[Free Book Preview #23] STEP 3: From Your Strengths and Asset

Hey there, Freedom Seeker!

Welcome to the exhilarating big sky of small business entrepreneurship!

I wrote a book for you. This book reveals the Unbiased Small Business Research Formula developed from decades in the trenches of American Main Street and online business as a small business entrepreneur and a coach. Its objective is to help you become the successful creator of the new life you envision by objectively guiding you in researching and choosing the right business.

In the next weeks, I’ll share free sections of the book with you before it’s released for publication and available for purchase.


 

9.3 – STEP 3: From Your Strengths and Asset;

Do you remember all that introspective research on your strengths and assets you did earlier? Now, it is time to put it to good use and examine what can be leveraged for a business idea.

If you have specialized knowledge, can you use it to start a niche business?

  • From your personal experience or from challenges you have faced and learned from, what product/solution can you create that would help others overcome these obstacles? 

  • From your talents, are you deeply knowledgeable about a hobby or an activity you would like to share or teach to the general public?

  • Do you have insider knowledge from a sector of industry and are intimately familiar with its problems and challenges?

  • Does your family have unique knowledge or recipes that were passed from generation to generation? 

  • Have you created a do-it-yourself solution to fix a problem and could it be marketed as a product? 

Linking Career Capital to Business Ideas

To brainstorm how your career capital can translate into a business, creativity is key. For example, if you’re a teacher, could you offer educational consulting or better combine your teaching skills with an area of interest like a hobby? If you’re in finance, could you start a personal finance blog or a financial advisory service? Reflect on what services or products could benefit from your unique set of skills and experiences and find a way to reach your ideal customers. 

Take Susan, who retired as a math and science teacher and started a business teaching her lifelong hobby: knitting. By leveraging her skills as a teacher through digital courses and live classes, Susan attracts a worldwide audience of passionate “yarnies,” as knitters often like to call themselves. Her new business gives her time and location freedom, allowing her to travel the world and check off a few of her bucket-list milestones with an income that is multiples of her former compensation as a teacher.

  • Utilizing Industry Knowledge

Having intimate knowledge about an industry is an advantage that could put you ahead of others. Use this knowledge to identify pain points, gaps, or inefficiencies in the industry. These could be potential opportunities for a business.

  • Aligning with Your Interests

While your career capital and industry knowledge are crucial, aligning your business idea with your interests will help sustain motivation in the long run. Map out your interests and see how they overlap with your career capital. The sweet spot where your skills, knowledge, and interests intersect is fertile ground for potential business ideas.

Today, thanks to the tools provided by technology, you can create a business that reaches an avid audience worldwide in all types of both common and esoteric niches, from needlework to Victorian corset sewing, knitting, fishing, hunting, tennis, golfing, yoga, swimming, horse ballet, musical instruments, etc.

  • Exploring Problems in Your Domain

Every business, at its core, is solving a problem. As someone with experience in a field, you’re uniquely positioned to understand its challenges. Identify problems in your domain; the bigger and more pressing, the better. The best business ideas often come from solving the most painful problems.

Snowflake: A Tactical Approach to Brainstorming Business Ideas

Coming up with a business idea that can deliver the LIFE+ you envision takes reflection and creativity. The goal is not to rush the process but to ensure you’re building something that leverages your strengths, solves a real problem, aligns with your interests, and actualizes your purpose. That’s the foundation of a successful and fulfilling entrepreneurial journey. 

The snowflake, or mind mapping, method is a brainstorming tool that helps generate new ideas and see how they’re interconnected. The snowflake method starts with a central idea and expands outwards, resembling a snowflake’s structure. It helps visualize how ideas are connected and can be particularly useful in identifying areas of interest or expertise that might not have been immediately apparent. The diagram below gives you a visual of the methodology. From the strengths and assets you have identified earlier, enter them in a bubble below: skills, knowledge, interests, hobbies, etc.

