UnitedWare, LLC

Before You Start An Online Business: Ideas, Motivation, and Roadblocks

"Everyone has a good idea in the shower, but only a handful of people get out, dry off, and do something about it."
~ Anonymous

The Power of Ideas

You have had a good idea in the shower too. Maybe you even wrote it down or went so far as to research it for a few days. But like everyone else, you eventually got caught up in your daily life and problems and without even consciously realizing it, forgot about your little hatched idea. Congratulations, you have joined the ranks of the rest of the population, including me a few years ago. Before you start an online business, you need a good idea. In order to come across a good idea, you must pursue and research all of your possible business ideas.

Ideas are powerful things. eBay began as an idea, a very simple one at that. Provide a forum for people to buy and sell personal items in online auctions and take a small percentage of each transaction. Think about the genius of this for a second. eBay does not have to manufacture goods or even provide services outside of coding the website, it just sits and waits for other people to make money for it. The reason the creator of eBay is a millionaire right now is because he had a good idea. He didn't have to be especially talented or even intelligent; he just had to write down his good idea from the shower and then work towards making it a reality.

The Inspiration for Ideas

This is so simple and yet so hard to do, it seems. If you want to be inspired simply keep a pencil and notepad with you throughout the day. Every time you encounter something that bothers or annoys you, write it down. Every time you have that moment where you say "I wish someone would.........build a bakery close by, invent a way I can look after my baby at work, provide affordable web design services, etc." This is where your ideas will come from: your own daily life. Online business ideas are surprisingly not far off from this. We are able to do more and more on the Internet these days, and there is very little that you cannot yet do online.

Roadblocks to Building on Ideas

Criticism from your peers is inevitable. But you know better. You take the road less traveled and that scares them. Be thankful for these doubters. As long as they exist you know it is still possible for you to succeed in business. Sometimes I have nightmares that I tell everyone I am starting a business and they all support me and say it's a great idea. If everyone realized that starting a business was profitable then it wouldn't be profitable anymore, it's as simple as that. So next time someone laughs at you and doubts your ability to "make it" when you tell them you are starting a business, just smile and whisper under your breath: "cha-ching."

Self doubt is another kind of criticism that's just as demoralizing, if not more so, only this time the problem is a little harder to deal with. If you do not believe in your idea then no one else will. Ideas do not have to be revolutionary. Sometimes I hear people say they cannot start a business because they have no good ideas. It isn't necessary to invent the light bulb here; All you need to do is form a good and reasonable idea about a possible business. It's important to realize that a good idea can be as simple as "provide the same service as Company Z, only do it for a cheaper price." Take a lot of brain cells? Not at all. Now obviously implementing that idea isn't as simple, but you get the point. We're just talking about ideas here. Granted, it's a lot easier to jump up the ladder of success if you actually have a revolutionary idea, but we can't all be Thomas Edison now can we?

The Alternatives to Self Employment

Personally, I think there is no greater incentive to start a business than looking at the alternatives, one of them being to work in a corporation. I just shuddered. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of people who are really good at working their way up the corporate ladder. If you do it "the company way" and love it, then I say more power to you. However, I know of a whole lot of people in my own personal life who get up every day despising what they believe to be a meaningless job, hating their bosses, and wishing they could do something else with their lives. These are people who feel as though they are working on some small and relatively insignificant portion of a project to which they have very little emotional attachment, and at the end of the day they feel as though they lost 8 hours of their life. Corporations destroy smart people like you and I every day, and every day some poor sap gets thrown to the curb once his usefulness is over.

Don't submit yourself to "the man" just yet. Being a corporate puppet can only get you so far. No matter how talented you are, you will never be able to rise past the level of those superiors who are promoting you. I would love to meet the boss who promotes his employee to a position above himself. Obviously, in self employment you don't have these kinds of limitations. You're independent and you control your own destiny. This is not to say that the road traveled in business is easy, it won't be. But at least on this road you can see your destination ahead of you.

The most important thing above all else is to commit to action. Stop saying you are going to do it, and do it. Some people claim that starting a business is a risky venture. To those people, I would like to quote the poet and author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe who said "The dangers of life are infinite, and among them is safety."