The number one question I receive from prospective entrepreneurs is “What business should I start”? Well I say that there are two schools of thought to decide what type of business you want to start. Many experts suggest that the way to determine what type of business to start is to find a problem that enough people have, and provide the solution to that problem. The second way is to follow your passion and do what you love. There are pros and cons to each solution.
Solve a Problem
One of the biggest issues with that thinking is trying to really dig deep into your business proposition and determine if # 1). There really is a problem, 2). If there is a problem, are people willing to pay for the answer, 3). How much are they willing to pay for the answer, and 4). Is the business sustainable and scalable where it will allow you to make a living? I have found that most people who start problem solving businesses do so because they have some personal experience with that specific problem. They may work for a company that solves that problem for other people and decide that they have a better solution. They may also personally have that same problem and have found a way to solve the problem themselves. I believe that you must have a certain DNA to become this type of entrepreneur and I will use myself as an example. You see I am a serial entrepreneur and my joy comes from trying to build businesses. I enjoy the thrill of trying to bring all the moving parts together to work in unison and create a successful machine. For me, the product or service is not as important as the actual process of building the business. My joy comes from the challenge of making the business successful. The next option is to follow your passion.
Follow Your Passion
This is probably the best solution for the average person if your passion can be monetized. If you love making jewelry and you can sell your jewelry and make a living that is a true blessing. One drawback that people who follow their passion sometimes forget is that they are actually in business. An internal mental shift has to take place to transform your passion into a functioning business. Here’s an example about a young lady that loved to bake pies. I will call her Kim for the sake of the story. Kim’s family and friends were always asking her to make pies for dinners and special occasions. Kim enjoyed helping out her family and friends and did so with joy. Over a period of several years, Kim was asked why didn’t she start selling her pies to other people and start her own pie business. With a new found excitement Kim began to make pies and sell them through her network of family and friends. The business took off so quickly that she had to rent a small commercial kitchen and hire several employees to help her bake and deliver her pies. Within six months Kim went from baking pies for her family and friends to baking 200 pies a week. Kim was now in business. She had rent, employees, employee problems (lateness, absences, attitudes, etc), payroll, service and sales. Kim was soon overwhelmed and baking pies was not fun anymore. She soon shut the business down even though she was profitable because she was taken away from what she truly loved to do which was baking. What Kim had done was to take her passion and turn it into an animal that she did not want or love.
Starting a business from your passion is great as long as you control the business and not let the business control you. There are other successful people who turned their passion into great businesses that coincided with their desired lifestyle. I know a former stewardess who started a travel blog and hosts trips to several different locations each year. She loves the life she created. She gets to travel and lead tour groups for a living. She is living her dream.
So regardless of what school of thought you subscribe to, make sure that you create a business that caters to your lifestyle. The last thing you want to do is to create a high stress job for yourself. Let me know what you think about this article and leave a comment.