How To Find Your Ideal Startup Concept
Updated: Sep 4
One of the most frustrating things for most people yearning to be an entrepreneur is not being able to come up with a good startup idea that they love. Sure, many people could probably think of a few businesses off the top of their head that they would invest in if they ever came into a large sum of money.
But those investments would most likely be solely for the purpose of making money -- which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, that’s not enough to fulfill your passion or your purpose. The way you can do that is by starting a business that you’re passionate about. But how do you conceive the brainchild of your ideal business?
According to Forbes, two of the top 3 reasons most people never start their own business (besides financial limitations) are inexperience, and not having a standout idea. If you haven’t started a business yet, are those two of the reasons why? If you had the experience and the standout idea would you start your own business?
Well, I have both good news and bad news for you. The good news is that I’m going to help you discover the thing that you have experience in that you could utilize right now to start your first business. I’m also going to help you do it in a way that stands out.
Now, time for the bad news. The bad news is that you’ll no longer have an excuse for not starting your business (sorry, not sorry).
What are you good at that others are getting paid to do?
The first step in conceiving the brainchild for your ideal startup is to identify things that you’re either good at or that you believe that you can become good at with a little more time. It may take awhile for you to really narrow this down. Give yourself some time to really think about this one.
Once you’ve narrowed it down to at least one or two things, ask yourself, “Is there anyone else on earth that’s being paid to do this?” I’m quite certain there are others being paid to do it -- which is a good thing because that just confirms that there’s a market for it. Don’t worry about the competition, we’ll discuss how to distinguish yourself from them later.
But for now, as the ultimate entrepreneur Mark Cuban said, “When you find something you’re good at, go for it! And don’t take any prisoners.”
Now that you’ve taken the first step in identifying what you’re good at or can become good at. It’s time to find out how much you really love it. Which brings us to the next question, and one that is as equally important.
Is it something that you would do for free?
Once you’ve identified what it is that you’re good at and have deemed it something that can be monetized. Ask yourself this simple question, “Would I enjoy doing this for free?"
This is important because if you start a business that you’re only involved in just for money, you’ll be hustling backwards. The main purpose of entrepreneurship should be freedom. Doing something that you don’t enjoy doing strictly for money is a job - not a passion. And it’ll feel like a job. Which means that when times get hard, it will be easier for you to walk away from the business and cut bait.
But if you love what you do, you’ll have that added zest to stick with it and your affinity towards your business will carry you past those obstacles.
The goal here is to find that business that you can’t wait to wake up to when you go to bed. That business that will have you singing your favorite songs while handling the daily tasks because it’s so joyous. I’m talking about a business that will turn you into an ardent entrepreneur.
Maybe you’re still on the fence about whether your business idea is something that you’d love so much that you would do it for free. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. To find out if you’d really enjoy doing your business idea for free, ask yourself this next question and you’ll have your answer.
Does time fly when you’re doing it?
The answer to this question is the clearest indicator to discovering if your startup idea is something that you’re passionate about. It’s also a determining factor in figuring out what you’d do for free. Ask yourself, “What are the things that I do that time seems to fly by while doing them?”
If your business idea falls into this category, and it can be monetized - you’ve found your startup idea. If not, write a list of whatever you can think of that you enjoy doing so much that time just seems to breeze by when you’re engaged in that activity.
We all have something that we enjoy doing so much that when we look at the time, it seems to have flown by because we were enjoying ourselves so much.
Whenever I’m asked by someone that wants to know how to find a business idea that they’re passionate about, I ask them if they can think of something that they do now, that whenever they’re performing that activity, it seems as if someone hit the fast forward button.
Whatever your idea is, if you truly enjoy doing it - time will fly by when you’re doing it. For example, I’m passionate about creating concepts to connect with consumers. That just happens to be the very essence of marketing. I also enjoy writing about marketing and helping people realize their potential.
As I’m writing this, it feels as if someone hit the fast forward button from breakfast to lunch and time has flown by because I’m doing something that I really enjoy. It’s also something I’m passionate about.
Now that you’ve pinpointed the thing that you’re good at or can become good at. And you’ve confirmed that it can be monetized and that time flies when you’re doing it. It’s time to put it all together and figure out a way to make it distinctive.
Making your idea stand out
Congrats! Really, at this point you’ve found something that a lot of people have lived their entire lives trying to discover. You’ve found your ideal startup concept. Not only have you found the thing that you enjoy doing.
You also enjoy it so much that you’d do it for free (but you’re going to monetize the idea for a profit... this is a business after all). Finding your ideal startup is no small feat. At this point you’re so far ahead of the curve you should give yourself an applause.
The only thing left to do now is find a way to make your ideal business stand out in the minds of your potential customers in order to differentiate your brand from the others already on the market. You’ll do this by putting your own personal spin on your product or service.
For example, let’s say the thing that you’ve discovered that you really enjoy doing so much that makes time fly is playing golf, or even talking about golf with your friends. You’re probably thinking “How the heck can I monetize that and stand out?” Well, I’m glad you asked.
The way you could put your personal spin on your love for golf could be to start a business giving golf lessons (yeah I know, nothing unique about that). Here’s the kicker though, you could put your spin on it by narrowing your niche and only giving lessons to women, or better yet, only to mothers. Or by only teaching men 50-years-old and up how to golf.
Make sure that you emphasize the fact that you only serve this demographic in all of your marketing and you’ll surely stand out. It'll also be easier to generate publicity for your business by reaching out to media publications and telling them why you only serve this demographic (journalists love a great story).
This could help you and your customers in a variety of ways. It could help your customers learn how to golf with others that are similar to them. It would also allow them to learn how to golf and possibly bond with others that they have something in common with.
And it would give you the opportunity to talk about the sport you love; teach the sport you love, and help others. All while getting paid to do something that you’d do for free. You’d also stand out in your category by narrowing your clients to a particular demographic.
The moment you discover your ideal startup is epiphanic. You’re probably going to be so excited that it consumes your thoughts afterwards. Once you discover the idea, put it into action. Take steps every day to turn your idea into a reality and it will become one.
You can absolutely make a living doing something that you absolutely love. If you ever doubt that you can turn your idea into reality, remember this quote by author and entrepreneur Donny Deutsch, “When you see someone who has turned his passion into a profit, ask yourself, why not me?”