Jumpstart Your List

Do you want to become an entrepreneur? Then you need THE idea; for which you need a list of ideas to shortlist from. But how do you get this list ready?

Consider etching this mantra on your mind (or perhaps get a temporary tattoo):

Problem + Solution = Possible Idea.

Develop a list of ten or more ideas, that you believe are potential problems in need of a solution, that you would enjoy working on. The list can also include items that would add delight.

Below are some suggestions for this process:

    • Spend a few days developing the list.
    • Whenever an idea occurs, and it will often, jot it down.
    • Stretch your mind, even far-fetched ideas are fine for now.
    • Yes, why not change the world?
    • Do not limit yourself just because you do not know how to solve it.
    • If you already have a team, have each member of the team go through this exercise. Then sit together and develop a joint list.
    • Meditate, exercise, watch TED, cry, laugh, connect with nature, do whatever it takes to make the creative juices flow.

One of my colleagues suggested this exercise:

    • Write down as many dreams as you can remember, the more the better. Is there a theme that you can see? Is there a passion that keeps cropping up? Is there an idea that is yearning to be liberated?

Another colleague suggested the following:

    • Spend time with people you care about and draw inspiration from them. What bothers them? What drives them crazy? How could you help?
    • Do the things you love: run, hike, cook, drink wine and understand what about those activities makes you feel fulfilled. Can that insight be used to provide fulfillment to others?
    • Go to a museum or someplace filled with art. Be inspired by the creativity surrounding you.
    • Do you have enough ideas to start? Then go crazy in a non-crazy sort of way.

When you have developed ten or more ideas, take a deep breath, take a bow and congratulate yourself on your start.

Verinder Syal, Author: Discover The Entrepreneur Within