 

Brainstorming Business Ideas from Your Strengths and Assets

In a second, you’ll get to do your own mind mapping in your workbook. But first, let’s look at two examples.

Let’s use the example of Lauren. Lauren’s career capital includes knowledge in marketing and journalism. Her hobbies and interests include wine and travel.

Central Idea: We write “Business Ideas” in the center of the page, as it represents the central goal of this brainstorming session. 

Main Branches: From the central idea, we create four main branches: Marketing, Journalism, Wine, and Travel.

Sub-branches:

  • Under Marketing, branches could be Digital Marketing, Brand Strategy, Product Marketing, Event Marketing, and Market Research.

  • For Journalism, we could have Investigative Reporting, Editorial Writing, Freelance Writing, Content Creation, and Multimedia Storytelling.

  • Under Wine, potential sub-branches could be Wine Tasting, Wine Making, Wine Education, Wine Events, and Wine Tourism.

  • For Travel, consider Travel Writing, Travel Planning, Ecotourism, Culinary Travel, and Adventure Travel.

Business Ideas: Now, let’s think of potential business ideas at the intersections of these areas.

  • Combining Digital Marketing and Wine Tasting could inspire a business idea like “Digital Marketing Agency Specializing in Wine Tasting Events.”

  • Brand Strategy and Wine Making might intersect to create a business idea like “Brand Consultancy for Small and Midsize Wineries.”

  • An overlap between Freelance Writing and Travel Planning could lead to a “Freelance Travel Itinerary Writing Service.”

  • The intersection of Content Creation and Wine Education might inspire “Content Creation Services for Wine Education Platforms.”

  • The combination of Event Marketing and Culinary Travel might generate an idea like “Event Marketing Services for Culinary Tourism Companies.”

Creating a mind map is an effective way to connect various areas of interest and expertise, helping you to identify unique and creative business ideas that align with your skills, experiences, and passions.

Let’s take another example: 

Simon has a degree in environmental law and spent years working in accounting for a law firm that specialized in this field. Simon also loves to be outdoors and has an adventurous spirit. He enjoys skiing, diving, and sailing. 

Central Idea: Write “Business Ideas” in the center of the page. 

Main Branches: From this central idea, draw five lines, each leading to a circle containing one of his core interests or skills: Environmental Law, Accounting, Skiing, Diving, and Sailing.

Sub-branches:

  • Environmental Law can branch off into areas like Regulation Compliance, Sustainability Consulting, Climate Change Policy, Conservation Laws, and Environmental Advocacy.

  • From Accounting, we might branch off to Financial Analysis, Taxation, Auditing, Budget Planning, and Management Accounting.

  • From Skiing, we consider Ski Equipment, Ski Resorts, Ski Instruction, and Ski Travel.

  • From Diving, we might brainstorm Diving Equipment, Diving Locations, Diving Instruction, Marine Conservation, and Dive Tourism.

  • From Sailing, let’s consider Sailing Equipment, Sailing Courses, Yacht Charter, and Sailing Travel.

Business Ideas: Let’s begin to look for connections and intersections between these sub-branches, leading to potential business ideas.

  • Combining Regulation Compliance and Ski Resorts brings forth the idea of a “Consultancy Specializing in Environmental Compliance for Ski Resorts.”

  • Financial Analysis and Dive Tourism intersect to inspire “Financial Management and Consulting Services for Dive Tourism Operators.”

  • Taxation and Sailing Courses can give way to the idea of a “Tax Consultancy for Sailing Schools.”

  • There might be a connection between Diving Instruction and Environmental Law and thoughts of “Environmental Law Courses for Divers.”

Simon’s experiences and interests could intertwine and provide unique value in the marketplace. 

Using your workbook, create your mind map by filling out what are your skills, hobbies, knowledge, and interests in the main branches. Then, brainstorm on the sub-branches of potential ideas.

 



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