So last week I wrote an article “3 Reasons Why Every New Entrepreneur Should Focus on Running ONLY One Business at a Time”. We received a lot of feedback about that article. The feedback ranged from comments like “I completely disagree but this was a well-written article” to “Thank you so much. This really helped me out at this time in my life”. But mostly, about 90%, of the feedback were comments where people specifically asked me to help them decide on what single business that they should focus on. asked “I completely agree that I should focus on one business and I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur. But I have so many gifts so it’s hard to narrow down to just one”. I love when people ask this because I can give real life advice because I have real life experience. So I will give you some tips plus a workbook to help you narrow down what type of single business to start.
People asked me “I completely agree that I should focus on one business and I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur. But I have so many gifts so it’s hard to narrow down to just one”. I love when people ask this because I can give real life advise because I have real life experience. So I will give you some tips plus a workbook to help you narrow down what type of single business to start.
Before we go in I’d like to list out a couple of truths that you should understand as we go through this process
1 – Remember to Focus on ONE Business if You Are a NEW Entrepreneur
I know I need to reiterate this one for those of you who haven’t read the article “3 Reasons Why Every New Entrepreneur Should Focus on Running ONLY One Business at a Time” but I don’t care how talented you are, running a business is too difficult for first timers to NOT focus all of your energy into one thing. The thinner you spread yourself the longer it will take you to get your business to greatness.
2- NEVER Attempt to Operate a Business Solely Because It’s Your Hobby or You Like the Industry
Oftentimes a new entrepreneur may start a business in a certain industry because they like the industry or because it’s their hobby. While there have been many people who have found both their purpose and a successful business, just by following their hobby and by following their hobby alone. But trust me these people are the exceptions to the rule. There are many other factors that go in to choosing the right industry and business, with the fact that it’s your hobby being only one of them. Which brings me to my next point…
3-Your Hobby May Be a CLUE to What Your Business Should Be NOT Necessarily the Actual Business
Your hobby or passion can be a clue to where your both purpose, AND lucrative business, lie. Remember, within your hobby’s industry are probably dozens or even hundreds of jobs, roles, careers, and sub-businesses. So don’t just limit yourself to the obvious business as it pertains to your industry. Chances are that its over saturated so competition is high and margins are low. So do some research, find a unique opportunity, and create your own lane while still doing the thing that you love.
My Hobby Was a Clue to My Business
I’ll use myself as an example. I love fashion, so some years ago I went with the obvious and started an online boutique, on 2 separate occasions. While I love the industry and fashion is my hobby I quit at both of those businesses because I didn’t have the stamina or patience to fight through the over-saturation, the insanely slow grind, and slim margins. Now that I run both a successful creative web design and digital marketing agency, Lidyr Creative, and this online platform, Better Than Success, I can look back and say that fashion was a clue to what my passion was. My passion is creativity, art, self-education, and business itself, where I love the CREATIVITY of fashion. If web design, graphic design and running an online resource for entrepreneurs isn’t the perfect expression of my passions and gifts then I don’t know what is. By the way, I also do some consulting for fashion retail businesses on the side because of all of my experience in the industry. So I still get my fix every now and again.
Here is an exercise that you can do to help sift out your perfect business for your entrepreneurial activities. Use the workbook to document the process.
How to Choose the Right Business For You Workbook
List Out the Things You Like to Do and Why (what is it about theses things that makes you love them)
Without thinking, just list out the things that you love doing. This can be hobbies, sports, or favorite pass times like watching TV. Don’t judge yourself. Don’t judge your hobbies. Just do make a list.
List Out the Things You Are Passionate about and Why
Do the same thing here as above but for your passions. What excites you? What do you feel strongly about? What injustice do you want to change in the world? These can be heavy answers like “I want to end world hunger” or light answers like “I want people to stop talking to me in the Gym”. Either way, you have to be extremely passionate about it to make it to this list
List Out Your Gifts and Talents
List out your God-given gifts. You may have to consult with your friends and family on this one but here is where you have to do some deep reflecting. What have you been naturally talented at since before you could remember? It could be something SEEMINGLY simple like “I am very good at talking. I always get my point across.” or it could be something very complicated like “I am very good at quantum physics. I understand abstract concepts easily”
List out the Things That You Are Good at Through Practice and Development…Your Skills
Do the same thing as the section above but this time, include things that you got better at over time. These are your skills. So for instance, you may have started out being really bad at the piano but over the last 5 years you are now very good at it. Or you many not have known how to work a chain saw 10 years ago but now through practice you could saw through the Great Wall of China in under a minute if you wanted to.
Now by now you should see some recurring themes in your answers.
These next few questions will take some research so take your time and get real intimate with Google
List out Industries That Fit the Recurring Themes of Your Answers above.
Just make a list.
List out All of the Jobs or Sub-industries of Interest within Theses Industries.
This may take some time. Really do your research here. Look for information that may point to businesses that allow you to express more than one of your gifts, talents, skills, or passions.
Find Your Tribe and Sample Your Market
Reach out to people that you know in these industries. If you don’t know any one in these industries, search for Meetups in your industry in your city on meetup.com and attend some meetings. By all means, you share the same interests so you belong at these meetings anyway. As you develop relationships with these people then start sampling the market
Ask Your Tribe to Learn Opportunities in Your Business:
- What are their biggest struggles in the business or industry?
- What do they need that they have a hard time getting?
- What do they wish they had?
- What makes their jobs/lives/relationships/hobbies difficult?
- What would make their jobs/lives/relationships/hobbies easier?
Take these answers and use them to find opportunities within the industry. This is where you will justify your existence in the market. This is where you can find your Point of Difference. This is where you will set yourself aside from the competition giving yourself a competitive advantage.
One last step to Choose the Right Business For You
List out the tasks that you hate doing (totally unrelated to the businesses you listed above) and why (what is it about these tasks that you absolutely hate?)
Will you be required to do these tasks if you start a business in any of the industries that look promising to you listed above? You may have to do some research here.
If no, then you may have found your business.
If yes, then go to the next question…
Will it be worth doing anyway? Or Do You Hate This Task So Much That It Wouldn’t Be Worth It to You?
If yes, then you may have found your business. So buckle down and do the stuff you hate. My mom said this to me once and it always stuck with me “Sometimes as adults we have to do the things we don’t want to do”. Besides you may be able to outsource it later.
If no, then go to the next question…
If You feel That You Hate This Task So Much That It Wouldn’t Be Worth It to You, Can You Outsource This Job from Day One? Could You Afford It?
If yes, the get out your purse and hire someone. If no, then start this exercise over from scratch. Don’t worry, you will find your business in here (your brain) somewhere. You have been given all kinds of clues. All you have to do is think your way though it. This guide will just help you to organize your own thoughts.
I know this will help you to find the Right Business For You. Narrowing down to one business is hard I know, especially with all the talents, gift and skills you have inside of you. But I want to ensure your success. Fortunately/unfortunately that means have to choose one, for now. Just get this one business going and then I promise you, in a few years you can start another business that speaks to your other gifts. And then you will be the mogul/entrepreneur that I know you can be.