Day 1: Have an Idea – Small, Big, or Kooky
“The best advice I would give to them is to just get started… Take a baby-step forward and you just moved towards becoming a successful entrepreneur.”
Woodrow Wilson got the idea for the League of Nations while he was in the shower. We got the idea for JuniorBiz while watching a business plan competition. You’ll get the idea for your unique, successful business while reading this page.
We’re going to walk you through brainstorming your idea, refining it, and then packaging it for success. By the time your eyes get to the bottom of this page, you won’t just have the next million-dollar idea – you’ll also know how to take the next step.
Why Start a Business?
“Young people in general must realize that there will be no better time to start a company than right now.”
Starting a business doesn’t always sound like a lot of fun. Making money doing what you love? Now we’re talking.
Anyway, you probably think you know what a business is, but here is our definition of business:
- A business is any venture designed to make money. It often involves selling a product or a service.
And our definition of entrepreneurship:
- Entrepreneurship takes a business one step further. An entrepreneur offers something innovative and with potential to expand in a big way.
Before you can start bringing home the Benjamins, you need to have an idea. And not just any idea: you need brainstorm the right idea for you.
Here’s how to find it:
Vegetarians Shouldn’t Start Hamburger Stands
“If you’re not doing what you love to do, at least give it a chance.”
There’s an art to picking the right entrepreneurial venture. Use the four guidelines below to find out what’s right for you.
Start with Your Passions
Don’t ever pick an idea just because you think it will be profitable. If you don’t love what you’re doing, you’re not going to want to put in the hard work necessary to make it successful. So, build your business around something that you truly enjoy. It’s just more fun that way.
We took our passion for music and silly stop-motion videos, and then used it to sell our book. Check the result out below.
Experience is Good, but Not Necessary
Think about what you’ve got a lot of practice at. Often, you’ll find that you’re most experienced in the things that you most love to do. If you want to do something in a field where you don’t have much experience, that’s okay too: everybody’s got to start somewhere.
Today, Joe Penna has the 7th most subscribed channel on YouTube (Mystery Guitar Man). But he wasn’t always an amazing video editor. He told us, “I just watched the first video that I ever did, back in 2001. I cringed at every cut, like, “Argh – why did I put a star wipe there? Not a good idea!” Everybody was bad at first. So keep at it.”
Businesses Add Value
The real trick is starting a business you’re passionate about in a way that adds value to people’s lives. People aren’t going to give you money unless you give them back something of equal value. So, don’t ask, “How could I turn my jellybean expertise into a business?” Ask, “How could I use my jellybean expertise to help people?” If you can help people, the money will come.
Adding value to people’s lives is easier said than done. But the good news is that people always want to improve their lives – no matter how many gadgets and gizmos we already have. If you’re creative and determined, you will find a way to do this with any passion of yours – from painting to playing music to chatting with your friends on Facebook.
Mark Bao is the 17-year-old founder of 11 companies and three foundations. How has he found so much success so young? He told us, “My main goal is to create value for the customer.”
Try imagining one of your potential customers. Close your eyes and step into their shoes for a moment. Then, ask yourself, “What do I really want? What would I be willing to pay for?”
How to Package Your Business
“You’ve got to stop doing all the things that people have tried, tested, and found out don’t work.”
There’s more than one way to skin a cat. But who wants to do that? Below, we’ll show you a couple of different ways you can shape your business.
Services are Easier to Start
Packaging your business as a service is great because you can start making money right away. You don’t mow somebody’s lawn until you know that they are going to pay you for it. Everybody has some task that they don’t want to complete – and they’ll be willing to pay you for that service.
Ben Weissenstein started a service when he was 14. He and a friend went to their neighbors’ houses and helped them with their garage sales – all the while taking a cut of the profits. Grand Slam Garage Sales is now a national franchise.
Products are Easier to Grow
The only problem with services is that, as you become more successful, you have to keep serving more and more. 100 lawns can earn you a lot of money… but how are you going to find the time to mow them all?
But if you package your business as a product, then you can start earning money while you sleep. Get your product in local stores or put it up for sale online – and the money flows in without you breaking a sweat. The only problem is that a product will only be successful if it is good and that good products require a lot of hard work up front.
Nick Tart, the founder of JuniorBiz, started a lawn-mowing service at the age of 12. At 21, he found a way to transfer his lawn-mowing knowledge into product form. With Emil Motycka, Nick wrote The Official JuniorBiz Lawn Mowing Guide, a revenue stream that doesn’t require either of them put on gym shorts.
If possible, start your business as a service then expand into turning that service into a product. This will allow you to earn money from the outset then expand into something that can earn you millions.
Brainstorm Your Idea
- Take out a piece of paper and write down five of your favorite hobbies, interests or passions.
- Place a checkmark next to the ones that could help people.
- Brainstorm ideas for why people would pay you to do something with that passion.
- Figure out how you can start a business around that passion as a service.
- Talk to a parent, friend, mentor about your idea.
- If they think it’s solid, sleep on it.
- If it’s a good idea, it will be hard to sleep ;).
- If you’re still thinking about it in the morning, you’re on to something.
If you’re struggling, push your creativity to the limit. Every passion has a problem. Every problem has a solution. Don’t be afraid to experiment and write down outlandish ideas. It’s just a piece of paper and outlandish ideas are sometimes the best ones.
See you at the top,
Nick Tart & Nick Scheidies
P.S. This module is just one part of a ten step outline to business success. Use it to launch your product, service, internet business, or something nobody else has thought of yet. The next module will show you the ropes, so you can get your business off the ground – but the only way to get it is to subscribe to the guide. It’s an investment in your success and it’s absolutely free. Learn more and sign-up here!
P.P.S. Since we’re giving you this course for free, we just ask that you “Like” it, “Tweet” it, and otherwise share it with everyone you know. Thanks!