So, you have been thinking about starting a business? This is great. It is also not quite unique at this point in time, but still great. The world can always use another interesting new startup. And that is exactly the catch, isn’t it? How do you choose what your business will be about? With a little bit of luck, creativity, freedom and boredom, anything is possible.


Positive forward-thinking

Do you remember the good old “where do you see yourself in X years’ time” question? Don’t let the groaning and eye-rolling stop you from getting an actual idea while sitting down and thinking about what you would really love to happen. Perhaps you see yourself as the head of a software development company? Hey, there’s an idea! Are you imagining yourself in a vineyard, surrounded by acres of ripe grapes, ready for picking? There’s another one! As long as you are aware that there is a temporal distance that needs to be filled with tons of hard work, the images your brain comes up with as an answer to the question above can still serve as a guide towards your business idea.


Negative backward thinking

Using a thought exercise of the same type, but the other polarity, let us think not about good things in the future, but something that is a problem for you in the present. Try to focus on something smaller, not the climate change itself – although, why not, perhaps you are the messiah that everyone has been waiting for? Well, just in case you are not, let us focus on the little everyday problems that frustrate you. In their solution, lies a potential for business. You wish that public transportation was organized better in your city – create a new app. You find the available food delivery companies hire kids who really “can’t be bothered” – do the same thing, but hire someone older and more responsible. There might not be an old saying for it, but it is true that any solution to a problem can be monetized, and why not by you?


Have you considered stealing?

Not literally, of course, but stealing some ideas – or all of them. After all, the much-derided saying of “Good artists copy, great artists steal” is not really without some basis in truth. It is incredibly hard to come up with something entirely new, especially in a world as connected and as public as ours today. However, there is nothing wrong in taking someone else’s idea (well, unless it’s copyrighted) for a business as a starting point. Regardless of it not being yours originally, by incorporating it in your work as you register a business and start working, you will definitely add something of yours to the mix. Your own twist on the formula will differentiate it from the original, “stolen” idea.


Talk to others

Sometimes, even if you have an idea, it is good to run it by several people. Some of them will try to be supportive and tell you how great the idea is. Others might be less enthusiastic, however, everyone should be listened to. Other people might come up with drawbacks and advantages that you simply hadn’t even had the slightest clue about. Another group of people that might be worth talking to about to get some ideas going is experienced hands in the industry you are looking to get into. Here you have to be careful of discouragement – when people have enough experience they stop thinking outside of the box and just disregard it as “improbable”. They should be consulted, but the final decision on the idea should be yours.


Clear the mind

Thinking hard about something for a long time can have a completely opposite effect sometimes. If you are failing to come up with ideas and your mind is running in circles, try letting it rest. Go do a fun activity, go for a run or a swim, as physical efforts tend to clear the mind. Ideas, especially the good ones, the creative ones, will not hit you when you are trying your best to come up with them. They are slippery customers that will sneak up on you when you least expect. Just before falling asleep, for example, or when you are somewhere else in your head, other than present and focusing. Some people find that meditation helps as well.


Just try

There is little more frustrating than looking for the elusive “best” idea that will be a godsend and a solution to all your problems. Yes, you should put in an effort, however, that does not mean you should spend all your waking hours looking for it and doing nothing else. Perhaps the opposite is true – you should be doing all else. Just grab any idea that seems useful and start hammering at it. Fail at something, it’s always good to have some of that as well – not only does it build character, it also provides a very important experience.


In the end, it is important to remember that nobody has a magic solution to coming up with a great idea and that’s why it is so exciting. Whether you’re looking hard for inspiration or banging away at a completely unrelated thing, each approach is just as good as another. Being proactive is what gets you the idea, lets you improve upon it and starts your journey towards the job you’ve always wanted to do.


By Editor

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