You are as multi-faceted as a diamond. Most people who know you, don't know all the sides to your personality. If you are a very thoughtful person, you may know most of those facets yourself - but it's possible some are hidden from you too. Brainstorming will draw them out into the open.
I won't go into the detailed exercises for brainstorming and working out all the possible businesses you might enjoy. You can easily discover the latest tools and training if you choose to go with a unique program I want to introduce to you.
I'm talking about the Action Guide at Solo Build It! which helps you not only build a website, but a web-business. Many SBI-ers testify that when they patiently, diligently worked through the steps in the Guide, and used the Brainstormer tool inside the Central area where you do most of your work, they found in a year or two they were able to quite any other job, and even retire their spouse. Yes, their web business did that well!
It may take you several days, but you'll know that you KNOW you've made the right choices then. No doubts to cause you to waver later. As the Bible says, "No one knows the heart of a person like that person."
You won't be able to say, "someone misled me!" By the same token, you'll get the credit for your success.
Maybe you've never done such brainstorming before. You're not sure what you'd be getting into. So here's a bit of an outline.
1. List your hobbies and interests, things you've experienced, or what you are passionate about. List your strengths and weaknesses too.
2. Ask yourself and others, what do I enjoy doing to the point of forgetting about time?
3. Look at the things on your list and see if any of them trigger ideas for other interests and passions you forgot. Add those to your list. It doesn't matter how foolish it looks, or how impossible it seems for a business idea. It may be the "spark" that will trigger the great and perfect idea for you.
4. Start grouping some of the ideas by drawing connecting lines to those that are similar or related. Do you see a pattern emerging? (Do NOT worry just yet about HOW you would possibly run an online business on that topic. That part you can learn easily enough).
5. The Action Guide (now in video-format too), will then take you through the process of researching those keywords to find out how much of a demand is out there on the net for your seven or so main ideas or clusters of ideas. Then you'll look at - are there more than enough web sites that address the demands? Or is there a gap, a slant that is not really handled well by any competitors already out there? Even if there are a number meeting that demand, does it look like there is room for one more?
Some keywords will generate more ideas for you. You may end up with sheets full of lists! Never fear, press on. You won't be doing ALL of those on your first site.
6. Now start narrowing down your list. Pare out anything you really couldn't see yourself doing as a business for an indefinite time. Set aside the ones that call for huge amounts of research if you are not ready to do that right away. Start a fresh list of the topics and directions that intrigue and call to you the most.
7. When you are down to just one to three - you begin to use the Brainstormer in earnest! You will be shown how to find out what people want most, and slant everything to meeting their need. You'll have room to tell your personal story too, but shift your thinking to - how can I spell this out so people who are desperate for this information, or product, or service... will be thrilled to find my site?
8. You begin to list the web pages and what one key thought or information will go on it, and you start to write the pages. (Notice; so far you haven't touched any software yet, nor done anything technical. But the business map you have been creating is now going to guide you and make a thousand other little decisions easier!)
Let me give some examples, in case this still sounds too much like rainbows over clouds. Fantastic but not practical?
Let's say I have a friend named Carla, who loves rare old books. She has begun to discover how to find these antiquarian Christian classics, and she'd love to own them, but beyond that she'd be open to helping others find them. Sometimes she's dreamed of managing or owning a bookstore.
How could this friend find the right business model, just right for her, and start with the above steps?
Well, it would seem she's already done some brainstorming, if she knows her passion and main interest. But she makes lists, and discovers that she also likes crafts, and working with pictures or graphics, she has strong opinions on spiritual issues, and is articulate enough to write about them. She hasn't been able to afford travel, but has always thought that would be fun.
Then Carla might narrow her lists down, and say that her first site really ought to be about the old Christian Classics, and she'd like to offer a service of finding them, and as she can afford it, buying and re-selling them. She's not sure yet about eBay or handling sales directly herself.
If she's quite new to how books are bought and sold on the internet, and what's hot and what's not, I would recommend a period of concentrated research. She would discover there are all kinds of people selling all kinds of books, both print and digital or e-books. In fact, the publishing world is experiencing tremendous changes! Some people sell books from very automated, deluxe web sites, and some individuals have self-published a book and slapped up a simple, garish site to beg the world to buy.
Carla would also discover that the most savvy book marketeers are individuals who build up an informative site about their key topic of interest. She might find a few who specialize in her favourites, the old Christian classics like Amy Carmichael, Hannah Whitall Smith, Charles Spurgeon, Watchman Nee, etc. But she would notice that those site-owners don't seem to know as much as she does about the books, nor do they write as enthusiastically as she could. Hope begins to rise.
She discovers forums where people talk about books, and after a while of visiting there and even interacting with some people, Carla senses that there isn't an enormous market for these books, but there are loyal devotees who would love to see a comprehensive site about her niche topic, and they would buy.
Now she is up to step 7 (from the list above). She has already made some friends, and she enlists their help to plot her site, and guide her in the details of the design and layout.
By this time she's beginning to feel like she's pigged out on way- way-y to much information! Her mind is spinning from all she's learned, and she's just beginning to see how much more there is to learn! She's been walking over foothills, but now she sees mountains of knowledge looming up close.
Right now it is a good idea to plan some breaks away from this work.
Thing is, she's getting addicted to this, and will likely start dropping other activities to give more time to her fledgling business. It's a matter-of-course!
(I may continue with this example on other pages, but I trust you are getting the idea for the starting stages).
Ruth Marlene Friesen
The Responsible One
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