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3/5/07

How to Create A Business/Marketable Idea

As you begin your entrepreneurial journey, many questions and concerns will arise: How do I find financing? How do I write a business plan? To whom will I pitch my plan? However, no matter how much information and advice you can, and probably will, obtain about those questions, all of your questions and all of the available information and advice are based on the assumption that you have already created an idea, product, or concept.

What if you have not yet created an idea, product, or concept? Does this mean that you can never advance or achieve your entrepreneurial goals? Of course not! Although creating an idea, product, or concept can be one of the most difficult obstacles to overcome, it is not impossible and can be achieved rather painlessly.

The main problem with idea creation is that ideas are subjective. What one person considers a great idea, another may consider a terrible idea. Another problem with idea creation is that if the idea is forced, it will not be completely thought out, and therefore has the potential to become a “bad” idea.

Let me clarify something, you do not have to have an idea, product, or concept to become or continue to be an entrepreneur. Partnering with others is a large component of being an entrepreneur. Just know that unless you have a lot of money to invest or have specialized education or experience, your options will be limited. Due to this fact, many new entrepreneurs have to possess new, innovative, and creative ideas to make up for their lack of funds.

Some people are lucky enough to be born with creative ability. These people can create ideas and concepts with little or no difficulty. Knowing people who have this gift will benefit your situation. If you happen to know people with this ability, you should create a business relationship with them. They may be able to help you through any creative mental blocks that may occur now or in the future.

Back to the main point; how do you create an idea? First, you have to know what you are interested in and what type of education and experience you possess. Determining these factors will help you focus your thought process. For example, if you are interested in computers, but have no education or experience with computers outside of internet surfing or word processing, it will be difficult to create a marketable idea for computer software components. Know your limits and keep your thought process reasonable. In other words, do NOT let your imagination run wild. When you become good at creating ideas, then you can let your imagination do some work, but not at first.

Second, ideas are like dreams. Have you ever experienced the phenomenon of having a dream, waking up remembering the whole thing and then five minutes later not remembering any of it? In my experience, ideas follow the same pattern. An outside stimulus will trigger an idea and soon after having thought it up, I cannot remember any of it. The way to remedy this problem is to get a small notebook to write ideas in. Get one of the little notebooks that you see police carry in their shirt pocket. Whenever you have an idea, write it down! This way you can look at your notebook and later begin to develop your idea.

Third, ideas occur like magic. I know this sounds cheesy, but hear me out. Have you ever been sitting on your couch and a friend or family member asks, “What is the name of the actor in X movie?” You know the answer, but, for the life of you, you cannot remember the actor’s name. You eventually get frustrated and give up. Then, ten, twenty, or even thirty minutes later you are watching television, not thinking about anything and then “poof,” the actor’s name pops into your head. Ideas also follow this pattern. The truth is every person has had at least one good idea in his/her life. Sometimes, without noticing it, a stimulus awakens something in our subconscious and an idea pops into our head. When this happens (and it will happen because I guarantee it has happened to you before and you have not noticed) write it down in your notebook for further development.

Fourth, if by chance neither of the two phenomenon mentioned above occur or you are not patient enough to wait for them, more practical methods exist to stimulate idea creation. Going back to my first point, focus your thought into a field of interest. For example, if you are interested in cooking, maybe you have a problem with the way an oven can dry out a chicken when cooking. Now that you have identified a problem, brainstorm and think of as many solutions as possible. It does not matter how crazy the solution is, just think about them and write them down. After you have written down every possible solution, no matter how crazy, go through the list and find the solution that you feel you can best accomplish. Surprise! You have come up with an original idea. This does not mean that you should pitch this idea tomorrow. All this means is that you should develop your idea, mold your idea, and perfect your idea into something you think people would buy if in the market. Also, this way of thinking will get your creative juices flowing. You may find yourself traveling a different path from your original field of interest. If this occurs, follow the thought until completion. You may be surprised where it leads!

Remember, do not force your ideas, take a break if you need one, and BE PATIENT! Do not expect miracles the first time. Go through the process and everything should work out. Write down ideas when they hit or sit down, focus your thought, find a problem, think of a solution, and develop YOUR original idea.

Lastly, be proud of your creation. Ideas, like people, need nurturing and development. If you do thee things, idea creation will become second nature to you.



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