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It happens all the time to so many people: You hate your job, you want out, and you’re wondering if working for yourself might be the perfect next step.

Because who’s going to treat you better than yourself? (Or sanction 2-hour lunch breaks and afternoons full of yoga.)

But are you actually meant to be an entrepreneur or are you just looking for any escape route you can get?

In this week’s Clarity Gem, we’re sharing …

Click below to listen now or download it for later, and forward this email along to anyone you know who’s struggling to figure out if they’re meant for entrepreneurship.

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PLUS, we’ve got a little something special for you this week!

Our fellow B-School friend Sally Miller wrote a guest post about how to generate over 50 business ideas that you love.

If you’re leaning toward entrepreneurship but have no idea what kind of business you’d start, her post is a logical and easy way to start figuring out what you’d like to do.

Check it out …

How To Generate Over 50 Business Ideas You Love

Do you dream about working from home? Are you struggling to get started?

I know how you feel. When my daughter was born I went back to my corporate job. I was miserable and missed my baby, but we needed to pay the bills.

Then everything changed. I quit my job and started a business. Finally I had the flexibility to work when I wanted and where I wanted.

But it didn’t come easily.

My first sticking point was finding the right business. I spent over a year figuring out what to do.

I want to save you from going through what I did. So I’m going to show you how to generate over 50 business ideas that you love.

Step 1 – Brainstorm

In this first step, don’t worry about whether your ideas are good or bad. There’s no right or wrong answer. The goal is to generate A LOT of ideas.

Start by asking yourself these 10 questions. Write down any potential topics of interest.

  1. What do you enjoy doing? If you had 30 minutes to spare what would you be doing?
  2. What types of books do you have on your bookshelf?
  3. What types of blogs/websites do you read?
  4. What types of podcasts do you listen to?
  5. What types of social media sites do you follow?
  6. What do your friends ask you for advice on?
  7. What did you enjoy doing as a child/what were you good at as a child?
  8. What part of your job do you/did you enjoy most?
  9. What problems or challenges have you overcome in life?
  10. What do you enjoy learning about/would like to learn more about?

This exercise should generate 10 to 20 areas of interest (more is even better).

Step 2: Find Problems To Solve

Next you’re going to pick the subject area(s) that interests you most and dig a little deeper. The goal of step 2 is to find problems to solve. The solutions to these problems are your business ideas.

Here are three ways to go about finding problems.

1. Brainstorm

Yes – more brainstorming!

You probably have a good idea about the problems people face. Write down all the problems you can think of.

For example, if your subject area is “Parenting a Newborn” some challenges are:

2. Research Online

The next method is to research your topic online. You want to look for specific challenges or problems that come up over and again.

Some places to look are: Google Search, Forums, Facebook Groups, Product Reviews, Amazon Book Reviews.

3. Ask Potential Customers

Lastly, speak with 5 to 10 people in your target audience. Ask them what problems they have.

Remember to listen. You are not selling your business ideas – you’re looking for problems that you can solve.

Ask questions like:

“What do you find challenging about x?”

“What have you tried before? What do you like/ not like?”

Step 3: Turn Problems into Solutions

You now want to turn the problems you identified in step 2 into business ideas.

To do this, map each problem to one or more solutions. These solutions are your business ideas.

So in the example of “How to get a newborn to sleep,” possible solutions are:

  1. Book about helping newborns sleep.
  2. Consultancy service helping parents overcome sleep problems.
  3. A new sleep product (e.g. toy, music, swaddle blanket).

Start Generating Ideas Now

By executing steps 2 and 3 for one or more topics you can easily generate 50 business ideas.

Of course, you still need to cut your long list down to one business idea to run with. This involves further validation. Will customers pay for your solution? What are the start-up costs? Does it match your interests and passions? (This is the perfect point to talk to a coach, by the way! – Rachel)

I’d love to know if you try the system. How many ideas did you come up with?

Sally Miller is an expert in Email Marketing and specializes in helping solo business owners attract more clients through email. She has 20+ years’ experience in business and information technology. She owns two businesses and is a self-confessed “techy.” She loves learning how stuff works and sharing that knowledge with other business owners. You can learn more by visiting www.sallyannmiller.com where she shares tips to grow your email list and business.

8 comments | add a comment | Share this > Tweet this > Email this >
  1. Hi Rachel,

    Thanks for sharing my guest post. I hope your readers find it helpful.

    I know how hard it is to find the right business idea. It took me a year to come up with my first business and then around 6 months for the second one. I’ll check back here to answer any questions that come up. Happy brainstorming!


  2. Loved the Clarity Gem this morning! After 5 weeks of self-employment, I’m definitely craving some social interaction! Luckily, I live downtown and can easily go for a walk and socialize with people during the day.

  3. Loved this, I feel like I’m listening to great girlfriends with awesome advice! It has certainly left me with some food for thought!

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