How to Come Up With Ideas For Your Venture

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Though an entrepreneur may know she wants to create or build something new, she may not know exactly what big idea she wants to put her energy into.

Writers seeks out inspiration for their story ideas (yes, even Stephanie Meyers and Sarah Dessen need new inspiration from time to time!), and it’s the same for entrepreneurs, who often carve out dedicated time to come up with an idea that not only sticks with them, but can be successful in the long run.

So, how does one go about discovering their big idea? We’ve broken it down into the following three steps. To go through these steps to hone in on your big idea, download the Like a Boss Big Idea Worksheet!

This step is all about thinking big and without limitations. It’s about focusing on WHAT you want to create if you could, not HOW you will do it. Answer the following questions for clues about the kinds of ideas you could further explore:

  • Name your 3 favorite hobbies or activities (you know, the kind that when you’re doing them, you feel happy and most like yourself).
  • If you received a $1 million dollar check to start your business and you had a 100% guarantee you would be successful, what kind of business would you create?
  • If you could be an apprentice to anyone and learn the ins and outs of their job, who would it be and why?
  • If you could make money doing the thing you love most, what would you be doing?

Look at your answers to the above questions and see what kind of themes emerge. Are your interests creative? Do you love to perform? Do you dream of being the next Mark Zuckerberg?

  • Write down 1–3 themes/areas of interest that you most connect with.
  • For each area of interest, brainstorm at least 5 ideas for ventures that would allow you to stick with your passion. For example, if you love to scrapbook, your brainstorm list might include: providing scrapbooking workshops, creating scrapbooks for hire, creating personal collage art for hire, and so on.
  • Just like in Step 1, don’t worry about HOW you would act on your ideas (we can deal with that later!). Just have fun seeing how many different, outside-the-box ideas you can come up with that tie-in with the things you love!

Hopefully by now you’ve got a handful of ideas that are all interesting to you and worth exploring. But since you can’t do 5 things at once (well maybe you can, but for now, let’s pretend you can’t), it’s time to narrow down your brainstorm list to the idea you want to explore now. Don’t worry – we’ll walk you through it.

  • Look at your list of possible ventures you brainstormed in Step 2, and write down the 3 ideas that are the “stickiest” for you (meaning, when you first look at them, they feel exciting, possible, and the most like you).
  • Look at the first “sticky” idea you wrote down and do the following: close your eyes, imagine yourself actually “doing” the idea (running the company, creating the product, being successful), and notice how it feels. Are you smiling? Does your stomach feel like it’s filled with excited butterflies or anxious knots? On a scale of 1-10, how light and happy does doing this idea make you feel?
  • Repeat the above step with each of your 3 ideas.
  • Which idea rated highest on your light and happy meter and overall felt the best? That’s an idea worth pursuing!

Visit the Entrepreneur Tool Kit next month to learn how to research your big idea!

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