If the entrepreneurship world calls to you, but you feel like you are missing “THE BIG/GOOD IDEA” to start a business, you have to know what you are going to do or sell.
But you shouldn’t let “the idea” stage be a blocking point!
And that’s why we decided to share our 8 tips to help you in your reflection and overcome this blockage and find the right side hustle idea.
1.The first thing you need to understand is an idea is not found, it is built
Let’s start by explaining this: No great idea ever falls from the sky! We have all been there at one point: a brilliant idea comes to us one morning (it usually happens in the shower), we spend days thinking about it (without taking any action of course) then we end up imagining ourselves rich and successful ,then bham… we discover that the idea already existed .
When you get your ideas there are three things you need to keep in mind:
You need to probably come to terms with in today’s day you need to consider all your genius ideas are already “taken”.
- There are bound to be other people who have thought about it, and most likely that at least one of these people has started or has already created it.
- Your project will change significantly over time and will not look much like the original idea
- The idea has nothing to do with the success of the project! In itself, no idea is good or bad. What counts is how to implement it and make it last.
- “Do you think your idea is valuable? (…) As long as you do not take action, your brilliant idea is just that: an idea. And brilliant ideas, everyone has it “- Rework extract
If you want to build a box, your goal is not to spend months looking for this idea of the century, but to set up a business with which you are aligned and that has a potential for development. The idea does not fall from the sky, it is built and above all, it is tested in real life. So, how to build it?
2. Start Looking For Your Idea’s Within Yourself
Rather than looking for your idea outside, why don’t you can start with assessing your skills and what you like to do(your hobbies).
What tasks do you do most easily and enthusiastically? What topics do your friends and colleagues ask for help? These questions are first tracks.
Then, I invite you to do the following exercise: cross your skills and interests. In a table, note on the left everything you can do: write stories, plan and organize events, teach, make objects manually … Then note on the right all the topics that you are passionate about: cooking, horse riding, human resources, personal development, DIY … and draw lines between these two columns. How to associate your skills verbs with your interests? This can give: write a blog that tells the story of cooks, teach DIY, organize events around the equestrian world … do not limit yourself, brainstorm ideas thrown in bulk!
And if you end up with an idea that already exists? Do it anyway, but with your sauce! Why do you always go to the same bakery while there are plenty of others in the neighborhood? Because she has a “thing” that you like: the particular taste of a cake, the friendliness of the seller, the atmosphere …
Better a business that is not revolutionary but with which you are aligned, that an innovative business that attracts you for its potential more than passion. And the secret is to add your personal touch to this business!
3. Find an idea by looking around you and doing some research
Creating a business that works is responding to a need. So to identify this need, you must actively observe around you. Your coworkers moan because they have no tools to manage their tasks quite convenient? Do your friends get tired because you can never organize your trips properly? Your cousin complains about not knowing how to find a good piano teacher for his son?
Write down all these tracks. Do not necessarily look for answers right now, but take the time to look at the problems and solutions that are currently being made. If you find an interesting track, take action by digging the subject: ask the people involved to understand their needs, and put together a first concrete idea of the simplest possible solution. Then test it.
5. Talk about your idea with your friends, co workers and family
How many times have you met someone who tells you “I have this amazing idea and when you ask them what it is they say “I can’t say anything, someone might steal it”.
The first thing you need to understand is no one really wants to steal your big idea and even if they did they won’t be able to steal it with the second you tell them and make it into a thriving business in the next 3 days.
The benefits of talking about your idea to people are actually much greater than the risks. Why is it a good thing to talk about it?
You get feedback, which is valuable in the early stage of your business! Though (watch out, for the opinions of the skeptics, who their feedback are given more to destabilize you than actually to make you grow – learn to listen to advice while taking a step back) plus if you start taking notes and if you see some remarks that come up often, then there is a reason.
You can get resources from the people you are talking to: contacts, ideas, recommendations (a contest you did not know, a competitor to take a closer look …)
If your idea is not clear (likely if you read this article), interacting with other people will enrich and inspire you. Talk to entrepreneurs but not that. Enrich yourself with the experience of others, note the key points of your exchanges and meditate on all that!
How to find people to talk to?
You can for example sign up on the Shapr app and have a coffee each week with a new person, or you can ask your LinkedIn connections for feedback.
Or even better participate in events: conferences, networking events, competitions, hackathons … it’s THE best way to immerse yourself in the world of tech & entrepreneurship and at the sametime make great discoveries.
6 / Like Gary V said once DOCUMENT DON’T CREATE
You don’t necessarily need to reinvent the wheel. The great thing about today is you can find inspiration for your idea with what already exists and see how to break it down to create your own business.
7 / Join an already existing start-up project
If you want to start but you find yourself blocked on your idea, what you could also do is join an existing start-up project!
There are a lot of start-up projects who are looking for a co-founder. So How to find them?
If you haven’t already you need to start attending entrepreneurship events organized by either us check out our event page and these other originations :
- Microsoft Innovation Center Brussels
- Solvay Entrepreneurs
- Café Numérique Bruxelles
- French-Connect (Apéro-Entrepreneurs)
- Fuckup Nights Brussels
- LJE Alumni (mini-entreprises, Les Jeunes Entreprises)
- Startup Weekend Brussels
- Lean Startup Circle Belgium
Also on Shapr app, some people are looking for co-founders so why not try!
But the first place you should try above all … is your network! If you say that you are looking to join a project in this area and that your aspirations and skills are clear, word of mouth should help find a project that suits you and could help you grow!
Our Advice though is when you join any project, make sure that you are passionate about the project itself, and that you are fully aligned with the founder’s ambitions, values and that your skills complement each other and before committing to anything start by testing how you work together.
8 / Before fully taking the leap why don’t you start as a freelancer before starting a business
Once you decided to become an entrepreneur, every aspect of your business operation is controlled by you so why are you interested in entrepreneurship? Are you starting your business for freedom, for the money…?
If what matters to you is to be free to create and organize yourself in your own way, why not start by becoming a freelancer first? It’s actually the safest way to getting started in entrepreneurship!
Being freelance means putting your skills and ideas at the service of your clients. You will learn to sell, to manage the administrative, to create and develop your personal brand, to build your network … A freelancer is an entrepreneur! By starting this way, you will enjoy the joys (and sometimes the harsh reality) of entrepreneurship and you can organize more freely to start a business project in parallel.
If you want to start your freelancing work then you need to know about SMart.be who are they SMart helps entrepreneurs to develop their freelancing activity in a stress free and secure environment. The organization also offers multiple services such as information, trainings, legal advice, a social professional network, co-working spaces and they also provide you with access to online invoicing tools.
As you can see, the spirit and above all the purpose have not changed, but by listening to the many opinions, by being realistic and always keeping in mind the values that pushed you to get started. entrepreneurial adventure, you can rotate your project without having the impression to deny yourself “.
To conclude, here are the 3 essential takeaway points:
No ideas ever fall from the sky, it’s built day by day by your passion and motivation to achieve it …
Keep in mind that any ideas you have start off as worthless, it is its implementation and the hard work that makes the idea counts
If you find that your idea is “already taken” don’t let that stop you, it does not matter. Keep it, if you truly believe in it but also think and work on how to differentiate yourself once the idea is created. Bonus: If you are interested in talking about your ideas or get advice sign up here