It was just announced that Elon Musk is now the richest man in the world. How did he infamously go from post-Paypal brokeness to this?! The idea is simple, and I break it down in this video.
Recently I read a great interview on JetSetCitizen.com. This is an interesting site that talks about people who are trying to create a business that will let them travel the world while still making (preferably a huge) income. Whether they intend to or not they prove just how difficult this is – on many levels. It’s not just the creating a business, but, if that’s not hard enough, a lot of people get out there and realise that they are not the type to travel the world ad infinitum or to even live in a place other than they grew up in!
People are creatures of habit. And some people – whether they want to admin it or not – like the habit they are in.
Right now you are doing what you want to
Anyway, on JetSetCitizen they have a great interview with Pat Flynn.
Now, in general, I am totally against this whole idea that you can make a fortune by doing next to nothing! All these sites – usually affiliate sites – that sell programs on how you can make easy money on the internet are really just going to tell you that best way to do it is to create some content about making money and sell it to other suckers.
But, Pat Flynn, I feel is in a different space. If you read the interview he started out by doing something he loved – creating a blog about Architecture. Also, he states:
“I believe that the more you can help others, the more successful and profitable you will be.”
So there you have it.
Pat’s a good example of following what you love AND providing a real service. I hope you can do the same!
So we’ve covered step 1. Your business should stem from something you love, passionately.
The next step is really to figure out what to do. And I believe that comes from discovering a need. Not a ‘nice to have’ but a real need. A gap in the market.
How to discover this? I won’t say it’s easy, but, if you really love this topic then odds are that you have the answer inside you. What do YOU want or need when it comes to this area?
Be sure that it is a real need.
For instance, let’s say you love cricket (the sport). And no cricket website let’s you find a player’s statistics based on name. This is not a need. Any existing sport website that carries cricket could add this feature. But if no one was writing or covering your favourite league, or doing it in your language, then THAT is a need.
I read some business book recently that said ‘you are not the customer’. And this is true, but, at the beginning you have to take that role. You have to satisfy your own desires for this topic.
The Greater Good
Even better than finding a solution that will satisfy you is to find a solution that will help society in general. If you can find something that will ease social problems, help underpriveledged people or societies then you are really onto something and a special person.
Fulfilling the need should be priority #1. That IS your business. Write it on a piece of paper and stick it on the wall.
One note about this site. I am not talking about starting one of the ‘I make x in a year through online passive income’ type websites. That isn’t a business. I am talking about starting a company that will provide a service to local and perhaps international customers on an ongoing basis.
A lot of people like the idea of starting their own business. No, they probably don’t understand all the work that will be needed, or how much time, effort and money it is going to take. But they still love the idea.
But while they may know they want to start a business they don’t know what business! So, for me the first step is to come up with some rules about what would make a good business idea.
RULE 1: DO WHAT YOU LOVE
I really can’t stress this enough. You must start a business that has something to do with a passionate interest – a hobby is always a good place to start. If you are willing to spend time on it without being paid, think how great it would be to GET paid!
The reasons behind this rule are many, but, in short if you don’t love it you won’t have much chance in long term survival nor will you probably bring anything new to the table. Remember, the odds of you creating a truly unique idea that not only fills a need (gosh, can you guess what rule 2 will be!) but also is without competition. So, you’ll need to have great insight into the area. And that (in my experience) only comes from passion.
For example, I started FilmAmora.com for one simple reason: I loved movies and I wanted a mail-order DVD rental company like my friends were using in Canada, US and the UK. Now, I knew a fair amount about website development and I also knew a lot about films and the business of film distribution. But, I had no idea how much I had to learn to create a business like FilmAmora. If I hadn’t LOVED what I was doing I never could have carried on.
So, if you love books or animals or renovating houses… all things can become a business. Think about what you spend your free time (or work time!) thinking about. That’s going to be a good place to start.
Oh – my only limitation here is that ideally what you like should be legal and not closely tied with a corporate identity (i.e. world’s #1 Pepsi drinker – that’s a corporate example, not the illegal one).
So, that’s the first step to starting your business – a business about something that interests you.