4 Steps to Figuring Out Your Big Idea

If you’ve been following this blog for some time, (merci!) you may have an online business or you may have an idea for one. You are in the right place.

But if you're thinking, “Mimi, I’m loving this online stuff and feeling really excited about the possibilities, I just have no ideas.”, please keep reading because this is for you.

You may be thinking:
* Will people really pay for what I want to do?
* I’ve been a nurse, teacher, baker, candlestick maker all my life, what can I do online?
* Am I too old for this? I don’t really get online business, it freaks me out!
* I don’t know what I want to do, but I do know it’s not what I’m doing now!

I totally get it—believe me I did not wake up one day with the idea to be an online-business strategist and side-hustle coach.

No worries! Here are four steps to figuring out your big idea.

Step 1: Brainstorm ideas.
Allocate an afternoon or a block of three hours or so. Get really focused on this on this task by turning off the phone, email, social media.

Start by jotting down every single idea without editing yourself. The purpose of this exercise is to just brainstorm, brainstorm, brainstorm. You’ll make sense of it all later.

Jot down 50 ideas, or at least 30 and no less than 25. They don’t all need to be award-winning idea. The point of this is to get the wheels turning.

Some ideas to get you started:
* What makes you feel lit up?
* What do you like to read?
* What movies do you like to watch?
* Describe a perfect day.
* What was something you always wanted to try?
* What is a dream job?
* What are things that are work to some but fun to you?
* What do people tell you you’re good at?
* What are your hobbies?
* What do you think about doing when you retire?
* What websites and blogs do you visit?
* Any kind of software you are a wiz at?
* Anything you have a knack for doing?

TIP! It may be a good idea to keep a running list of ideas. So even though you may have found the perfect idea and even if you are at the point of paying customers, new ideas can always enhance your current business or give you an opportunity to create another one.

Step 2: Group your ideas.
Now you are going to take all your ideas and group together similar ideas.

Here’s an example, say you have things like going to the gym, reading fitness magazines, running 5k races on your brainstorm list. Group them together and call that list “health”.

Here’s another example, maybe you love watching stocks, working with Excel and creating and managing budgets. Group all these into a list called “finance”. You get the idea.

Step 3: Think about what you’re good at
Everyone has something they are really good at it, they but they may not realize it’s unique to them.

Years ago, I was at work having a hard time with my computer. Joe, our IT guy came to the rescue and while he was working on my computer, I went to a meeting. When I came back, there was a yellow post-it on my desk. It said, “you are the most organized person.” I thought to myself, “isn’t everyone organized?” .

What I realized later on is that being organized is something that is a unique talent for me. It’s something that comes easy and is really natural and it’s a gift because not everyone has that skill. Because it is so easy and natural to me, I assumed it was as easy for everyone else. Not so!

So what you want to think about here are the things you may be overlooking because you assume everyone can do it. Think about your day-to-day and the things you do and what comes really easily. It’s an important clue in this process.

Step 4: Think about what gets you going
Just because you are good at something it doesn’t mean it motivates you and that you’d want to do it all day long.

So start thinking about what gets you excited and on the flip slide, consider the stuff that you do not like to do.

And lastly, who motivates you? Who are the people that you get and get you? What kinds of people do you want to hang out with? This can be another clue.

Putting it all together
Now you should have three lists.
#1. List of ideas that you’ve organized into groups.
#2. List of what you’re good at.
#3. List of things that get you excited.

Next week we’ll talk about putting it all together and how you can start figuring out if it’s a solid business idea or not.

In the meantime, here are some resources to get you going.
Some I have used and some I have not. Some are more creative focused and some are more business focused.

Pick up a few and see if they can help you get started.
* Now Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham & Donald Clifton
* The Fire Starter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte
* The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte
* SARK: Google her, she has a terrific online following
* Live Your Legend: This is an incredible movement started by the late Scott Dinsmore
* I Could Do Anything if I Only Knew What it Was by Barbara Sher who is the master in helping people figure out their purpose
* Strengths Finder by Tom Roth

Marissa BishopComment