“I’m working on my third million – the first two were too hard.”
— My grandfather
I’ve always thought there should be a place on the internet to “plant” the best small business ideas that you don’t have the passion to use for yourself.
Who knows, maybe such a site exists.
But a good idea for a million dollar business might be only that – an idea. You won’t make your first million until you find an idea – THE idea – that you can dedicate yourself to so tenaciously that you bring it to life.
It’s easy to think that the success or failure of a million dollar idea is completely inherent in the idea itself. But that’s not always the case. Take the Pet Rock for example. Who would have thought that inventor Gary Dahl would become a millionaire by selling rocks?
Your idea could be the next million dollar thing, if you find the right market for it and you’ve got the passion and dedication it takes to make it come alive.
It doesn’t have to take a long time to find your million dollar idea. In fact, you can do it in 8 minutes flat:
Minute 1. Find what you love: Is there something you could do all day and night that you’d do for free? Make a list of as many of these things as you can think of in 1 minute.
Minute 2. Solve a problem: Maybe it’s not so much in the “doing” of what you love that propels you, as much as it is the idea of having it done. Which of the world’s problems, big or small, could you get behind so fiercely that you can make it your million dollar idea?
Minute 3. Nurture your intuition: Spend a minute brainstorming. When you brainstorm, you allow yourself to be creative without self-censorship. Then look back over your ideas and see if there are a few diamonds that you can polish. I find this works best to record yourself thinking out loud on your phone. (In fact, I’ve been guilty of doing this in public and just pretending there’s someone on the other end!)
Minute 4. Fix something stupid: Stupid things are annoying. Like forgetting a tissue in your pocket and then washing it in your washing machine. Or losing the end of a tape roll. Or when the car seat belt gets all twisted up. Solve a problem that annoys you – really, really annoys you – especially if it’s connected to a subject you feel passionate about.
Minute 5. Become an expert: Ok, it may take you more than a minute to become a real expert, but spend a minute on some research. When you know about a subject, you may be able to identify gaps in knowledge, technology, service, or product offering that, once you fill it, will ensure you your first million.
Minute 6. Re-brand yourself: Do you do something that you could apply to another industry? Maybe your skills feel old and tired now, but applied to something different could revolutionize it.
Minute 7. Re-invent something: Find a way to make something old new again. Maybe you loved trading baseball cards as a kid, but the hobby could use a little updating. Maybe there’s something that’s still reasonably popular that hasn’t seen innovation in a while. Create the future for something old, and get ready to be counting zeroes.
Minute 8. Find the pain: Take one minute to ask your Facebook or Twitter friends about your area of interest, and understand what problems they have related to it. Use that info to be as creative as you can with inventing solutions.
Your million dollar idea will be at the intersection of what you love to do and what needs doing. Then it’s all in the day to day execution of your idea. And that’s how your passion will set you apart. Your passion is what will allow you to take it over the finish line.
So, what are you going to do with your first million?