At 32, I Had 0 Ideas

Becoming rich, famous, and successful. Who doesn’t want that?

From young, I’ve always dream of becoming a successful businessman. But I was constantly met with 1 problem, the lack of ideas. What is the product or service that I want to sell? How do I find my place in an already saturated market? How do I overcome my problems of having lack of funds and time? Where do I begin?

At this time and age, everything (or almost) is prepared for you to start a business. If you need a platform for selling, you have website builders like Shopify and WordPress. If you need marketing tools, you have social media apps like Instagram and Facebook. If you need additional information about how to run your business, you can find expert sharing their views and insights easily with Google and YouTube. Most of these are priced very reasonably, and many of them are even free. The only thing left for you is that you will need to come up with that spark of a business idea.

I discovered that the main problem with coming up with a potentially great business idea is not that they are scarce, but rather, we have constantly occupied ourselves with so much resistance, limitations, and negative opinions, that even if the next billion dollar business idea was to be served to us on a silver platter, we will still find reasons to justify ourselves not to act on them. “Too many people are doing it already”, “It’s too expensive to initiate”, “I am too camera shy too appear on social media”, “I have no time”, “What if I fail?”, etc. People keep ruminating over and over until overthinking becomes a habit. And then they can’t find their way out of it.

It happened to me too, until I came across news of 16 years olds making $4,000 a month selling, of all things, slime. While you are worrying about what ifs, people are already counting the cash.

Ideas will never run dry. I can still remember my first mobile phone 20 years ago, it’s a Nokia 3310. Now, everyone has a smart phone that sticks out of our hands like an additional limb. The future’s the limit and I’m so truly fascinated about what we will all be having in the next 10, 20 years.

To come up with a great business idea, always ask yourself constructive questions. Here’s some questions to help you. What problems do you face on a regular basis? What products, if available in the market today, can help you solve them? What means a lot to you and can you provide something to broadcast to the universe? Where can you find the money to begin your business? Your salary, bonus? Can you find a group of friends to invest in your business plan? What kind of business can you do? Tangible products, investment, educational, content, services, consultation, etc. What’s your goal for running this business and where do you see it in 5 to 10 years time?

How do you generate ideas? Start by reading books written by businessmen and women. Go to the museum for inspirations. Listen to soothing music. Meditate, or go for a quiet walk by yourself and allow ideas to come to you. Ideas flow smoothly when our minds are in a relaxed state.

Remember to write them down so you don’t forget them. And always remember to practice a lot of patience when trying to come up with the next great idea.

Bonus: I recommend reading Gary Vaynerchuk’s Crushing It!. It’s a book that shares a lot of real life success stories of entrepreneurs who started off with lot’s of limitations. It motivated me and I hope it will motivate you too.

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