There was a time when some of us entrepreneurs did not have a business. What did we do with that time? I take a look back when I had more time and think maybe I should have done more of the following. If you’re not currently building a business, you might want to check this out. There’s definitely one thing on this list that I do much more now that I’m building a business that I wished I did more of. I’ll let you know what that is at the end of the post. If you want to find out, read until the end. But even if you don’t want to know, read on anyway.
Talk to People About Their Business
When I didn’t have a business, I remember not having any ideas to implement. I had an idea-block. I had no creative juices. The best idea I had was to start an IT consulting company so I could learn about business. Why consulting? It was what I did at my day job and I knew the game so I figured it was a good place to start. That didn’t last very long as I was not excited about it. Shortly after starting it, I frequented networking events to meet potential clients. When I did that though, I learned about all the cool businesses and ideas some people were working on. I was at a Social Media conference where I met someone from the local Small Business Center. That contact turned out very useful later when I went go back for questions. My network only started to grow after I created the business. Even then, I did not know who to contact about book keeping, marketing, SEO, coaching, etc. I would have been further had I had those contacts.
Keep yourself inspired and motivated. Let’s not consider reading the news as part of this. By being inspired, I mean checking out the videos on TED.com. Some of them are absolutely amazing. There was one video where someone developed a product that does to sound what a laser does to light. The product focuses sound waves on a particular area so only those people could hear it but not anywhere else.
Read Books Recommended By Business People
There are tons of good reads. They must be engaging, easy to read, entertaining and fun. Did you know that there was a book read by entrepreneurs that caused more businesses to start than any other? That book is Atlas Shrugged. Or how about a book written by the founder of Tripod- the original website authoring tool way back in the 90′s. His book is a very entertaining account of stories and lessons the successful entrepreneur learned while building the company. The book titled, Lucky or Smart is about how entrepreneurs should learn to realize they are getting lucky in business. Other great reads are: Rich Dad Poor Dad, Think and Grow Rich and The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur.
Do Something From Your Bucket List
You never know how much time you have when you do start to build a business. Take the time when you have it to do whatever you want- travel the world, jump out of an airplane, train for a marathon, learn a new skill, etc. Once the business starts, that’s your bucket list. And it could take a long time before you can check it off.
Brainstorm Ideas For Your Business
Finally, brainstorm for your new business. Go to a place where you enjoy and can think. I like to go to a park by myself with a pen and paper and write things out. I leave all my electronic gadgets at home, sometimes including the phone. List out all the things that you spend most doing. Then list out all the things you like doing- your hobbies. Start asking questions like, “How could I make money doing X” or “What’s one thing that I can cut out to make me happier”. You get the point. Figure out who you are. I don’t know myself as well as I do until I started doing more of these exercises. Ideas start to pop up. Some of them will be fluff, but some might be winners. With the winners, take them and start doing your market research to see if that idea is viable. It is it, that could be your business and then this list will be obsolete.
So if you don’t have a business yet, go talk to people who do have businesses. Ask them tons of questions- the most famous being, what advice do you have for people looking to start out? Build a network of entrepreneurs around you. Birds of a feather flock together. Get inspired. Pick up a book and enjoy it. Go check something off your list of things to do before hitting 30 (or 40, or 50, or 60, etc.). And finally, start thinking of business ideas. As for me, I wish I had more of a business network when I started.