Here you are - tired of your 9-5 or 12-hour shift, tired of working every weekend or just fed up of working for a boss or company and feeling like you know more than they do. These feelings are common when you've outgrown your work environment and you're ready for something new.
You know you've outgrown your work environment when:
- You're the smartest person at work and everybody comes to you for advice, but you're not the boss.
- The conversations at work no longer serve you. The conversations revolve around gossip or work processes that just never seem to get better.
- You realize there's nowhere to grow within your company or the next position up is a position you don't really want.
If this sounds like you, then quitting your job and coming up with the next amazing business idea seems like the only way to take your career to another level. Wrong. Just because you're unhappy or unfulfilled at your current job does not mean quit and start your own business. A less risky idea is to apply for a job that you do want. You'll still get a steady paycheck (maybe even paid more), you'll keep your benefits, and you'll be in a supportive work environment.
NOTE: This blog does not encourage quitting your job or leaving your main source of income to support a business idea that hasn't been thought of yet.
Trust me, it's a lot easier to think of an amazing business idea when you DON'T have to stress over how your bills will be paid, savings, insurance, paying for vacations, etc. If this business idea is as good as you think it is, you'll know when it's time to cut ties with your current employer.
How to choose the right business idea when you don't know where to start? Here are some quick and dirty tips to get you thinking. Do not expect these tips to instantly give you the revelation you've been seeking but use them more a guide to lead you in the right direction.
1. What do you like to do? Really think about what you enjoy doing. It could be as simple as you like to sleep or you like to watch tv. Maybe you like to help people, like to teach or you like playing the trumpet or dancing or cooking. Whatever it is, just start writing down a list of everything you like to do - no matter how big or small you think it is. Yes, write. Use a pen, pencil, marker, or your child's crayon to write it down on a piece of paper.
2. What are you good at? What you're good at could be different than what you like to do. For example, I like to paint but my artwork is only liked by myself, friends/family, and maybe the guy I'm dating at that time (and his opinion may be biased) So although I like to paint, I'm really not that good at it.
If you're unsure of what you're good at, ask people. Ask your friends and family to give you 3 things you're good at. Then ask your co-workers, associates, old classmates (people who really aren't that close to you) what you're good at too. You should notice some similarities based off of what they said.
3. Where is a need? In my personal opinion, this is the only thing that matters when starting and running a successful business. If there is no need for the service/product you provide, you don't have a business, more or less you have something you like to do and people sometimes pay you for it. An expensive hobby is what I call it.
How to identify a need? Start broad first and then narrow it down. Some big needs in the world - clean water, more food in some areas, better education, more nude lipstick for black women, more available transportation for elderly people living alone, more fast-food that's healthy. There's a variety of needs that your business can address.
But what if I don't like to do the thing that requires a need? Welp, do you want to be in business or not. That's not to say that you can't love and enjoy what you do but the reality is - a lot of the time we don't love what we do but we love the money, access, power, network opportunities, and/or benefits that come as a result of it. If you're lucky enough to be able to combine what you love to do and it also addresses a need, kudos! If your business addresses a need but you don't love it, kudos to you too! Regardless, you still have a business idea and that's the goal for today.
If you liked these simple steps to success, leave a comment or share!