Author Topic: I have the motivation and time to start a business/side hustle, but no ideas  (Read 5656 times)

apoclater

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Anyone have this problem?  I would really like to start a business but just can't seem to come up with any tangible ideas that would work.  I fancy myself an "execution/get it done" kind of guy, not really the idea man.  I'm 26 and currently working a project management job making a solid salary (65k) in Orlando, but IT really is not my passion and I don't think I'm that great at my particular field (Project Management).

I exchanged some emails with one of my old professors who advised me to start a new job in a year or so (I've been with this company for 3 years) but to make sure I take a 2-3 month break in-between.  He thought it would buy me some time to think about what I really want to do, and if I figure it out in that span then I can start the business on weeknights/weekends while working the job during the day.

Does anyone have any advice on how you came up with your business/side hustle ideas?  Honestly I'd be perfectly content making the same or slightly lower salary as long as I can work for myself.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2014, 04:54:32 PM by apoclater »

meteor

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What about having a business is attractive to you?  I've run my own home business for about 25 years and you will work a lot harder at that than you will at a regular job.  You have start by doing something you really, really love or else your chances of success are not good.  So, what do you love?

apoclater

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What about having a business is attractive to you?  I've run my own home business for about 25 years and you will work a lot harder at that than you will at a regular job.  You have start by doing something you really, really love or else your chances of success are not good.  So, what do you love?

Appreciate the response!  I've heard and I want to agree with the "do what you love" philosophy, but I'm not sure I share it. I don't think anyone gets into heavy machinery or shipping, for example, because they love the business.  It's easier for people to say they "love" their work when they are chefs, fashion designers, talkshow hosts, etc.  I think people get into business to make money and they start to enjoy their job when they begin getting good at it.  That being said, I'll bite.  Things I'm passionate about that I've thought about businesses relating to:
  • Tennis
  • Paleo dieting
  • Frequent Flyer Miles/Credit Card points/Traveling in general
  • Wine
  • Food (specifically, creative food)

I've thought about the obvious--yes, I could start a tennis retail shop (high-risk, lots of inventory). Maybe I could write a book or a blog about paleo dieting or frequent flyer miles (those are over saturated markets).  I thought maybe I'd start my own bar or restaurant, but with the failure rate in the US I'd rather not take on that risk.

Honestly, what I'd really love is to be a successful business owner who knows the industry, treats his employees well, and feels good about what I do.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2014, 05:20:25 PM by apoclater »

ch12

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What about having a business is attractive to you?  I've run my own home business for about 25 years and you will work a lot harder at that than you will at a regular job.  You have start by doing something you really, really love or else your chances of success are not good.  So, what do you love?

I don't share the same philosophy--I don't think anyone gets into heavy machinery or shipping, for example, because they love the business.  It's easier for people to say they "love" their work when they are chefs, fashion designers, talkshow hosts, etc.  I think people get into business to make money and they start to enjoy their job when they begin getting good at it.  That being said, I'll bite.  Things I'm passionate about that I've thought about businesses relating to:
  • Tennis
  • Paleo dieting
  • Frequent Flyer Miles/Credit Card points/Traveling in general
  • Wine
  • Food (specifically, creative food)

I've thought about the obvious--yes, I could start a tennis retail shop (high-risk, lots of inventory). Maybe I could write a book or a blog about paleo dieting or frequent flyer miles (those are over saturated markets).  I thought maybe I'd start my own bar or restaurant, but with the failure rate in the US I'd rather not take on that risk.

Honestly, what I'd really love is to be a successful business owner who knows the industry, treats his employees well, and feels good about what I do.

I disagree. I think that you can be passionate about shipping, or you can be passionate about the money you make from shipping. I'm into logistics, and I love making operations work. I'm an INTJ, the classic Strategist.

Ramit Sethi makes millions off of us poor schmucks who want to have our own business but just don't have the idea. I resisted Earn1k for years and years and years, and then I finally caved in 2014, five years after his first launch. He constantly referred to it! It does not get you that far.

If you're interested in paying Ramit $1,200 to get an idea and your first few clients, then read http://keithferrazzi.com/content/how-do-i-earn-more-money , which is the downsell, Find Your First Profitable Idea. If it works for you out of the box, then great. Earn1K is more in depth, but it's also $1,200 more expensive than free. Ramit charges $97 for FYFPI IRL, but he's left up the link on Keith Ferrazzi's blog.

I've thought often of creating a food delivery service for people who are Paleo. My dad used to be a chef with his own restaurant, so I'm familiar with the food service business. Frankly, it's a nightmare. However, I'm abominably lazy, and I would have the spare cash to pay someone to cook for me if 1) I didn't work at a software company that has a good Culinary team (that's what we call them, like we call the maintenance dudes Facilities) and 2) I wasn't Mustachian and valued money. Ramit's classic two qualifier method, where you niche it down! I'd sell to Paleo professionals in Chicago who had incomes over $75,000/year and value time over money.

Anything that you can get 3 clients for is fair game. :) +1 on being an ethical business owner

meteor

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My biggest piece of advice before you invest any money in a business, is to make sure you work for someone else first who is doing that kind of business.  I've seen a trail of tears of many people who didn't do this one simple thing, and now they are in a ton of debt.  Not only to banks, but to relatives.  I know many people who wished they would have first become an employee to see what the business was really about. 

