I speak to hundreds of entrepreneurs and small business owners every month – whether in my online EntrepreneurJam community or through social media. Without a shadow of doubt, the most common pattern I see is that people try to make things more difficult than it needs to be, in the context of starting or growing a business. However, there is an absolute, timeless, no-fluff golden rule of building a successful business that allows you to work less, earn more and love the lifestyle of being an entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurship and growing a business is really easy if you follow this golden rule.
Find a problem that’s big enough that hasn’t got a good enough (or any) solution to it and solve that problem. That’s your business.
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By the way, we all have the same problems in life. We all want:
- More money
- More time
- More love
- All of the above in some shape or form, and we want it faster than ever before
With your business, your aim should be to solve one of these 3 main problems for your customers.
Think about it…this makes complete sense! Here are some examples of how businesses solve these problems for us:
- More money – Martin Lewis’ Money Saving Expert website, financial advisors, courses teaching you how to build a business, etc
- More time – almost any app or software that automates a task for you is solving your problem of time, a VA (Virtual Assistant) saves you time, the takeaway down the road saves you time cooking a meal, etc
- More love – dating apps like Tinder and Bumble solve the problem of wanting move love (ok, not always!)
Whether it’s a health and wellness business; whether it’s more time that you give people by delivering a service to them; or you’re helping them make more money, whatever the problem is, if you can solve that problem in some way, that’s your business. Don’t try and think of the magic idea that that would make you loads of money. Just look for the biggest unsolved problems that your audience has on a day-to-day basis: your product or service should be created as a solution to that problem.
You have to see your product or service as the solution to someone else’s problem. That’s your business.
A good idea does not necessarily translate into a good business. As an entrepreneur, you will have ideas all day long and you’ll think each one is a great idea but nine times out of ten, it’s not going be a good business because it does not solve a real-world problem. Most people say ‘let me think of something that will make lots of money’ as opposed to ‘let me think of something that will solve my customers’ problems’. Stop trying to think of money-making ideas and start thinking of problems you can solve.
Ultimately, you will still make lots of money if you think of starting a business as a solution to a problem but the mindset and approach is very different to trying to think of a money-making business first.
Change your focus, and you’ll see how easy it becomes to build a business that gives you the financial security and lifestyle that you really want.
It happens to me all the time. I’m walking through London or I’m waiting for a train, a flight or an Uber and I’ll see/read/watch something that triggers an idea in my mind and for a moment I’m convinced I’m a genius and that this is a great idea. I make a note of it in my Notes app on my iPhone and when I come back to it later I realise quickly that what I thought was a genius idea doesn’t actually solve anyone’s problem and doesn’t actually make an impact to anyone. That’s not a good business idea.
You’ll have lots of ideas. Not all ideas are good unless they clearly solve someone’s problem.