Blog Week 4: Ch. 9 Always Be On The Lookout For Your Next Big Thing
In the book “It’s A Jungle In there”, Schussler explains how he learned at a very young age “always be on the lookout for products or services that people need, and then be prepared to provide those needs in exchange for adequate compensation.” When he was only thirteen and a cabana boy, he started a side business by providing an area for card players and running errands for them. He made way more money doing this than he did being a cabana boy, but once his boss found out he wanted to take over the card playing area that Schussler had created. He had to hire three people just to take over the area that Schussler was handling on his own. In this story Schussler reminds us that there are opportunities everywhere, we just have to look for them. “But the lesson I learned would last a lifetime: observing your surroundings to see what you can do to make things better is a surefire formula for turning a profit. This is what entrepreneurism is all about. It’s about spotting a need that isn’t being fulfilled and providing that fulfillment.”
There is always something to improve or make a better product, process or service. Many entrepreneurs stem their business off of something that has already been invented or created and they just expand on that and make it better with a new business. This is what they call inspiration, being able to see how something could be approved upon, and creating something new from that. In the Wall Street Journal article, How Entrepreneurs Come Up With Ideas, explains many other ways of finding inspiration for starting a business. Here are just some ways to find inspiration:
- Look at what is bugging you. If you have a problem think about how it could be solved with something to help you, wouldn’t it be nice if there was something that could make life easier in this way.
- Head into weird places. Walk and observe your surroundings and talk to people with different backgrounds, to get different perspectives.
- Search for a better way. Taking existing products and finding a better way.
- Think Big. “Go big or go home: There are opportunities to make money by building businesses that marginally improve on existing products or services, but the real thrill sets in when the decision is made to go after an enormous idea that seems slightly crazy.”
- Listen to people who know. Listen to customers and front-line employees, they have great suggestions from their perspective that could change the direction of your company. Reverse assumptions by asking yourself the opposite question.
- Get inspired by history. You can gain a lot of insight by looking back through how entrepreneurs in the past succeeded.
- Be prepared to shift gears. Even if the first idea doesn’t seem like the best idea, there might be a piece of it that is good, that can be transformed and molded, or it could just lead to the next idea.
- You can’t rush the brain. Sometimes action needs to come before thinking in order to find the inspiration.
Schussler, Steven and Karlins, Marvin. It’s A Jungle in There. New York: Sterling, 2010. Print.
2013, April 29. How Entrepreneurs Come Up With Great Ideas, There is no magic formula. But that doesn’t mean that there is no formula at all. http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887324445904578283792526004684