Dr Boyce Watkins: I want to start a business, but I don’t have an idea
I often hear people tell me that they want to start a business, but don’t know what kind of business they want to start. I understand the nature of this question and it’s quite common. However, I want to help you to realize something very important: This question is certainly logical, but it doesn’t make as much sense as you think.
To feel that you need to know the kind of business you’re going to run before you even learn how to start a business is like saying you want to plan what food you’re going to prepare when you’ve never learned how to cook. While you can make some guess on what kind of food you’d like to cook (perhaps based on your experience as a lifelong eater), the truth is that after you learn how to create your own meals, your list of possibilities will grow 10 fold.
So, while you might feel compelled to choose your business idea before you start your learning process, I suggest that you a) do not put too much pressure on yourself, and b) start learning even before forming your idea. Then, as you’re absorbing the tools for business development, you’ll have a few “eureka moments” that will solidify your long-term objectives.
Talk to some entrepreneurs. Learn the culture. Study the tools for business creation. It is only then that you’ll be informed enough to make a thoughtful and realistic commitment to the kind of business you’d like to create for your family.
In the video below, I speak to my students about how to start a business when you don’t yet have your idea.