If you don't care about passion, then let me be a imp and challenge you "then go be a bug exterminator."  They are millionaires according the the book "the Millionaire Next Door".  (But I wouldn't want the Karma of killing things all my life...)
« Last Edit: February 26, 2014, 05:33:05 PM by meteor »

apoclater

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Thanks everyone for your replies and advice.  I'll take a look into your suggestions (especially to check out the Earn 1k program and to work for someone else in the same business first).

Any additional advice is appreciated.

Daleth

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Could you teach tennis? No inventory, flexible hours, and you get in some exercise/outdoor time while you work.

Fuzz

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Ramit's earn 1K is really geared toward service providers and freelancers. With PM skills, you fit in. But it sounds like you're interested in exploring other kinds of businesses that require capital/inventory/larger teams. You're not the piano teacher who charges $15 an hour when you could be charging $65 with a little more professional acumen.

I'm wondering if you've read Cal Newport's blog and some of his writing on passion. He thinks like you: follow your passion is easy advice to give a young person, and is often ill-suited to the recipient. It's a better and deeper satisfaction for many people to master something hard and do it well. For a lot of us, the passion follows the skill which follows the hard work. I'd argue that satisfaction follows the skill which can be just as important as "passion."

People say things like if you want to make a small fortune in horse/sailing/wine then the best way is to start with a large fortune. So for me, when I see a job where people want to hang out at the work place for non-economic reasons, like a vineyard, horse ranch or sail boat shop, it looks like a good way to lose money, or at best a hard way to make money.

I think you're in a neat space and time in your life to take risks. Your professor is right that 3 years is a sweet spot to be at your first professional job. It's easier for you to transition and often your transitions will come with a promotion. You can take some risks and try out different things.

I'd consider looking at start up institutes and business incubators in your area. There is a lot of energy right now in connecting entrepreneurs ideas and capital. Google silicon couloir as an example. If we can do it in Wyoming, someone is doing it in Florida. There are programs like that in lots of towns. Good luck!

Wesmon

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For many years I've been in your position without having my own idea.  Here's how I solved my entrepreneurial itch:

1) I've bought, run,and sold operating businesses that I thought I coulyand value to.
2) I've bought into a successful franchise.  For years I stayed away from franchises for no good reason.  Now I would highly recommend this route for an entrepreneur.

You can pm me if you have specific questions, I'd be happy to talk to you.


arebelspy

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I'm the opposite.

Lots of ideas, no motivation.

I'll start with a simple one.  One that can either be a business or a side hustle, depending on what you want to put into it.  Easily a six-figure a year job if you want it.


Importer/Exporter.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

Wesmon

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Import export what?????

MaxRules

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My biggest piece of advice before you invest any money in a business, is to make sure you work for someone else first who is doing that kind of business.  I've seen a trail of tears of many people who didn't do this one simple thing, and now they are in a ton of debt.  Not only to banks, but to relatives.  I know many people who wished they would have first become an employee to see what the business was really about. 


I'll second that and I wish I had gotten that advise before going into business myself. I should have worked at a business like I wanted to start so I could learn all the in's and out's and get paid for it at the same time. Instead I started a business with what I thought I knew and I learned along the way. It took years to get familiar with things while working through them on my own. I could have worked a year for someone else and probably saved myself five years of learning on my own.

What about having a business is attractive to you?  I've run my own home business for about 25 years and you will work a lot harder at that than you will at a regular job.  You have start by doing something you really, really love or else your chances of success are not good.  So, what do you love?

Appreciate the response!  I've heard and I want to agree with the "do what you love" philosophy, but I'm not sure I share it. I don't think anyone gets into heavy machinery or shipping, for example, because they love the business.  It's easier for people to say they "love" their work when they are chefs, fashion designers, talkshow hosts, etc.  I think people get into business to make money and they start to enjoy their job when they begin getting good at it.  That being said, I'll bite.  Things I'm passionate about that I've thought about businesses relating to:
  • Tennis
  • Paleo dieting
  • Frequent Flyer Miles/Credit Card points/Traveling in general
  • Wine
  • Food (specifically, creative food)

I've thought about the obvious--yes, I could start a tennis retail shop (high-risk, lots of inventory). Maybe I could write a book or a blog about paleo dieting or frequent flyer miles (those are over saturated markets).  I thought maybe I'd start my own bar or restaurant, but with the failure rate in the US I'd rather not take on that risk.

Honestly, what I'd really love is to be a successful business owner who knows the industry, treats his employees well, and feels good about what I do.

I've gone back and forth on that "do what you love" thing for years. I am currently in business doing what I love. It does help me get through the tough parts. On the other hand, a good businessman would recognize opportunity and start a business that has a solid and reliable demand. I think if you love the business you'll accept a lower income in exchange for the enjoyment. I bet I could enjoy owning a tampon factory if I made millions selling the product. Money would determine my love of the business and that is how many millionaires make their money right now.

arebelspy

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Import export what?????

Huh? 

Goods.

Products.

Things consumers customers want to buy.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.