How do you start the business idea process?
First, take out a sheet of paper, and across the top, write “Things About Me.” List five to seven things about you—things you like to do or that you’re really good at, personal things (we’ll get to your work life in a minute). Your list might include: “I’m really good with people, I love kids, I love to read, I love computers, I love numbers, I’m a problem solver.” Just write down whatever comes to your mind; it doesn’t need to make sense.
On the other side of the paper, list things you don’t think you’re good at or you don’t like to do. Maybe you don’t like to meet new people or you’re really not that fond of kids or you don’t like public speaking or you don’t want to travel. Don’t overthink it.
When you’re finished, ask yourself: “If there were three to five products or services that would make my personal life better, what would they be?” Determine what products or services would make your life easier or happier, make you more productive or efficient, or simply give you more time.
Next, ask yourself the same set of questions about your business life. Also examine what you like and dislike about your work life as well as what traits people like and dislike about you.
Finally, ask yourself why you’re seeking to start a business in the first place. Then, when you’re done, look for a pattern (i.e., whether there’s a need for a business doing one of the things you like or are good at).