Pssst! Your small business start-up idea is not on the internet! Internet lists don’t guarantee success. In fact, browsing online for your best start-up business ideas only takes you down the wrong path. Instead, examine your passions, interests, gifts, and talents.

People search lists of ‘easy to start’ businesses (is there really such an animal?), of hottest businesses, of top ten businesses, and so forth. If you’re looking at lists for inspiration, don’t bother.

A successful search requires thought, experience, and advice of trusted advisors. Leave behind the quick and easy attitude. The only thing that truly works is – you guessed it – persistent hard work.

Find your passion and dream!

To succeed in small business, you are best served by finding your passion and dreams that fit with your gifts and talents. Let’s look at each and do some real brainstorming to find your new small business opportunity.

Make your own list of the three to five things that answer one or more of these questions:

  • What do I enjoy about my current job?
  • What do I enjoy helping others with?
  • What do I enjoy teaching others?
  • What do I enjoy talking about?
  • What do I enjoy reading about?
  • What do I enjoy learning about?
  • What do I enjoy doing for others?

All the questions center on what you enjoy, and many ask about your relationships with others. With answers in hand, brainstorm – without looking at the internet – what types of small business start-up ideas might be most served by those passions.

Identify your gifts and talents.

Ask others to help determine your gifts and talents. Seek their feedback on your top three gifts or talents:

  • according to your spouse
  • according to a coworker
  • according to a close friend
  • according to another friend

Settle on the top three or four most common gifts and talents, and brainstorm what types of small business startup ideas need those gifts and talents.

Don’t choose just one business idea … choose three! Why? I don’t want you to lock in on any one small business start-up idea that may or may not be right for you. Then, you are ready to set about the task of determining which idea answers a market demand or need.

I know – it’s a lot more work upfront this way. However, the alternative is to charge ahead and fail. Too many people don’t plan and charge ahead. Do it right the first time and succeed with your small business start-up ideas.

A final thought!

Once you have followed this process and if you have a personal profile from Meyer Briggs (MBTI) or similar test, see if your strengths and weaknesses help shape your decision.


by Steven Schlagel