or all of the above.
 
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RazorCut

RazorCut

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I have noticed i am seeing problems everywhere now.

............

Finding problems/ideas is fine.

Figuring out how to make that problem go away is not coming so easy to me though.
You'll figure it out. I find that next step is often the most intellectually rewarding. When you get that Eureka moment and you can't help but grin from ear to ear. :smile:
 

SamRussell

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Sometimes solutions take a few weeks to find. If you have some close friends you trust, try talking the idea over with them - just talking out loud with a conversation can help you find solutions pretty quickly!
 

Entre Eyes

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First of all that was awesome Razor Cut...sparks should be flying.

When I ask myself the question what would I do different 10 years ago...its list-build.

People have lost millions and made comebacks because they had that list.
 
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RazorCut

RazorCut

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Thanks. I need this!
Bookmarked!
Glad it was of help.

First of all that was awesome Razor Cut...sparks should be flying.

When I ask myself the question what would I do different 10 years ago...its list-build.

People have lost millions and made comebacks because they had that list.
Totally agree. A highly targeted email list is still worth its weight in gold despite email losing some of its power these days. The other benefit of course is that no one can take it away from you and that is a big plus in my book. It's one of the reasons I'm wary of Facebook groups. Some people have built huge followings via Facebook but it only takes one change of policy or having your account banned for you to lose the lot and you are back to square one.
 

payingkarma

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Sep 16, 2019
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I have 2 different methods I use - here there are...

Mindset 1: Well-defined problem is half problem solved.

Method 1: look for any product or service. That's indeed a solution to a problem. Now go and define the solution, then reverse define the problem.

Once you have the problem, and the prevalent solution, try to come up with a better solution.

Method 2: Ask.

Yes just meet with industry people - practicioners- and ask. Basically, I ask this.

1. What's your pressing problem that you wish to had a solution for.
2. If there is one thing that could be improved in your business or industry what would that be..

And anything along those lines.
 

Ernman

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Awesome post RazorCut.

The challenge I ran into was how to cull through all the potential needs I was recognizing. I settled on binning them which allowed me to build a long term strategy for the company I'm starting. I have enough needs within that niche to keep me busy for years...if I don't sell it off sooner.

It seems there are two flavors to the getting started challenge. Some have a hard time identifying needs to go after. Others see too many needs to go after and can't decide. Of the two, it appears the hardest is for those who can't see the needs that are out there.
 
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RazorCut

RazorCut

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It seems there are two flavors to the getting started challenge. Some have a hard time identifying needs to go after. Others see too many needs to go after and can't decide.
Yes, the former is due to what is called Sensory Gating, Selective Filtering or Selective Attention. It the way the brain removes all stimuli that it feels is unhelpful and a distraction. We are bombarded with so much information that the brain has to cut out the vast majority from our conscious mind otherwise we would probably end up going crazy.

Of course that means that if we want to see things that are usually blocked out we first have to physically tune in. Once the brain realises something is important to us it starts to highlight rather than discard that information. Notice when you are considering getting a particular car then all of a sudden you see them everywhere? They were there all along of course, it's just now they are being highlighted rather than masked.

I guess the latter you mentioned is due to the floodgates being fully opened and we are bombarded with ideas like a kid in a sweet shop. :happy:
 

CardinalFlame

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RazorCut -
Thanks for sharing!! Every bit of motivation helps cultivate this type of mindset for us beginners!
 

Hammadou

New Contributor
Sep 20, 2019
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2
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I started this thread as a response to someone struggling to find a business idea and thought it might help a few more people if it was in its own space.

So this is for you if you are finding it difficult to get started. If all around you you just see blank walls. If you have no draw to a specific niche. Basically if you feel total frustration and haven't a clue. Take heart though, you are not alone, we all started from point zero.

From personal experience I would suggest you go where the flow takes you. By that I mean the direction best suited to your skill set and/or the environment you find yourself. Now we all have skills and we all live in an environment so you already have those boxes ticked, right?

So what are you looking for? You are looking for an unfulfilled need, or a poorly supplied chain. The weak link. Looking at ways to add value, maybe taking something from one niche and applying it to another. Start on your doorstep. As Andy Black would say start with helping those closest to you.

You don't have to act on these 'discoveries'. What you are initially doing is training your mind. You see part of the mindset of an entrepreneur is seeing opportunities everywhere then selectively capitalising on them. In many ways it is the difference between the entrepreneur and the businessman:

View attachment 27550

I've been at this a long time and see potential everywhere but it is a skill learnt like anything else. As you develop it, it becomes like muscle memory. Once built it's always there, and always churning away in the background.

This can in fact become a hindrance to many as we see so many opportunities it is difficult to choose and stick with just one.

I know that can sound frustrating when you are struggling just to find a single worthy project but know they are there, you just have to develop your 'muscle memory' to see them. And the only way to do that is to exercise it.

Know that you have to seek out opportunities, for it is rare (but not unheard of) for them to find you in the early days. To do that you HAVE to get out and about, talk to friends, family and people you meet on a day to day basis. When you are walking the aisles in a supermarket or DIY store look at everything they sell and the ways they sell them. What could be improved? What stands out from the crowd? What could be used for a different purpose? What's missing that should be there? Troll Reddit and other forums looking for pain points. Consider it part of your daily exercise.

Just remember you are looking for that first stepping stone. That first small business idea you can use to learn from and hopefully make a good return on investment. Once you break that duck it will get much easier I promise you. Don't worry about CENTS. Those criteria will come later. Just look at this as your first draft. Just a confidence builder to break some barriers.

It doesn't have to be a long term thing (nor should it be), as you will grow quickly, and want to challenge yourself as you begin to see greater opportunities.

Still struggling? Find a local business that needs more customers (don't they all?) Find some friends or students who want to earn a few extra dollars (don't they all?) Research a good offer with the owner, get a cheap leaflet printer online and print and distribute that offer house to house. Can't design a leaflet? No problem, use a friend or Fiverr.

Visit Takeaways, Restaurants, Bars, Farm stores, Butchers. Real Estate agents. Whoever you have in your neck of the woods. It's not high tech, it's not hard and it's not sexy but you can make money and learn about supplying a need. Just the experience of talking to local business owners is invaluable.
  • It will get you out of your comfort zone
  • You will be talking about needs and pain points
  • You will be taking action

See what offers they come up with, see how you can improve on them:

Takeaways - Free fries with every order over x.
Restaurants - 2 for 1 offer Monday Nights
Farm Stores - 15% discount with this Leaflet
Butchers - 10lb of Prime Rib Eye Steaks now just €x.xx
Real Estate Agents - Thinking of Selling your Home? Free Home Valuation and Selling package to get you the best possible price

Loads of different angles. It could even be fun to sit down with a pad and pencil and just coming up with as many angles as possible. And even if you just did that as an academic exercise it starts to develop your thinking as to what businesses could offer that customers would be attracted to. It starts to get those grey cells activated. And once you start to activate those little grey cells you start to see opportunities everywhere and you are off...
Waoooo this is soo interesting. Thanks keep on sir
 

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